Public servants risk becoming irrelevant?

Former federal Cabinet Minister David Emerson says, “public servants are losing their monopoly on policy advice to government and will soon be considered irrelevant unless they change how they gather, analyze and shape their recommendations,” according to the May 16, 2014 Ottawa Citizen.

Interesting observations from a man who was also a BC Deputy Minister of Finance and Deputy Minister to the Premier.

Emerson, who chaired a 2014 prime minister’s advisory committee on the public service, reportedly said “technology and big data are turning the world of policy-making on its ear.” 

“Government is a little information economy with lots of barriers to the free flow and use of information, so a big challenge for the public service will be how to adapt when the world is now able to access all kinds of quantitative and qualitative information is a split second on hand-held devices.”

“Ministers want information and advice faster and if the public service drags its feet because of outdated methods, tools and attitudes, the government will look elsewhere. And, he reportedly said, there is no end of places to look, ranging from think-tanks, academics and lobbyists, to advocacy groups and even political staffers who have easy access to information on hand-held devices.”



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