February 7 – A Red Letter Day
I became the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner on July 1, 2014 and as new commissioners do, decided to take a look at the processes used in the office. I had utilized lean methodology in the past and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to try it again.
The office engaged Mr. David Bankey to facilitate our process and our lean event took place on September 15 to 18, 2014. This involved all the staff and we did find steps we could eliminate. Changes to the procedures were made, which would help the office, citizens and public bodies.
Incorporated into the procedures was an early resolution process where staff attempted to work with citizens and public bodies to facilitate the early obtaining of information.
We also set a goal that we wanted to close any file within 40 days, 80% of the time. Why 80%? Well we knew there would always be files that just could not close that quickly. I would have been comfortable with 60 days, but David pushed us to stretch. I am sure staff were skeptical, but all of us went for it. We made it a primary goal, put it on our web site and printed posters. I would have been excited if we met the goal in a year, but on February 7, 2015, I was informed that we had reached our goal of 40 days, 80% of the time. I need to thank staff for getting us there so quickly.
Also, I thank citizens and public bodies for helping us reach our goals within five months. Their cooperation and quick responses were needed to get there. I am amazed.