Launch of the Canadian Digital Service and a new paper on Digital Government Units

The Canadian Digital Service officially launched last week. First announced in March in the 2017 budget, many have been waiting patiently to learn what this unit will do and what powers and budget it will wield. Many of those details are still not 100% clear, or at least not public. What we do know (as per the budget) is that the the CDS will be housed in Treasury Board Secretariat and modeled on other central Digital Government Units, namely the UK's Government Digital Service, the United States Digital Service and 18f. This tells us something about the orthodoxy that the CDS will adopt - user-centrism, open source technologies, agile methodologies, a delivery-first ethos - but less about the governance structure that the CDS will adopt, given that these other DGUs diverge quite considerably in their on the ground implementation.

For some insight into the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead for the CDS, and for Digital Government Units globally, you can check out this paper I've just released on SSRN: "Digital Government Units: Origins, Orthodoxy and Critical Considerations for Public Management Theory and Practice".

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