ISO 9000

The ISO 9000 series of business process documentation standards requires businesses and other organizations to have, among other things:

These standards are globally regarded and have had an extreme influence on thinking about quality management. Any continuous improvement methodology tends today to include ISO 9000 terminology. Among other advantages it tends to enable spot audits which conserve regulatory resources for the most serious types of problems, such as deliberate falsification of compliance or documents.

use in government

This is also true of quality management in government. As one outstanding example, the Membertou First Nation in Cape Breton certified all operations under its band council to ISO 9000, during a period of time in which it went from 90% unemployment to near full employment. Band leader Bern Christmas was very explicit in crediting the ISO discipline with this success. It remains the only government in any jurisdiction which has done this exercise, though the Assembly of First Nations has been considering this as an alternative approach to the First Nations Governance Act which would leave these nations more answerable to global standards and each other, and less so to the Minister of Indian Affairs in the Government of Canada.

The Civic Efficiency Group has proposed a Civic Efficiency Collaborative which would spread such civic best practices throughout Canadian municipal governments, so that outputs of continuous municipal performance audits could be compared across the country. This would be based on the ISO 19011 standard and a new model of municipal capital assets and the cost of regret for not maintaining or improving them to meet anticipated challenges - see Beyond GAAP for accounting issues.