Comments from the Auditor General and Chief Information Officer of B.C.

Comments from the Auditor General

Knowledge is a critical asset to public sector organizations, and successfully managing this asset is essential if governments are to achieve their goals and objectives. Private and public sector organizations have recognized that facilitating the generation, sharing and use of knowledge across organizational boundaries is critical to meeting the challenges of the future. Connecting the right people with the right knowledge at the right time can, among other things, enhance decision making, ensure better-informed policy and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of operations through innovation.

My Office undertook this project because we recognize the critical importance of knowledge in the success of the B.C. public sector. We also recognize that there are both risks and opportunities related to knowledge that need to be managed. An aging population means that many public servants will retire as demands on services increase; new technologies amplify the amount and speed at which information is provided; and the business environment is increasingly complex and global. To meet these challenges, organizations need to be resilient and flexible and public sector managers need to optimize the knowledge that exists both within and outside of their organizations.

We chose to produce a guide to good practices and a self-assessment tool to:

  • increase awareness in B.C.’s public sector of the importance of thinking of knowledge as a strategic asset; and
  • assist organizations in gauging their current level of capability in managing knowledge, and to take steps to achieve excellence in this area.

I would like to acknowledge the many public sector managers and employees who contributed to this work, especially the Office of the Chief Information Officer and the BC Forest Service. The project team encountered many enthusiastic B.C. public sector leaders — from all levels — who provided us with valuable input and "good ideas" which can be seen throughout the website. This guide provides a mechanism to share these good ideas and success stories to influence improvement in areas where knowledge may not be effectively managed.

To support effective and accountable government, my Office will have a continued interest in the management of knowledge. We expect to use this resource to help us evaluate the knowledge management capability of organizations.

In keeping with the nature of good knowledge-related practices, this project is completely web-based — a new reporting format for this Office. Given that managing knowledge is a continuous process, publishing this report solely on the web enables us to adapt the content continuously. I hope you enjoy the interactivity of the report and make full use of the self-assessment guide to lead your office’s management of knowledge.

John Doyle, MBA, CA

Comments from B.C.'s Chief Information Officer

I would like to thank the Office of the Auditor General for developing the guide to good practices. Knowledge is a strategic asset and the effective management of knowledge is an important consideration for organizations as they work to meet the future challenges of our changing workforce and working environment.

As British Columbia’s chief information officer, I am responsible for promoting and guiding the effective management of government’s information resources. The generation, sharing, and use of knowledge supports the strategic management of information, therefore, I encourage organizations to review the guide and use the self assessment tool to identify opportunities to improve knowledge management.

Government has a number of initiatives underway with regard to improving the way we manage knowledge as identified in the good practice guide. As a proponent of innovation and change, I support these efforts and encourage ministries and other government organizations to continue to introduce and expand these types of initiatives. In doing so, we can advance our organizational transformation goals and meet the challenges that lay ahead.

Dave Nikolejsin