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Canadian, Mexican, and United States Officials Meet To Talk E-Government at North American Day

GSA #9755

October 24, 2000
Contact: Eleni Martin (202) 501-1231
eleni.martin@gsa.gov

WASHINGTON, DC - Senior officials from the United States, Canada, and Mexico met at their first "North American Day" to exchange ideas and approaches to the electronic government of the future. The meeting was held in Ottawa on October 12. The U.S. delegation was led by Marty Wagner, GSA's Associate Administrator for Office of Governmentwide Policy, the Canadian delegation was led by Michelle d'Auray, Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Canadian Government, and the Mexican delegation was coordinated by Tom�s Orozco, Assistant Director, INFOTEC.

Discussions by the three nations centered in four areas�the transformation to e-government, citizen expectations from electronic government, the emerging partnership between government and business, and public access to the Internet and government services and information.

"Globalization and the use of technology are changing the way we work in Canada and around the world," said d'Auray. "As we move to E-government, it is important for us to work closely with our North American partners to learn from each other for the benefit of our citizens and businesses."

"Technology is the easiest part, " said Wagner, "Political, social, and labor issues are more challenging as we move toward E-Gov."

Officials in the North American Day discussions noted that the transformation activity in state and provincial governments in each country provides models for national governments to evaluate. Also, Canada has experience in merging multiple municipalities into one for administrative purposes allowing cross government management. The Council for Excellence in Government in the U.S. is producing the
"E-GOV Excellence Blueprint" to be published in November 2000. This is a product of 100 senior officials representing academia, industry, government, and non-government organizations. It will provide the next Administration in the U.S. government with a suggested blueprint for transforming the federal government.

"The central question that surfaced again and again," said McDonough, "is how can we help transform our governments to take full advantage of the opportunities available through advances in information and communications technologies? Several approaches were discussed. There is an emerging feeling that the overlapping functions and redundancies in governments will become more apparent as Internet and FirstGov type portals are used increasingly to deliver services to the public.

For information about intergovernmental management, visit the webpage for GSA's Office of Intergovernmental Solutions at http://policyworks.gov/intergov. This website is targeted specifically to information technology managers at all levels of government.