Innovation and excellence in procurement practices?

Earlier this month, Community Living British Columbia announced it "was proud to learn, in early March, that four of its employees had been nominated for the 2005/06 Premier's Innovation & Excellence Awards in the category of Innovation" - including Rick Mowles, who has been the authority's chief executive officer since February 2005. According to the announcement, "the CLBC nominees were recognized for their work in the 'delivery of an integrated project involving 8 government entities that saw the uninterrupted transfer of responsibility for the delivery of services to individuals with development disabilities and their families from the Ministry of Children and Family Development to the new Crown agency." Of course, as our astute readers will know, Community Living British Columbia hasn't exactly accomplished that shift in a timely manner.

According to children and family development's July 2003 service plan, "the permanent transition of community living services for adults with developmental disabilities" to Community Living British Columbia was "anticipated for late 2003." And, given that the authority has been legal entity for less than a year, how can we know whether that transition has produced "substantial benefits to community" - one of the innovation category's judging criteria?

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Actually, CLBC hasn't even accomplished that shift yet. When it became clear a year ago that CLBC -- the flagship of MCFD restructuring -- was already two years overdue and still years away from being ready, the decision was made to proceed with devolution in name only.

In effect, Mr Mowles & co are still essentially driving the old MCFD ship while trying to figureg out how to get their innovative new model to run. Almost a year after the official "devolution", CLBC is still designing and testing the systems, models, policies and processes that are actually supposed to accomplish that shift. So we're now well into Year Four (!) of the transformation/transition that officially began with the establishment of an Interim Community Living Authority in November 2002, and still waiting for the rubber to hit the road.

...and as to producing "substantial benefits to community", that's where the true innovation comes in:

1) Design a mandate that doesn't require anything other than to "endeavour" to benefit the community served in innovative new ways

2) Develop a service plan in which change itself is the over-riding goal.

3) Define outcomes/performance targets that demonstrate accomplishment of change for its own sake vs. accomplishment of any tangible benefits for the population served.

So, yes, someone certainly deserves a medal if the goal was to accomplish "endless bureaucratic restructuring" for its own sake.

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