The most recent Auditor-General report reveals some problems at the RCMP that I have suspected for years. Auditor-General reports going back to 2000 have criticized the CPIC system (see 7.86) regarding timely delivery of criminal record data.
The problem we encounter most often is the backlog of criminal records that has seen the updating of some records taking 3 years.
The Auditor-General estimates that the RCMP takes an average of 14 months to update an English criminal record in CPIC. The French updates take an average of 36 months. The stated goal is updating a record in 24 hours. Unfortunately, reality is an average time of 334 working days (see 5.60).
At some point this is going to result in tragedy. Even more unfortunate, is the fact that the RCMP and the government is judgment-proof for this negligent behaviour. The investigation company used by employers and their insurance companies aren’t as lucky. Even if a claim is rejected by the courts, the legal expenses may destroy the company for reporting in good faith what was on CPIC.
How will this play out when a sex offender is hired to work with vulnerable people. What will happen when that same offender follows his natural instincts and victimizes someone.
It is also conceivable that this situation will also thicken our border with the U.S.A. as their authorities start to act upon their distrust of CPIC. Frequent border-crossers, such as truck drivers, will be subjected to additional delays. If that extends to airports we can expect more security searches, questioning, and delays.
The problems we see with CPIC should be a warning about all supposedly trusted and sole source systems. All such systems break-down!
When we are forced to trust one system, especially a critical system, and that system fails, we are all vulnerable. It doesn’t matter it is health care or CPIC, without reliable alternatives, people will be hurt.