Securing the future of talent mobility in the Government of Canada

May 30, 2019

It’s an exciting time for digital government in Canada. While we’re still in the early stretch of 2019, we have continued to advance the digital government agenda including, releasing the Directive on Automated Decision Making and more recently, hosting the Open Government Partnership Summit, to explore how digital technologies have reduced barriers and offered government’s new opportunities to rebuild their relationship with those they serve.

Its timely then, that at a time when we’re discussing what new opportunities digital technologies can provide both governments and citizens, that we announce the Government of Canada’s (GC) Talent Cloud project with Learning Machine to develop open and dynamic digital credentials.

This might sound familiar to many of you, and you’d be right to think so. At the Digital 9 Summit back in November 2018, I shared our intentions to explore a Blockchain credential pilot with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Since then, the MIT Media Lab, together with Learning Machine, have developed an international open standard for issuing digital credentials known as Blockcerts.

Today, we’re taking this one step further and working directly with Learning Machine to produce Blockchain credentials for the GC’s Free Agents.

As part of a one-year project being co-developed by the GC Talent Cloud team and the Digital Identity Unit at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS), together with Learning Machine, Government of Canada ‘Free Agents’ will be issued Blockcerts, a permanent, self-owned and secure record of their skills and experiences.

“Proving yourself” with paper or checking a database will now be a thing of the past. Using Blockcerts, will empower Free Agents to independently and securely “own” their identity and prove their qualifications in a way that is easy and respects their individual rights to privacy as they move across the federal government doing project-based work.

Personally, I am excited about this work and the potential that Blockchain certification will provide Canada and other leading digital nations around the world. In the meantime, I invite you to follow Talent cloud on Twitter, @GC_Talent, to stay up-to-date with the progress of their pilot.

Alex Benay

Alex Benay
Chief Information Officer, Government of Canada

Alex Benay currently serves as the Chief Information Officer of the Government of Canada. Prior to this appointment, Alex was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation since July 2014.

From 2011 to 2014, he was Vice-President of Government Affairs and Business Development at OpenText. He has played a leadership role in Canada's digital industry, as well as in promoting the global shift to digital in organizations such as the G20, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Olympics. Before joining OpenText, Alex managed various teams and programs at the Canadian International Development Agency, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Natural Resources Canada, and Library and Archives Canada.

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Submitted by Bernie Etzinger on June 12, 2019 - 12:58 PM

This is a great idea and useful application of blockchain technology - open and secure and private.