Senior public servant tasked with keeping Liberals on track to leave government

Senior public servant tasked with keeping Liberals on track to leave government

OTTAWA — A senior public servant tasked with ensuring the Liberal government remained on track to deliver on its promises is on his way out.

Matthew Mendelsohn is returning to academia after four years in the Privy Council Office — the bureaucratic operation that supports the prime minister.

There he had headed up a “results and delivery” unit that was supposed to improve the way Ottawa fulfils its commitments.

That included setting up a website where Canadians could find out how much progress the Liberals had made on the to-do lists Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assigned to his cabinet ministers.

His role was partly informed by the work of Michael Barber, a one-time adviser to Britain’s former prime minister Tony Blair, who had spoken to Trudeau and his cabinet on “deliverology” — his approach to ensuring that governments do what they say they will.

Mendelsohn begins as a visiting professor at Ryerson University next week, but will be a senior adviser at the Privy Council Office for a while.

“The transparency of mandate letters and reporting on progress helped advance issues more quickly and consistently,” Mendelsohn said Wednesday on Twitter as he detailed his departure.

“There are currently many global forces looking to undermine people’s confidence in democratic processes and institutions — and our trust in one another. The work public servants do in designing good policy and delivering high quality programs and services is a necessary antidote,” he said.

Mohamed Lachemi, president and vice-chancellor at Ryerson, said Mendelsohn has a “distinguished career” in both government and academia.

“His leadership over 25 years on social and economic policy, data governance, public sector transformation and community engagement will enrich the Ryerson community and our commitment to applied public policy,” he said Wednesday in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2020.

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