Memorandum of Understanding between the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Concerning Digital Government

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the UK), hereinafter referred to as the “Participants”,

In recognition of the fact that:

  • The Government of Canada has committed to realising the opportunity of digital innovation to support more widespread adoption of digital tools, to better serve Canadians. Informed by similar initiatives in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, member nations of the Digital5 group, and by the unprecedented opportunity offered by digital and open government, the Government will adopt new ways of serving Canadians.
  • The UK Government is building a digital government based on user needs. It is building on openness and transparency to strengthen people’s trust in government and deliver digital public services. In doing so it is changing the way that the UK government buys goods and services, thereby saving money and supporting growth in the economy.
  1. The Participants have come to the following understanding. They will mutually support each other's goals to:
    • provide better digital public services which are fully accessible, and so straightforward and convenient that people prefer to use them;
    • ensure that people who are offline, or are online but have limited digital capability, have appropriate support in place to help them use digital public services, and are encouraged and supported to go online;
    • promote economic growth through open markets and by stimulating start-ups and small to medium business enterprises; and
    • commit to open standards for government information, data and software, promoting interoperability and the development of Open Source solutions that can be shared.
  2. The Participants will exchange information and experiences on the development of digital government services and the reform of traditional approaches to technology.
  3. They commit where possible to working towards and conducting their activities based upon the following principles of digital development, acknowledging that they will not be able to meet all of the criteria upon signing:
    • user needs – the design of public services for the citizen;
    • open standards – technology requires interoperability and so a clear commitment to a credible royalty free open standards policy is needed;
    • open source – future Government systems, tradecraft, manuals and standards are created as open source where appropriate and are shareable between members;
    • open markets – in government procurement create true competition for companies regardless of size. Encourage and support a start-up culture and promote economic growth through open markets;
    • open government (transparency) – be a member of the Open Government Partnership and use open licences to produce and consume open data;
    • connectivity – enable an online population through comprehensive and high quality digital infrastructure;
    •  teach children to code – commitment to offer children the opportunity to learn to code and build the next generation of skills;
    • assisted digital – a commitment to support all its citizens to access digital services;
    • commitment to share and learn – work together to help solve each other's issues wherever they can.
  4. The Participants will promote contact and exchange of experts including secondments.
  5. The Participants will jointly decide on a case by case basis how their activities will be funded and resourced.
  6. The Participants may, as appropriate, designate other institution or institutions to lead or participate in the activities and may seek to work with partners at all levels of government.
  7. This Memorandum of Understanding is not legally binding.
  8.  
    • This Memorandum of Understanding will come into effect on the date of the signature of both Participants and will remain valid, at the discretion of the participants, for five years.
    • The Participants may renew this Memorandum of Understanding for a period of five years at a time upon their mutual written consent.
    • The Participants may amend this Memorandum of Understanding upon their mutual written consent through an exchange of notes.
    • A Participant may terminate this Memorandum of Understanding by giving three (3) months written notice to the other Participant.
    • The Participants aim to monitor and review progress of activities carried out under this Memorandum of Understanding at least annually via meeting or written correspondence.

Signed in duplicate at Ottawa and London, on this 6 day of October 2017, in the English and French languages, each version being equally valid.

For the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

For the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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