Success stories

How Nova Scotia is Building a Resident-Centric Government with Technology

government programs are managed on Amanda
Nova Scotia government employees use the platform
types of licenses, permits, inspections, and more are managed with Amanda
transactions worth more than C$500 million are processed annually
saved by the province annually
Amanda integrated with more than 25 other enterprise systems

With a population of about 1 million people, Nova Scotia is Canada’s second-most densely populated province and second-smallest province by area.

To support the provincial economy, the government uses technology to make operations more efficient, increase compliance with regulatory requirements, and improve services to residents and businesses. Nearly 20 years ago, the Nova Scotia government began to implement a shared services approach across all provincial departments and started using the govService Amanda platform to manage business licensing. Since 2012, Nova Scotia has used Amanda as an enterprise platform to manage new business programs that require a permit or license – this has driven their efforts to be more resident-centric.


The province needed to improve the competitiveness of its economy

Beginning in 1999, the Canada Revenue Agency, the Workers Compensation Board, and the Department of Service Nova Scotia (SNS) created the Nova Scotia Business Registry (NSBR) using the Amanda platform. The NSBR operates a provincial database that provides every business in Nova Scotia with a unique identifier called a Business Number. This allows participating agencies to share common business information and processes across the government.

Business operators use their Business Numbers to apply for licenses, permits, registrations, and more. This means those businesses do not have to provide duplicate information to multiple government departments, and the province gains a 360-degree view of how each business customer is interacting with different agencies of the provincial government. At the same time, business operators have a comprehensive view of all their interactions with province residents.

Today, most Nova Scotia departments use Amanda to efficiently manage a variety of programs including collections, business licensing, permitting, certificate issuance, compliance inpsections, inventories, refunds, and rebate programs. Several departments also use Amanda to support the regulation of alcohol, gaming, fuel, and tobacco.


Amanda’s flexibility, scalability, and enterprise power allowed the province to manage multiple tasks through a single platform

Having so many departments and programs use the same platform has resulted in significant savings for the province. The cost to integrate Amanda with more than 25 other systems was about C$1 million over 15 years. And the cost to maintain Amanda is estimated to be about C$2.5 million annually.

According to provinical government estimates, implementing multiple standalone tools would have required about 15 different point solutions. The cost to integrate those would have been more than C$10 million and the annual cost to maintain would be about C$8 million. That means the province is saving C$5.5 million annually by not having to secure, patch, upgrade, and maintain a series of disperate tools.

Beyond cost savings, the province also benefits from the enhanced ability to exchange data between departments, and from the value of the business activity data generated in the province.

And, for Nova Scotia government employees, it’s a better experience. Because they are already trained to use the platform, the 1,400 Amanda users can easily move between departments as opportunites arise.


Given the robust use, ongoing savings, and advantages, Nova Scotia continues to prioritize Amanda

That means as new business licensing and permitting needs arise, the provincial government departments first evaluate using Amanda to manage those programs. If there are extenuating circumstances that warrant the need for additional software, an Enterprise Architecture Section business case approval is required.

This focus on continually expanding the functions managed with Amanda further benefits residents and businesses in the province. Single data records are used even more broadly, creating more efficiency. The province has a more detailed view of provinical business activity. The resulting data can be analyzed to spot trends, helping the provincial government more quickly serve residents, meet new needs, remain economically competitive, and find new opportunities for tax revenues.

Moving forward, the provincial government is actively investigating the use of portal technology to deliver more Amanda managed services online

The province also has more than 30 additional case-management solutions that are not yet managed using Amanda and may eventually be considered for implementation to the platform.

More and more governments are recognizing that they need to become as resident-centric as possible to encourage community growth. The shift to resident-centric governance requires enterprise technology that is scalable and flexible enough to work across the vast set of regulatory and case management activities that affect each community. By using a single enterprise platform across so many departments and processes, Nova Scotia is seeing the payoff of making the province more economicially competitive, and more focused on meeting the needs of its residents efficiently.

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