New Department to Focus on Digital Services, Programs
Nova Scotians expect programs and services that respond quickly to their needs and are delivered in a way that is best and most convenient for them.
To help the government do that better, it has created the Department of Cyber Security and Digital Solutions, which will transform the way services are developed and delivered, as well as enhance cybersecurity.
“The pandemic taught us that we can pivot fast to deliver services quickly and virtually, but that was only the first step,” said Colton LeBlanc, Minister of Cyber Security and Digital Solutions. “This new department is the next step in transforming the way we work so we are agile and responsive in everything we do. Ultimately, this will allow us to better serve Nova Scotians.”
Staff from the Nova Scotia Digital Service, which had been part of Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services, move to the new department. It will be led by Deputy Minister Natasha Clarke, formerly associate deputy minister and chief digital officer at Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services.
The former Department of Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services’ name is now shortened to Service Nova Scotia. Deputy Minister Joanne Munro will remain with this department, which will continue to provide a wide variety of services to the public, such as issuing driver’s licences, birth certificates and licences to businesses. It is also responsible for government services including procurement, information access and privacy, internal audit and payroll for the public service.
Minister LeBlanc will retain responsibility for Service Nova Scotia, as well as Acadian Affairs and Francophonie, the Public Service Commission and healthcare infrastructure projects.
- the Nova Scotia Digital Service was created in 2019; it is responsible for maintaining and transforming information technology operations for the Province and the health sector
- there will be 798 employees in the new department, with an annual budget of $229.1 million
- Service Nova Scotia will have 1,020 employees and an annual budget of $153.3 million
- digital government has been recognized as a need since 2011, when the United Kingdom formed its Government Digital Service
- other provinces and the federal government have also put a focus on digital service: the Ontario government formed the Ontario Digital Service and appointed a Minister of Digital Government in 2017; the federal government created the Canadian Digital Service in 2018; Newfoundland and Labrador created its Department of Digital Government and Service NL in 2020; and Quebec created its Department of Cybersecurity and Digital Technology in 2021