Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rush to secure rewards

With only 27 weeks to oblivion, BC Liberals have limited time to pick forbidden fruit. We know about the failed bid to privatize BCLDB and the flood of high cost private power contracts foisted on BC Hydro while the Pacific Northwest is awash in cheap power and excess capacity. Now, The BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association brings news of another substantial untendered contract rushed to completion:
"Despite the disastrous launch of the Integrated Case Management System earlier this year, the B.C. government is poised to unveil its next multimillion-dollar, can't-fail IT project: an ID card for everyone in the province.

"...this "notice" was actually an announcement that Toronto-based tech firm SecureKey would be at the project's helm, pulling down a six-year, $20 million dollar contract with the province to develop the readers for the new card (only a small portion of the whole initiative's $200 million price tag).

"Short-circuiting a full bidding process, the government awarded the contract directly to SecureKey..."
So, with hundreds of millions at stake and obvious questions about privacy and security of citizens' personal information, we should expect a careful and thorough review process is under way. Except, that's not the way this government does business.

Vincent Gogolek and the BCFIPA explain,
"...we filed a FOI request for copies of all correspondence between the guy running the whole ID management project -- then-chief Information Officer Dave Nikolejsin -- and SecureKey. This request asked for records related to the development and implementation of the new CareCards, going back to July 1, 2011.

"The answer? No responsive records.

"That's right, apparently in the 12 months around the issuing of the Notice of Intent, the chief information officer of British Columbia, the man in charge of the entire CareCard project, had no contact whatsoever (or at least none that generated records) with the company that ultimately received an untendered $20 million dollar contract..."
The answer that no documents exist sounds familiar, does it not? RossK, The Gazetteer, calls it the Dobell Doctrine.

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  1. Sounds like something's fishy here? Remember BC Rail and the bidding process over that? Time for an investigation on this issue, I would think....

  2. Fishy? Yeah, it smells like a fish left dead on the dock for a week.



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