PGEx Learning Forum – The Governance Continuum: Increasing Accountability and Performance in Times of Fiscal Restraint

Author: Todd Cain

Growing fiscal pressures and the ongoing need to demonstrate performance to elected leaders and the public are challenging Public Sector leaders. While these issues are no less critical than before the recession, leaders must now consider this new environment.

In this context, success for Public Sector leaders calls for a greater understanding of the changing nature of organizational accountability.

New insights on the governance of the Canadian public sector are required. The IOG’s Governance Continuum© is a dynamic tool that accommodates these multiple challenges by responding to the dynamic horizontal interactions that are essential to organizational success and a ‘whole of government’ approach.

On March 1 and 2, the IOG will be hosting a forum that explores how the Governance Continuum can ensure increased accountability and performance.

Executives and managers of policy development, oversight and coordination of departments, agencies, and crown corporations should attend. It will also be invaluable to those managing transfer payments and to staff in crown and shared-governance corporations who liaise with their responsible departments.

As participants you will gain a deeper understanding of:

  • trends in Canada and other Westminster model countries
  • the foundations of governance as applied to traditional and arm’s length government institutions
  • How fiscal restraint can be addressed and how to more effectively manage relationships and interdependencies among institutional actors within the Continuum
  • how accountability, risk and performance are affected by the interdependencies among institutions and governance

The learning forum will provide you with a practical toolkit to assess public sector governance in a rapidly evolving context.

Click here to register.

Learning outcomes

The new governance environment: Causes, effects, consequences

  • Reflect on the changing nature of governance in the public sector and gain a deeper understanding of the foundations of governance as applied to traditional and arm’s length government institutions, i.e. the organizational principles that underlie the institutional arrangements of government entities.
  • Hear from experts, some at the ministerial or DM level, on the changes in government and the forces shaping these changes like PS reform, cost saving measures, central agency policy, illustrated by case studies on transformation in the transportation and procurement domains.

The Governance Continuum – Discussion, application, challenges

  • Trace the relationships between governmental institutions and their impact on public sector outcomes.
  • Explore the interdependence among institutional players in order to more effectively manage.
  • Prepare to reconsider the boundaries and relationships of government, and draw on the governance Continuum approach and its use as a tool for government transformation and adaptation in times of fiscal restraint.

Testing our assumptions for evolving governance

  • As the role of government changes, how will this change relationships between and among organizations.
  • Examine the factors that impact on the organization of government.
  • Assess your organization’s current governance arrangements and the key relationships can enhance them.

Shape the future of government, today

  • Using the Continuum to interpret the evolution of government.
  • Understanding your organization in the context of the public sector using a governance lens.
  • Take the governance Continuum from analysis to practice through facilitator-led and peer group discussions.

Confirmed speakers and moderators

  • Keynote: Michelle d’Auray, Secretary of the Treasury Board
  • John Crichton, CEO, NavCanada
  • Liseanne Forand, President, Shared Services Canada
  • John Knubley, Deputy Minister, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Ray Hession, Chair, e-Health Ontario
  • Doug Young, Chairman of Summa Strategies Canada Inc., and CPCS Transcom Ltd., past Minister of Transport
  • Tom Ring, Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Works and Government Services Canada, Acquisitions Branch
  • Maryantonett Flumian (Institute on Governance)
  • Todd Cain (Institute on Governance)

The Agenda, as it currently stands, is available for download below.

Location and time

  • March 1st 5:30 to 9:00 pm (evening dinner speaker) – Panorama Room, National Arts Centre
  • March 2nd  8:00 am to 4:00 pm – Panorama Room, National Arts Centre


The cost of this learning event is $750 (no HST) per person. The price includes expert facilitation, all meals and breaks and course materials in electronic form.


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