A computer glitch has resulted in a shutdown of the Internal Revenue Canada's computer system. All this at the heit of tax-filers' use of it, to meet the year's deadline for filing tax returns. Nearly 12.5 million used the govt's computerized system last year, half of the total 25 million filers.
Toronto Star's Curtis Rush and Richard Brennan, besides listing the Fed Canadian computer snaggles and boondoggles under the Liberals, outline the most recent difficulties, beginning March 6, now in its 6th day, and believed to be solvable by March 15:
Rick Broadhead, a computer expert and technology consultant from Toronto, said the latest glitch at the Canada Revenue Agency is a public relations nightmare."Canada Revenue" is an umbrella term that covers both internal taxation (including income tax) and those that apply externally to imports, exports (both commercial), and to individual customs charges.
Broadhead said the biggest problem the Canada Revenue Agency faces is having people doubt whether their personal tax information is secure now.
The last factoid mentioned is surely something of a relief, but incompetence in the technocracy's responsible for the Federal government's computers is incompetency. Technoratic heads should roll, about 20 of them, down to the level of the supergeek programmers who simply didn't do their job well. We can't know for sure, I guess, whether the problem was exactly incompetence only, perhaps it's the result of sabotage by political enemies of the present govt who imagine they are untouchably entrenched in jobs for life.
"Revenue Canada has to ensure that the integrity of the system is protected and that people's privacy is not at risk, security is not at risk. But even if they say that, people are still going to question them because there have been too many examples in the past where organizations have messed up," Broadhead said.
"This is not a good situation at all. It couldn't happen at a worse time."
Canadian Revenue Agency CEO Michel Dorais said in a statement posted on the agency's website last week that he ordered the suspension of Efile, Telefile and Netfile services to safeguard existing systems and to safeguard CRA's taxpayer information.
About 25 million Canadians file income tax returns and about half them do it electronically now, either by themselves or through a tax preparer.
Jacqueline Couture, national spokesperson for the Canada Revenue Agency, told the Star the online service would not be available for several days because of problems resulting from software maintenance conducted last Sunday.
"We have identified the problem ... we are saying over the next several days we will have everything back up," Couture said, emphasizing that security and integrity of the information was not compromised.
The agency has said that there is no indication the glitch was caused by a virus or hackers.
Conspiracy or no in the govt tax-files fiasco, Canadians were hit with a double-whammy when one of its prestige corporations lost its good name today with charges against 4 of its former executives:
The battered reputation of Nortel Networks Corp. has received another dent as U.S. securities officials filed civil fraud charges against ex-CEO Frank Dunn and three other former executives.Criminal charges? It sounds like they should be criminal conspiracy charges! In the US, could the anti-Mafia Act be invoked against this bunch of executive no-goodniks?, one wonders.
“Each of the defendants betrayed Nortel’s investors and their misconduct gave rise to billions of dollars in shareholder losses,” the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged in filings today in New York.
Also today, the Ontario Securities Commission announced a hearing into allegations of financial misconduct and negligence against Dunn and two of the three others named in the SEC filing.
Observers said the regulatory actions came as no surprise but raise the prospect that criminal charges may be next, arising from ongoing probes by both American authorities and the RCMP.
Nortel (TSX:NY) still has strong products and spends $1 billion a year on research and development but cannot help but be “tainted” by the allegations against its former management regime, commented Lawrence Surtees, a vice-president at technology consultancy IDC Canada Ltd.