Critics blast BC government over computer system glitch


VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Advocates for some of the most marginalized people in our society are angry with the latest government computer system glitch.

They’re also upset the government didn’t come forward to make the problem public sooner.

It’s not just that the Integrated Case Management system has been largely down for a week that’s upsetting anti-poverty advocates, it’s that the government didn’t announce the problem sooner.

“We’re very disappointed that the welfare ministry did nothing to inform the public and welfare advocates and recipients about these problems,” said Sarah Khan, a lawyer for the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre and others.

Khan points out that when a similar problem happened in Ontario last year, the Ministry of Community and Social Services notified the public promptly.

Youth watchdog says she’s been warning about the problem

BC’s social workers remain unable to access their files on children in protective custody due to a computer glitch.

The province’s representative for children and youth says she’s been warning about the system’s problems since July 2012.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond says she issued a public safety warning stating this information system put children at risk.

“After that I’ve never lifted that safety warning, and they’ve been trying to assure me that they’ll fix all of the various problems,” Turpel-Lafond told News1130.

But the problems haven’t been fixed — and Turpel-Lafond says that could place kids in immediate danger.

“There’s more than a likelihood,” Turpel-Lafond said. “It’s probable that we will have a concern with a child in British Columbia this week when the system doesn’t function.”

Adding to the frustration, Turpel-Lafond says the glitchy system cost taxpayers $200-million.

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