The stereotypical government employee is usually characterized as “lazy”, “inefficient”, “in by 9 out by 4”.
With the tech downturn, a lot of people I know ended up in the government. The general consensus among the ex-tech people who ended up in the government is that yes, there are pockets of poor performers and demoralized individuals – but by and large – the majority of government employees are motivated and engaged in doing the best job they can. The other observation of the ex-tech people inside the government is that the internal politics are very similar (although more pronounced in some departments more then others!) to the politics that they encountered inside Nortel.
On a personal level, my observations and experiences with Federal government employees include:
- I have made submissions and worked with the NRC-IRAP team over the years. I have found the NRC-IRAP team in general to be top-notch from the executives down to the ITA’s – they recognize the importance of their role in the future of Canada tech development and they work as an engaged and committed partner.
- Stats Canada produces high quality research reports that I have found to be very insightful and valuable in supporting my various market analysis activities over the years.
- The Passport office is a model of efficiency and customer orientation. When I look back to the first passport I got compared to the last one a few years ago – they have made massive improvements. In general I have found they are increasingly efficient and customer service oriented. The last time I went in to get my renewed passport – in-spite of a full waiting room of people – I was in and out in less then 30 minutes. I personally like the way they introduced an option for a taxpayer to pay extra for expedited services.
- On the e-Government side, e.g. making it easy to find information and access services online, the government continues to make improvements year over year. I have always been able to find the information I need online. As an aside – I believe our government’s expertise in e-Government is a area we should be looking to export/develop into commercial businesses.
Politicians aside, in general it is my opinion that we have a pretty good group of people working for us in the Federal government.