FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is establishing a new unit to identify and evaluate alternative service delivery opportunities.

The decision comes from the Strategic Program Review, under which the government is working with New Brunswickers to help identify $500 million to $600 million in savings and revenue in order to eliminate the deficit.

“The review has identified the need for a more co-ordinated approach when looking at alternative service delivery opportunities,” said Health Minister Victor Boudreau, who is also the minister responsible for the Strategic Program Review. “We will establish a multi-disciplinary team, made up of current employees, to help improve programs, manage risks, reduce costs and provide greater focus on strategic priorities.”

New Brunswickers receive services from the government in a variety of forms. In some cases, services are delivered by public servants in government-operated facilities, but in other cases programs and services are delivered by non-government employees. At the moment, there is no strategic, evidence-based and standardized approach within government to identify which services should be delivered internally and which would be better handled by another party through an alternative service delivery model.

The unit will conduct an initial review and screening, catalogue opportunities and create a mechanism to promote government efficiency and effectiveness. They will also liaise with internal and external stakeholders to help identify opportunities and share best practices regarding alternative service delivery.

“We want to ensure that we are delivering services in the most effective and efficient manner,” said Boudreau. “This could mean services sourced from within, public-private partnerships, strategic alliances, outsourcing, consolidation, or joint ventures. If we are going to successfully address the fiscal challenges facing the province we must change how government works.”

A Strategic Program Review options report will be released in the near future. Decisions will be made in time for implementation in the 2016-17 provincial budget.

The public is encouraged to find out more about the Strategic Program Review online.