Vital Statistics Registrations and Requests
Whether it is in Toronto, Ottawa, Thunder Bay or any of the other cities and communities in the province of Ontario, the work of the Ministry of Government Services (formerly Ministry of Consumer and Business Services) (MGS) impacts the life of every Ontarian. Among MGS’s key services is to provide government information to individuals and businesses and to protect consumers.
Additionally, through the Office of the Registrar General (ORG), MGS registers all of the vital events and issues all Vital Statistics certificates in the province of Ontario, including birth, death and marriage certificates. The ORG has played an important role in government and in the lives of Ontarians for over 150 years, serving as the repository for all vital events that take place in Ontario. The ORG registers approximately 320,000 events and provides over 450,000 certificates or certified copies annually.
Registering vital events such as births, marriages, deaths, adoptions, change of name and stillbirths in Ontario is a complex process that must take into account the needs of diverse stakeholder groups. In addition to interaction with citizens, the ORG also interacts with established stakeholder groups including hospitals, municipalities, funeral directors, coroners, clergy, parents, next of kin, and federal and provincial ministries.
As the primary steward of vital statistics in Ontario, the trust and confidence of the public in the services and products provided by the ORG and the Ministry is of paramount importance. Proof of vital events is required to establish citizenship, travel, enroll in school, administer an estate, and more and more to access important government services like health insurance.
Increasingly, access to vital event data is required within a timeframe and in a manner that meets the needs of a fast-paced society. However, to maintain the trust and confidence of the public, such access must also preserve the integrity and privacy demands placed on vital statistics data.
The Imaging System represents a vital component to the overall scope and objectives of the ORG and the Ministry. It is a crucial delivery mechanism for the ORG’s new system, which processes, manages and fulfills all vital events and requests in the province of Ontario.
In 1999, the Ontario Vital Statistics Improvement Project, or ONVIP, was created by the ORG and the Ministry in recognition of the need to meet the emerging challenges for the new forms of service and delivery required by the public. The project encompasses initiatives such as developing a new technology platform, redesigning the business processes of the ORG and the Ministry and modernizing the legislative framework.
In 1999, the foundation of ORG’s enabling technologies included two integrated systems: VSIS – the mainframe based (Toronto iServe Data Centre) Vital Statistics Information System providing core the registration database for the ORG; and RGDMS – the Registrar General Document Management System providing a repository of electronic document images associated with paper vital event registration materials. ONVIP was created to lead in the enhancement and modernization of these systems and the enhancement of the capabilities of the overall ORG to increase the security and integrity associated with ORG provided materials.
In 2003, CDIT was engaged to design and implement a distributed Document Imaging System for ONVIP and the ORG. CDIT was responsible for the overall design and architecture of the Imaging System, including the customization, development and implementation of the core imaging software used for the system. As the prime vendor for the Imaging System, CDIT provided end-to-end solution design and implementation services including project management, business and systems analysis, programming, systems testing, training and support.
The Imaging System, based on Kofax’s Ascent Capture and Ascent Capture Internet Server applications, is comprised of a centralized Document Imaging site located at the ORG in Thunder Bay, Ontario and a remote Document Imaging site located in Toronto, Ontario.
The system streamlines the process of capturing large volumes of documents and data on a daily basis at the ORG. It automates the capture of index information from certificate request documents and provides a secure transfer of captured documents and data from central and remote site(s) to the ORG’s and Ministry’s systems.
The Imaging System represents a vital component to the overall scope and objectives of ONVIP, the ORG and the Ministry. It is a critical delivery mechanism for the ORG’s new system, which processes, manages and fulfills all vital events and requests in the province of Ontario. Today, in production, the Imaging System processes more than 400,000 vital statistic document pages a month, including birth, death and marriage certificates. The system has transformed manual data collection into an electronic process that reduces duplication, increases data accuracy, shortens transmission times, shortens cycle times, and simplifies business processes, while protecting personal and private information.