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Archived - 2014 Mandate letter: Government and Consumer Services
Premier’s instructions to the Minister on priorities for the year 2014
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September 25, 2014
The Honourable David Orazietti
Minister of Government and Consumer Services
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Sixth Floor, Mowat Block
900 Bay Street
Dear Minister Orazietti:
I am honoured to welcome you to your role as Minister of Government and Consumer Services. We have a strong Cabinet in place, and I am confident that together we will build Ontario up, create new opportunities and champion a secure future for people across our province. The people of Ontario have entrusted their government to be a force for good, and we will reward that trust by working every day in the best interests of every person in this province.
As we implement a balanced and comprehensive plan for Ontario, we will lead from the activist centre. We will place emphasis on partnerships with businesses, communities and people to help foster continued economic growth and make a positive impact on the lives of every Ontarian. This collaborative approach will shape all the work we do. It will ensure we engage people on the issues that matter the most to them, and that we implement meaningful solutions to our shared challenges.
Our government’s most recent Speech from the Throne outlined a number of key priorities that will guide your work as minister. Growing the economy and helping to create good jobs are fundamental to building more opportunity and security, now and in the future. That critical priority is supported by strategic investments in the talent and skills of our people, from childhood to retirement. It is supported through the building of modern infrastructure, transit and a seamless transportation network. It is supported by a dynamic business climate that thrives on innovation, creativity and partnerships to foster greater prosperity. And it is reflected across all of our government, in every area, and will extensively inform our programs and policies.
As we move forward with our plan to grow the economy and create jobs, we will do so through the lens of fiscal prudence. Our 2014 Budget reinforces our commitment to balancing the budget by 2017-18; it is essential that every area adheres to the program-spending objectives established in it. We will choose to invest wisely in initiatives that strengthen Ontario’s competitive advantage, create jobs and provide vital public services to our families. The President of the Treasury Board, collaborating with the Minister of Finance, will work closely with you and your fellow Cabinet members to ensure that our government meets its fiscal targets. The President of the Treasury Board will also lead the government’s efforts on accountability, openness and modernization as we implement new accountability measures across government.
The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services functions as a public-facing line ministry as well as an enterprise organization. As Minister of Government and Consumer Services, you will continue to support ministers and government services, improve ServiceOntario and strengthen consumer services and protection.
Your ministry’s specific priorities include:
Supporting Ministries and Government Services
- Continuing to provide internal shared services support to help ministries deliver on their business goals. This includes offering ministries a variety of cost-effective business services, including human resources recruitment and advice, procurement, financial management and support — and employee pay and benefits services.
- Upholding professional and ethical standards and maintaining public confidence in the responsible delivery of services offered by the Ontario Public Service (OPS). I ask that you collaborate with ministers to ensure that the OPS is working to become more inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible at all levels.
- Exploring opportunities to expand or promote shared services — first to agencies and then to the broader public sector — where an enabling business case exists and where partnership opportunities are available.
- Ensuring, through enhanced outreach and communications, that businesses are aware of the government’s procurement opportunities and understand how to do business with the government.
- Making it easier for vendors to do business with the government by improving procurement processes, tools and technology.
Improving ServiceOntario’s Delivery and Partnerships
- Continuing to focus on integrating and transforming government services and strive to increase the organization’s ability to promote efficiency. I ask that you continue to support enterprise service transformation and integration, in collaboration with other ministers. Your goal is to improve customer service for citizens and businesses in Ontario, including the promotion of online service delivery.
- Ensuring that ServiceOntario leads efforts to explore ways to transform how citizens and businesses interact with government. I ask that you work with key partners, including the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Minister of Transportation, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and other ministers, to achieve this goal.
- Ensuring that ServiceOntario continues to promote a sustainable, convenient and cost-effective retail office network. I ask that you recognize the necessity of such a network, given that some services may be too complex for online or telephone channels.
- Ensuring that ServiceOntario prioritizes supporting the government’s commitment to better serve Ontario businesses. ServiceOntario will work with the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure and other key ministries to support the government’s Open for Business strategy. Together, they will explore how to expand the suite of online services and single-window capabilities through the use of modern infrastructure and applications.
- Ensuring that ServiceOntario continues to work with the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to eliminate the red-and-white health cards currently in circulation and convert them to the more secure photo card version over the next five years.
Strengthening Consumer Services
- Undertaking consultations and bringing forward a Consumer Bill of Rights that clarifies and sets out the fundamental rights of all consumers.
- Strengthening consumer marketplace fairness and transparency, including in the areas of home renovation, moving companies and home inspector qualifications. I also ask that you explore other areas, including e-consumer protection — which includes e-commerce, privacy and identity theft.
- Exploring opportunities to increase protection for vulnerable indebted consumers, such as modernizing payday loan legislation.
- Expanding protection for condominium buyers and owners. You will introduce legislation to modernize the Condominium Act, 1998, and create mandatory qualifications for condominium managers. Your goal is to address the needs of the fast-growing condominium community and support the long-term sustainability of condominium living.
- Continuing to develop Consumer Protection Ontario as a trusted source of information, advice and awareness for consumers and businesses.
- Pursuing measures to strengthen consumer protection in partnership with other ministers and partners.
Building a Dynamic Business Climate
- Continuing to review the province’s corporate and commercial statutes. Your goal is to ensure Ontario has modern laws that facilitate an efficient market and prosperous business climate.
- Bringing forward legislation to enable the implementation of the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010. I ask that you actively support the non-profit sector through the transition.
We have an ambitious agenda for the next four years. I know that, by working together in partnership, we can be successful. The above list of priority initiatives is not meant to be exhaustive, as there are many other responsibilities that you and your ministry will need to carry out. To that end, this mandate letter is to be used by your ministry to develop more detailed plans for implementation of the initiatives above, in addition to other initiatives not highlighted in this letter.
I ask that you continue to build on the strong relationships we have with the Ontario Public Service, the broader public sector, other levels of government, and the private, non-profit and voluntary sectors. We want to be the most open and transparent government in the country. We want to be a government that works for the people of this province — and with them. It is of the utmost importance that we lead responsibly, act with integrity, manage spending wisely and are accountable for every action we take.
I look forward to working together with you in building opportunity today, and securing the future for all Ontarians.