The province has created a new $50-million Transformation Capital Fund to support innovative initiatives within government to build the modern and dynamic public service Manitoba needs for the future.
“We have a shared vision for a strong public service that embraces challenges and places innovation at the heart of its work to improve outcomes for Manitobans every day,” said Pallister. “To transform the culture within our public service, we are investing in the up-front drivers of transformation – in the people, processes and tools that will help make Manitoba the most improved province in Canada.”
On Feb. 28, the province released Transforming the Manitoba Public Service: A Strategy for Action, its plan to transform the work of the public service and build a culture that is forward thinking, creative and outcomes driven.
The Transformation Capital Fund is a concrete and tangible step forward in the transformation journey, the premier said, adding it will change how government thinks about and spends capital.
All public servants have been invited to contribute ideas and all departments have been invited to submit funding proposals. Proposals will be developed using new and specially developed analytical tools that focus on evidence and outcomes, and external business consultants will be made available to work with departments. The use of these tools and the associated investment in training is a critical part of the transformation, and in many respects the most important part, as it helps shape behaviours and practices, Pallister said.
All applications will be evaluated based on risk adjusted return on investment and in order to access funding, departments must demonstrate measurable savings that ensure the up-front investment pays for itself in less than four years.
“The old approach to budgeting reinforced traditional behaviours like protecting program budgets, maintaining silos and having absolutely no tolerance for risk,” said Finance Minister Cameron Friesen. “This fund will encourage new methods of innovative thinking, collaboration and a business case approach to medium and long-term planning. We look forward to seeing the ideas and proposals that Manitoba’s public servants bring forward, and we know this talented group will not disappoint.”
The minister noted Treasury Board Secretariat will help train staff and financial officers within departments to help public servants evaluate and develop their ideas into proposals.