Groups urge BC premier to launch public inquiry on Integrated Case Management system
B.C.'s Freedom of Information and Privacy Association and other non-profit groups and privacy advocates have written a letter to Premier Christy Clark urging she create a public inquiry into the flawed computer system that is putting children at risk according to the province's independent Representative for Children and Youth.
The Integrated Case Management (ICM) project "was supposed to create a comprehensive personal data sharing system involving not just the provincial government, but also hundreds of independent community service organizations contracted to provide government services. It was supposed to provide 'the right information, to the right people, at the right time.' Instead, there has been a litany of concerns over the system, such as whether sensitive personal information is being properly captured, training difficulties, and 'overwhelming' technical issues," says a press release put out by the coalition of concerned groups.
They say the system poses a threat to "personal privacy rights," a problem the government enabled by amending the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) "to make this system possible, despite warnings about the dangers to personal privacy rights and the high profile failures of similar projects in the past."
Ken Buchanan, chair of Positive Living BC, is quoted in the release saying:
"The potential for privacy breaches within the ICM can endanger the health and well-being of British Columbians who suffer from highly stigmatized medical conditions. Our clients need a system that protects their privacy and the ICM is clearly not that system. We need to know why this happened."
FIPA executive director Vincent Gogolek is quoted saying:
"In terms of training and daily use, the ICM and related systems have proven to be failures. This is quite apart from the very serious dangers it poses to privacy rights, which Commissioner Denham is now looking into. We need a public inquiry to look at all the failings of the system."
Micheal Vonn, policy director with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, is also quoted:
"The problems with the ICM are inherent in the system's very concept, design and technological architecture," said Vonn. "That is why we need a public inquiry."
The Tyee published this July 23 news report by Katie Hyslop on the ICM system's troubles, as well as opinion pieces about the issue, one yesterdayby NDP critic for Children and Families Claire Trevena and another today, by Minister for Children and Families Mary McNeil.