B.C. Auditor General Carol Bellringer on Tuesday said that the Integrated Case Management System that has cost $182 million so far has not fulfilled its key objectives of replacing numerous legacy systems and improving appropriate information sharing.
“This undercuts the original vision for a single integrated system across the social services sector,” added Bellringer.
The auditor general published her report Integrated Case Management System on Tuesday. The Integrated Case Management (ICM) system stores highly sensitive personal information for more than 200,000 clients and is used for the delivery of social programs, such as child welfare, child care, income assistance and employment services.
“ICM cost $182 million to date and has not fulfilled its key objectives of replacing numerous legacy systems and improving appropriate information sharing,” said Bellringer. “This undercuts the original vision for a single integrated system across the social services sector.”
Approximately one-third of the originally anticipated legacy systems were replaced. Both ICM and the aging and inflexible legacy systems must now run concurrently.
The audit found that personal information in the system was not fully safeguarded. ICM was not monitored for inappropriate activity, and access to client information was not always on a need-to-know basis.
Appropriate access helps to prevent loss of privacy or fraudulent use of personal information. These findings are similar to the Office’s audits of the JUSTIN, PARIS and CORNET systems.
Client information in ICM was not always accurate and complete, and duplicate records existed. Poor data quality introduces safety risks, and reduces valuable time that staff could spend with clients. The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation has taken steps to improve data quality, but it needs to do more, said Bellringer.
The report contains eight recommendations for the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation to work through with the Ministry of Children and Family Development and the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizen Services. One of the recommendations emphasizes the need for full accounting of the costs of ICM for the life of the project.
The report is available on the Office of the Auditor General website at Integrated Case Management System: www.bcauditor.com/pubs.
THE NDP lashed out at Premier Christy Clark and the Liberals. “Instead of helping some of the most disadvantaged children in our communities, Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals spent $182 million on a computer mess,” said Michelle Mungall, New Democrat spokesperson for social development. “British Columbians work hard for their money and want to see it help their communities, but the B.C. Liberals are wasting it on failed pet projects and mismanagement.”
“This computer system is a tremendous waste, and could actually be putting children in danger,” said New Democrat children and family development spokesperson Doug Donaldson. “It’s infuriating when B.C. Liberals waste crucial dollars while front-line workers, families and children are starved of much needed help to make lives better.”