Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Introduction and Context

Background

The Government of Canada (GoC) established the Department of Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) in 1987 as the federal regional economic department for western Canada. WD’s mandate is to promote the development and diversification of the economy of western Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia) and to advance the interests of western Canada in national economic policy, program and project development and implementation.  WD’s corporate headquarters is located in Edmonton. Regional offices are located in Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Winnipeg. WD has approximately 400 employees.

The Information Management and Technology (IMT) Directorate is responsible for both technical infrastructure and information management (IM).  Roles are responsibilities within the Directorate are divided within the following two groups:

  • IM team - responsible for corporate applications and databases along with the corporate Help Desk; and
     
  • Technology Services team - responsible for managing the IT infrastructure of the Department, including: servers, network, and video conferencing equipment.

The IMT Directorate has a total complement of approximately 24 staff (indeterminate and term positions), including the Director, IMT / Chief Information Officer (CIO), the CIO’s assistant, 16 IM staff, and six Technology Services staff. 

In addition to IMT Directorate staff, there are 14 regional IMT staff that report to regional management (the regional Manager of Finance) and have a functional reporting relationship to the CIO (although no direct reporting relationship).  WD is planning on spending $3.72M on IMT (1.9% of WD’s total budget) for 2011-12: $2.73M at headquarters, and $996K within the regional locations (1.4% and 0.5% of WD’s total budget, respectively).

At WD, Information Management Technology (IMT) governance provides the structure that links IMT processes, IMT resources, and IMT information to WD’s objectives and strategies.  Furthermore IMT is a key enabler for WD, as all staff deal with information and/or technology on a daily basis.  The area of IMT governance has not previously been the subject of an internal audit.

There are two governance committees that share the main responsibilities over IMT oversight within the department:

  • IMT Council: a cross-representation of departmental business areas and regions with vested interest in the major initiatives and client relationships undertaken by the IMT directorate. The IMT Council is responsible for assessing business cases for major initiatives, setting priorities and making recommendations to Executive Committee for unallocated funding requirements in partnership with the respective Business Project Sponsor. 3
     
  • Executive Committee: the departmental standing committee responsible for: providing overall strategic and management oversight to all departmental activities; ensuring that the long-term strategic outcomes of the department and regions are achieved; and, setting priorities for the department to achieve these outcomes.4

There are also separate committees in place that provide oversight over specific IMT projects. (i.e. Project Gateway Priority Steering Committee and Information Management Priority Steering Committee).

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3 WD IMT Council Terms of Reference
4 WD Executive Committee Terms of Reference