08/04/2011 02:04 EDT | Updated 10/04/2011 05:12 EDT

New Federal IT Agency Created By Conservatives


OTTAWA - The Harper Conservatives say streamlining government will require the creation of a new federal agency, this one designed to find savings in information technology systems.

Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose says the new IT agency will help Ottawa get all its departments and agencies using the same technology, which should save money.

The effort is part of the Conservative government's commitment to trim billions in federal spending and balance the books by 2014.

The announcement came as federal employees at Environment Canada learned that more than 700 jobs will be cut, amounting to about 10 per cent of the department's workforce.

The new IT agency and the job cuts at Environment don't include an across-the-board program review seeking cuts of five or 10 per cent from the budgets of every federal department and agency.

Government insiders say the details of those additional cuts will be worked out this fall and announced in next year's federal budget.