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Public Sector Hiring Freeze: Digital Implications
Shortly before Doug Ford became the Premier of Ontario he ordered a hiring freeze on the public service sector in order to limit spending until he got into office. From there he promised to run an audit of the government's spending to ensure that no unnecessary expenditures were taking place, decreasing the taxes of working Canadians. Salary adjustments were to be made starting July 1, 2018, were put on hold as a part of Doug Ford’s plan to limit government spending.

Per usual, when anything like this happens there are people on the opposite ends of the spectrum debating the pros and cons of the situation, and whether or not this will hurt the general population.

What OPIN is interested in is the digital implications that come along with this situation. How does this affect the digital presence of firms or the government? There are many sections of the government that will be hurt due to this freeze in public service hiring.

Pause on advancements in technology

The major downfall of the public sector is the lack of urgency to pursue the advancements in digital trends. There is already a reputation surrounding the Public Service industry that technological advancements are not a top priority. By Doug Ford implementing the spending freeze on money that could go towards funding additional advancement in government services, the sector might fall even further behind. There are many services that the government could use extra funding in order to advance them technologically. By placing a freeze on public service hiring and spending the government might be risking falling even further behind on new digital trends, resulting in less efficient service to the public.

Many services are so far behind in the realm of digital advancements that the freeze on government spending will just keep them in the dark. For example, services like receiving a driver’s license or OHIP card where citizens need to provide documentation or fill out forms for are outdated and inefficient. With the proper digital platform, the waiting time for customers can be reduced considerably and other digital solutions can arise from this as well. But when the government cannot spend the money to fund these digital projects, no innovation can take place.

Things like data collection are also in the area of advancement but will not go anywhere unless the government is able to fund the digital projects to advance them. Every sector of the government spends massive amounts of time collecting data that contributes to the solutions that society faces. There are digital projects that would allow data to be collected, sorted and interpreted in a way that would significantly decrease the time it takes to do it manually. Again, these projects could possibly be swept under the rug during the purchasing freeze.

Although opinions are widespread on this policy that Doug Ford has implemented, one thing is for certain. This can cause some major problems for the government sector resulting in them being left behind and people losing their jobs. OPIN wants to be at the forefront in providing you up to date content surrounding the digital world.


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