Ottawa’s billion dollar three-year boondoggle:
It was three years ago that the then Conservative government of Stephen Harper hailed a new payroll system for civil servants.
It was going be better, faster, more efficient and above all save a lot of money – $78 million for each year it was working properly.
But today the Phoenix pay system, that the government spent $185 million to install, is anything but that.
Instead it has become a government boondoggle – costing Canadian taxpayers more than $1 billion to try to fix it.
And fixed it is not.
And at this stage no one knows how much it will cost to get it working properly, let alone how long it will take.
There has even the suggestion to junk the whole system and replace it with a new payroll system. The government has set aside $431 million to deal with the situation, but has not announced whether the Phoenix system will be scrapped.
And although the Trudeau government is blaming the Tories and the Tories are blaming the Liberals for the fiasco it is clear that both sides have to shoulder some of the blame.
And a report released just now by the Auditor General – the government watchdog agency that assesses government programs and spending – is scathing in its analysis of the whole damn mess.
And he blamed the work culture and bad management for the debacle – saying it could have and should have been avoided.
And in the meantime thousands of people working for the government face a nightmare.
The system is still in disaster mode. People are not getting their regular salary from Ottawa’s billion dollar three-year boondoggle.