Public servants risk becoming policy dinosaurs, David Emerson warns

I didn’t know David Emerson read my dissertation. Sweet!

Ottawa Citizen

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, says the man who led a heavyweight committee on the public service for Stephen Harper.

Former cabinet minister David Emerson, the outgoing chair of the prime minister’s advisory committee on the public service, said technology and big data are turning the world of policymaking 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,” Emerson told the Citizen.

“And if they can’t do that quickly, government becomes less and less relevant because, by the time decisions are made, it will…

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