Canada’s top cop is warning that ongoing computer network failures and slipshod service from Shared Services Canada could have “catastrophic” consequences for police and the public.
CBC News has obtained a blistering Jan. 20, 2017, memo to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale in which Commissioner Bob Paulson details how critical IT failures have increased by 129 per cent since the beleaguered department took over tech support for the entire government five years ago.
Not only that, the memo says, the duration of each outage has increased by 98 per cent.
“Its ‘one size fits all’ IT shared services model has negatively impacted police operations, public and officer safety and the integrity of the criminal justice system,” reads the memo.
The document appears to respond to a request for more information after a series of CBC News reports on the RCMP’s long-standing dissatisfaction with Shared Services Canada (SSC).
Despite the agency’s creation of special teams and committees to address shoddy service and repeated computer outages, Paulson said minimal progress has been made.
The commissioner bolstered his arguments by enclosing an appendix of recent critical incidents to show just how little appreciation or understanding there is for operational law enforcement requirements.
Among the examples provided is more information about an 11-hour network computer outage on Jan. 18 that downed every Mountie’s BlackBerry, affected dispatching and prevented the RCMP and 240 other police forces from accessing the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database.