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01 Oct 2018 at 14:29:05 user 'jcobban' wrote: Reducing the Cost of Government in Ontario

Open letter to Premier Doug Ford;

The report just filed on ways to economize in the Ontario government is a good start, but it strikes me that it is only scratching the surface because it does not take a radical look at why government costs so much.

The Doug Ford government was elected because the people of Ontario do not feel that they are getting their money's worth.  An area which was not addressed in the report is the thousands of civil servants and contractors whose jobs are not directly related to the delivery of services to taxpayers.  These include:

  1. Civil servants at all three levels of government, as well as in contractors such as MPAC, whose jobs exists solely because of the complexity of the taxation system.  Taxation should be simplified, particularly by eliminating rules that are so complex that they cannot be automated.
  2. Civil servants whose jobs exist to administer the Ontario payroll solely because the existing contract rules are so complex that the payroll cannot be automated to the extent that it is in private sector companies. It was the maze of arbitrarily complex rules that contributed to the failure of the Federal Phoenix payroll system.  If a payroll rule cannot be automated then re-negotiate it.
  3. Civil servants whose jobs exist solely to enforce regulations.  The cost of enforcing all of these regulations, which I believe in many cases have received only superficial examination by elected politicians, is at least proportional to the number of pages of such regulations, so I believe the Government should aim to trim the total body of existing regulations by 25%.  Again individual regulations should be examined for the feasibility of automation, and for exploiting ISO 9000 registration.
  4. The civil service insists that it must use specific software products which are only available from Microsoft and other foreign commercial software suppliers with the result that license fees, training budgets, and support payments all go out of province, when there are alternative software products which are available without license fees and which can be supported by software developers employed in Ontario.  These alternative software products are widely used in Europe by all levels of government.

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