Shared Services Canada must provide RCMP with dependable tech support, Goodale says
Minister says RCMP commissioner made 'strong point' with argument Mounties need more IT control
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the department providing tech support to the federal government must provide the RCMP with secure and reliable service.
On CBC News Network's Power & Politics Thursday, host Rosemary Barton asked Goodale to respond to a CBC News report about how serious problems at Shared Services Canada jeopardized the safety of RCMP officers, the public and compromised investigations as well as court cases.
Correspondence obtained through ATIP showed RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson refused to give the department any more control over its information technologies.
"I think Commissioner Paulson makes a very strong point. The police and security services of the government of Canada need to have absolutely foolproof methods of communication and they need to have the technology and the resources to do the very critical job of keeping Canadians safe," Goodale told Barton.
"The bottom line objective is to maintain public safety and do everything that is necessary and appropriate to keep Canadians safe and that includes a reliable communications system that doesn't get snarled up in technological glitches," said Goodale.
Shared Services is the federal department created in 2012 to take over the delivery of email, data centre and network services for 43 government agencies, including the RCMP.
Internal RCMP emails and reports described Shared Services as a disorganized department that, among other things, neglected repeated pleas from the Mounties to upgrade or repair telephone and computer systems, didn't renew warranties for equipment and software, was late paying bills, and lost or corrupted essential data in computer crashes.
The department responded to the original report by saying its relationship with the RCMP is on the mend and it is prioritizing the needs of the police force.