BC Children’s and Youth Rep slams Integrated Case Management in statement

BC’s Representative for Children and Youth has released a scathing statement expressing deep concerns over the effectiveness, security, and reliability of the BC Government’s pricey Integrated Case Management System.

Representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond doesn’t mince words in her statement, stating “I strongly believe that ICM is not adequate to provide safety to vulnerable children, youth and families in B.C.” Citing a litany of concerns over the system, such as whether sensitive personal information is being properly captured, training difficulties, and “overwhelming” technical issues, Turpel-Lafond calls the system a “burden” on those who work to protect the safety of BC’s children, youth, and families.

Since 2009, FIPA has been raising concerns over the Integrated Case Management system in particular, and government data sharing plans in general. Our 2010 report, Culture of Care or Culture of Surveillance? flagged the system as a potential privacy quagmire. The government’s 2011 amendments to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act were designed to make the ICM’s data grab legally possible.

Turpel-Lafond’s strong words confirm these concerns and should serve as an urgent wake up call for the BC Government: “without dramatic and rapid improvements and modifications, I am not confident that child safety can be assured through the use of ICM.”

The many confident assurances of the system’s reliability from a variety of ministers are now worthless. As the Representative points out, the government did not have a Plan B in case the ICM failed. They refused to listen to the numerous voices expressing concern about various aspects of the ICM, and now they have put the public’s money, safety and personal information at severe risk.

FIPA thanks Representative Turpel-Lafond for her strong action in defense of children and all British Columbians, and we look forward to hearing from Information and Privacy Commissioner Denham about the specific privacy problems with the system.

For quick updates, follow us on Twitter at @BCFIPA.

The full text of the Representative’s statement can be downloaded here.

You can view media coverage of the statement here.

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FIPA op ed on ICM and amendments to FIPPA