OECD: Today, the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) is pleased to announce the release of The Innovation System of the Public Service of Canada, the first of the OECD’s reviews of a national public sector innovation system
- The Government of Canada starts with a strong base, having a long demonstrated history of innovation. The civil service also has a longstanding awareness and appreciation of the need for innovation.
- There has been an ongoing recognition that the Public Service of Canada needs to continue to adapt and be responsive. Respective Clerks (the Heads of the Public Service) have repeatedly identified the need to go further.
- Much of the ‘low-hanging’ fruit (i.e. activities to support public sector innovation such as awards, efforts to remove hurdles, introduction of new tools) has already been picked, but this is unlikely to lead to long term sustainability.
- The innovation system is still relatively fragmented, in that most actors are experiencing the same system in different ways. New approaches are needed.
- The Canadian Public Service has made some significant steps towards a more systemic approach to public sector innovation. However, it is likely that without continuous efforts and direction the innovation system will not be able to consistently and reliably contribute to the delivery of the best outcomes for citizens.
Given that much is still being learnt about public sector innovation, the report avoids a prescriptive approach as to what should be done. It identifies potential areas of intervention, but recognises that the context will continue to evolve, and that the specific actions taken should be matched to the ambitions and intent of the Public Service of Canada.
An innovation system is made up of many parts and contributed to by many actors. The effectiveness of the innovation system – i.e. its ability to consistently and reliably develop and deliver innovative solutions that contribute to achieving the goals and priorities of the government – will depend on collective effort, involving action from different actors at the individual, organisational, and system levels.
While a range of options