PLANS TO UPDATE FEDERAL I-T SYSTEMS THAT DELIVER BILLIONS IN DIRECT BENEFITS BEHIND SCHEDULE, COSTS RISING
Oct 19, 2023
By Bob Komsic
Information technology systems that delivers Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance benefits need updating while costs to update them keep soaring.
That’s the latest from Auditor-General Karen Hogan, whose office looked at the government’s approach to modernizing IT system, while it also focused on a specific project aimed to modernize systems that distribute E-I, CPP and OAS benefits.
That project was estimated six-years ago to cost $1.75-billion but has since climbed to between $2.7 and $3.4-billion.
OAS is supposed to be the first to switch to a new system, but the initial deadline of this year has been pushed back to next year or possibly the end of 2025.
The auditor-general found the government had not finished developing tools to detect and prevent inaccurate benefit payments in the new system.
More than 10-million Canadians rely on the benefits A-G Hogan points out, however, the IT systems that deliver them are ”decades old and at risk of failure.”
For example, some have been in use since the 1960s.
In the report on IT modernization, the auditor-general’s office pointed out many issues were raised by the A-G 13-years ago and yet the government has not followed through on promised changes.