2020-21 Departmental Plan: Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Raison d’être

Shared Services Canada (SSC) is responsible for digitally enabling government programs and services by providing IT services in the domains of networks and network security, data centers and Cloud offerings, digital communications and providing IT tools that the public service needs to do its job. As a service provider to over 40 government departments and agencies, SSC is focussed on moving toward an IT service delivery model that encourages sharing common solutions and platforms across departments in an effort to reduce the variety of IT solutions across the government. In taking this enterprise approach, SSC is working to solidify network capacity and security, equip and empower employees to collaborate, and support partners in the design and delivery of their digital service offering to Canadians. The Minister of Digital Government is responsible for SSC. Additional information can be found in SSC’s Departmental Plan.

Mandate and role

Shared Services Canada (SSC) is responsible for digitally enabling government programs and services. It does this by providing networks and network security, data centres and Cloud offerings, digital communications and IT tools to enable the public service to effectively deliver services to Canadians.

In carrying out its mandate, SSC is supporting the Digital Operations Strategic Plan: 2018-2022 and the Government of Canada Cloud Adoption Strategy, as well as working in partnership with public and private sector stakeholders, implementing enterprise-wide approaches for managing IT infrastructure services, and employing effective and efficient business management processes.

The Shared Services Canada Act and related Orders-in-Council set out the powers, duties and functions of the Minister responsible for SSC. Amendments to the Act in June 2017 allow the Minister to delegate to other Ministers the power to procure certain items, thereby making it easier for federal departments to buy some of the most frequently purchased IT goods and services. SSC remains responsible for setting up IT contracts, standing offers and supply arrangements, and will continue to ensure only trusted IT equipment and software are used. The Minister responsible for SSC may also, in exceptional circumstances, authorize another Minister to obtain services from within their own department or from a source other than SSC. However, this authorization cannot be used to exempt the entire department from using SSC’s services.

In 2019, the Minister of Digital Government became the Minister responsible for SSC as per Order-in-Council 2019-1366. The creation of the first stand-alone Minister of Digital Government underscores the importance of digital technology transforming society, and it centralizes the decision-making with respect to GC-wide digital government policy and operations. For more information on the Department’s organizational mandate letter commitments, see the Minister’s mandate letter.

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