VICTORIA — British Columbia’s auditor general says the government has made progress in addressing potential privacy issues with a problematic computer system, but there’s still work to be done.
Carol Bellringer’s office first audited the $182-million Integrated Case Management System in 2015 and found it was incomplete and did not protect sensitive personal information.
The system, used by the ministry of social development and social innovation, dates back to 2008 and was meant to replace outdated computer systems used to deliver social programs including child protection, child-care subsidies and income assistance.
The auditor general’s office released a progress audit on Monday that says the government has made “significant effort” to improve the system, especially when it comes to those who can access client information.
However, Bellringer says the ministry still has work to do, including a full review of inactive accounts, such as those for employees who have moved to other jobs or have left the public service.
She says the government has also provided “only minimal information” on the system’s operating costs, and more information is needed to ensure transparency.
The ministry reports it has fully or substantially completed each of the eight recommendations made in the initial audit, but Bellringer says her office assessed six of the recommendations as being partially complete.
The progress audit did not evaluate the other two recommendations about the quality of client information because the auditor determined there was a lower risk that the ministry hadn’t addressed them.
“This difference of opinion is largely because the ministry based its progress on the effort of addressing each recommendation and we looked and whether it had achieved the recommendation,” Bellringer says.
The ministry has made continued progress since the latest audit was conducted, she adds.
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