IT World Canada

IT World Canada

June 18, 2008 16:09 ET

Advanced Social Networking Platform Heralds New Era for Government & Industry Collaboration

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 18, 2008) - This June a new type of communications platform for government and industry relations was launched at the annual Lac Carling event at Niagara-on-the-Lake, which continues to be a landmark event in bringing together three levels of government to advance dialogue on citizen-centric service delivery.

Bernard Courtois, President and CEO of ITAC, said he believes this platform at www.laccarling.ca is the next-generation tool for communications to enable governments and industry to have more consistency in the ability to simply communicate and share ideas, projects and initiatives that will impact the Canadian citizen.

Fawn Annan, Vice-President and Publisher for IT World Canada states, "We have waited a long time, working with two separate development teams to bring this type of social networking functionality to the publishing and government forefront. The opportunity for this community, and the input from such a high level of senior bureaucrats and industry pundits to envision and embrace such a tool on a national level, makes this a bracing and energizing time for everyone."

LacCarling.ca is a social networking platform to allow governments and industry to carry on the dialogue to advance the service delivery agenda. The social network is designed with both public and private faces. The public face of the system will house articles, news stories and showcase initiatives to educate the wider government audiences and industry practitioners, allowing government and industry pundits to post to pre-populated forums to provide a broad spectrum of opinions. The private side, which boasts 256-bit encryption for tight security, facilitates group discussions on an invitation-only basis.

The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), the national organization for information technology vendors, is part of the Lac Carling Advisory Group, developers of this new type of technology to be used as a tool to further enable national dialogue on better services to citizens. The Advisory Group includes Deputy Ministers, Assistant Deputy Ministers, Chief Information Officers, The Institute for Citizen-Centred Services and IT World Canada Inc., producer of the publishing platform and associated event.

Courtois and Annan agree that the recent Democratic primary election in the U.S. demonstrated the sea change that social networking technologies have created in the world of relations between government and other stakeholders. "Hillary Clinton launched a traditional, top-down campaign, tailoring her message to a new medium," said Annan. "But Barack Obama used social networking to let the grass roots help create the message and define the campaign. That was an important influence on Obama's victory and demonstrates how effective these technologies are at engaging constituents."

Theme & Objectives Statement for LC 2008

Theme: Web 2.0 & Exploring Next Generation Service Delivery

Objectives:

- Bring key stakeholders together in one forum to explore the possibilities of Web 2.0 tools and their potential application in the delivery of next generation government service

- Deepen understanding of the key infrastructure underpinnings/bridges which need to be in place to leverage the opportunity of Web 2.0

- Discuss next generation service delivery in light of the changing demographics of both public servants and those that they serve

- Employ and explore Web 2.0 collaboration tools, made available in the Lac Carling space on Intergovworld.com, in the pre and post event work

- Engage with the Public Sector CIO Council, Public Sector Service Delivery Council, Municipal Information Systems Association of Canada and the Institute of Citizen-Centered Services and ITAC in their work to advance the agenda for next generation service delivery across governments in Canada.

- Continue to build relationships - cross functional, cross jurisdictional, public-private -that will foster further learning, collaboration and information exchanges (www.laccarling.ca)

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