The much anticipated "Drummond Report" of the Commission on the
Reform of Ontario's Public Services was released on February
15, 2012. In broad terms, the Commission's mandate was to find
ways to make the Ontario government work better in light of the
fiscal challenges facing Ontario.
Throughout the Drummond Report, the Commission recommended
improvements in the collection of relevant data to imporve
evidence-based policy development and program evaluation. From a
data governance perspective, the following recommendations in the
Drummond Report are noteworthy.
Linking Databases and Profiling for Tax Compliance
Purposes. The Commission recommended linking more
databases so as to detect and recover revenue from underground
economic activity. In particular, the Commission recommended:
legislative changes to enable data sharing (such as permits,
licenses and registration information) and database matching across
ministries, municipalities and government departments;
creating a "wealth indicator" database, which might
estimate the expenditures made by a taxpayer to maintain his or her
lifestyle to identify potential tax fraud;
expanding reporting requirements for certain financial
a federal-provincial agreement to share information and
co-ordinate compliance efforts in the underground economy;
Integrating Social Benefit Programs and Better Data
Collection. The Commission recommended fully integrating
social benefit systems to centralize income testing, payment
delivery, automate income verification and standarized eligibility
criteria. Along with this integration and centralization, the
Commission recommended better data collection to evaluate the
programs in the integrated benefits system while respecting and
protecting personal information and privacy.
The Commissioners were careful to note that there must be
consultation with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of
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