PGEx Learning Conference: Oversight in the public sector; fostering effective relationships

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On March 27 to 28, IOG's Public Governance Exchange (PGEx) will present a two-day learning conference on oversight relationships in the public sector. This event will bring together senior officials and recognized subject-matter experts from both within and outside government for a multi-faceted, in-depth examination of oversight practices across the Canadian public sector.

Balanced and effective oversight is critical to the success of any organization, but plays a distinctive role in the public sector. Public sector organizations, even those with a commercial orientation, are entrusted with public policy mandates and have more to answer for than just the bottom line. At the same time, excessive growth in the formal mechanisms of oversight can deliver diminishing returns and sometimes even overwhelm the primary functions of government. Given the increasingly widespread distribution of government responsibility to organizations beyond direct government control, the importance of this "oversight challenge" looms ever larger.

Ultimately, oversight is a kind of relationship, requiring the ongoing, systematic and skilful engagement of everyone concerned. This PGEx conference will give participants the understanding and the tools needed to adopt and support sound oversight practices and foster constructive and effective oversight relationships.

Learning Forum Events and Confirmed Speakers

Keynote Debate: “Is the Distribution of Government Responsibilities Undermining our System of Government?”

  • Mel Cappe, Professor, School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto
  • Maryantonett FlumianPresident, Institute on Governance and former Deputy Minister, Service Canada

Panel: Legislative Oversight – Standing Before the Committee

  • Kevin Page, Parliamentary Budget Officer
  • John Williams, CEO, Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption

Panel: The Year in Governance – Surveying the Headlines

  • Keith BeardsleyPartner at True North Public Affairs and former Deputy Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Panel: Foresight and Problem Solving in Delegated Relationships – Lessons from the Private Sector

  • Todd Cain, Vice-President Public Governance, Institute on Governance
  • Terry Ansari, Board Chair, Institute on Governance and Vice-President of Business Solutions, Cisco Canada
  • Colleen Kelley, Vice-President Business Operations, Stratford Managers

Panel: Oversight of Crown Corporations – Delivering Value and Respecting Values

  • John Knubley, Deputy Minister, Industry Canada
  • Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Via Rail Canada
  • Susan Margles, Vice-President Government Relations and Policy, Canada Post

Presentation: How Good is Your Governance? The IOG Governance Scorecard

  • Todd Cain,Vice-President Public Governance, Institute on Governance

Presentation: Refining the Governance Continuum – Where Do You Fit In?

Good words from our last PGEx Symposium:

"It was like being on CPAC. Great discussion!" 

"Felt great to be among such expertise and absorb the discussion."

"Excellent speakers and great table discussions."

"I enjoyed the opportunity to engage colleagues on the issues at hand while establishing new contacts in a networking sense."

"Well organized, great agenda, speakers, and food!"

Learning Outcomes 

With the benefit of diverse views from leaders in the public sector, academe, the private sector and media, participants will acquire an enriched understanding of:

  • The most recent developments in public sector governance and the underlying trends they reflect;
  • The evolution of oversight challenges – rising public expectations of accountability together with increased distribution of government responsibilities;
  • The roles of different players in our oversight systems – ministers, parliamentarians and officers of parliament, organizations and their leaders;
  • Tools and practices of effective oversight – managing relationships and risks, supporting appropriate alignment between governments and arms’-length organizations, and fostering public service values and ethics in commercial and operational enterprises;
  • Lessons from the private sector’s experience in managing relationships with their supply chain partners – clarity of outcomes, communication and transparency, effective planning and risk-management, joint problem-solving, and product design; and
  • PGEx’s evolving tools for analyzing inter-organizational relationships, designing governance systems and assessing the quality of governance at both the organizational and systems level.

Location and time

This event will be held in Downtown Ottawa:

  • March 27th 4:30 pm to 8 pm
  • March 28th 8:30 am to 4 pm


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.

Register now!

This blog is available in English only.

About the authors

Dustin Munroe

Dustin Munroe

Senior Researcher

Dustin has been a Research Officer at the Institute on Governance since September of 2012. Much of his work at the IOG involves research, writing, and logistical support for advisory services projects. These projects serve clients that seek expertise from the IOG in our knowledge areas of not-for-profit governance and public sector governance. Another area where Dustin has been deployed is in support of the IOG’s Public Governance Exchange (PGEx) applied research initiative. In addition to his responsibilities in advisory services, Dustin is also active at the IOG in event planning, business development, and communications.

Dustin’s current governance interests are in the areas of board governance, stakeholder relations, collaborative governance, and distributed governance organizations. He also has an ongoing interest in public policy, provincial politics, and federal politics. Before joining the IOG, Dustin worked for the Government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatoon StarPhoenix daily newspaper. He completed Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in political science at the University of Saskatchewan.

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Karl Salgo

Karl Salgo

Executive Director - Public Governance

Karl heads the Public Governance Exchange(PGEx), the IOG’s multi-jurisdictional program of applied research and knowledge exchange on public sector governance.

A career public servant, Karl has degrees in political science, history and law from the University of Toronto and in public administration from the Queen’s University School of Policy Studies.  He worked for many years in the federal Department of Finance, in areas as diverse as tax policy, communications and financial markets.  In the latter capacity, Karl helped to establish the governance framework for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and later served as Chief of Capital Markets Policy.

From 2004 to 2012, Karl worked in the Privy Council Office’s Machinery of Government Secretariat, where he provided advice to the Clerk of the Privy Council and the Prime Minister on the organization and structure of the Government of Canada – the Cabinet, portfolios, and the creation, winding-up and governance of individual organizations.

As Director of Strategic Policy from 2007 to 2012, Karl was the secretariat’s lead authority on Crown corporation governance, the conventions of the Westminster system, and the conduct standards applicable to ministers and other senior public office holders.  Karl was the author/editor of numerous PCO publications, including Accountable Government: A Guide for Ministers and Ministers of State and Guidance for Deputy Ministers.  Actively involved in realizing the myriad governance and accountability changes that flowed from the Federal Accountability Act, Karl played a lead role in the design and implementation of the accounting officer mechanism of deputy minister accountability.

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