Sunday, October 24, 2010

Asleep at the switch

There is more on the veterans' privacy breach story today: "PMO knew about 'security breaches': government documents." Veteran Sean Bruyea had dealings with the PMO in 2006 on the subject of intrusions into his privacy and abuse of it by Veterans Affairs yet the PMO doesn't seem to have done much about it other than refer it back to Veterans Affairs.

This is very newsworthy because Mr. Harper spoke quite indignantly about the situation on October 7th (video of Harper is at that link, 4th down, 1st question asked):
"The government has absolutely no tolerance for the behaviour that went on here," Harper told reporters following a press conference at an aerospace plant in Winnipeg.

"The fact that some of the bureaucracy had been abusing these files and not following appropriate process is completely unacceptable. And we will ensure that rules are followed, that the recommendations of the privacy commissioner are implemented -- that if this behaviour continues there will be strong action against it.
Yet it does look like his office - and he is responsible for the staff in his office, accountability wise - had four years notice to do something about it yet failed to act.

The report notes that most of the abuses of Bruyea's confidential information occurred in the last four years.