Seven years after conducting an audit of Manitoba’s Child and Family Services division, the auditor general says she still has concerns that child welfare’s computer system isn’t good enough.
"If they can track every dime at Lotteries why can’t we track every kid?" Carol Bellringer asked when testifying at the inquiry into the death of Phoenix Sinclair. She was comparing the Child and Family Services Information System that tracks kids in care to a more advanced platform used by the Manitoba Lotteries Corporation. The central databank that’s used to ensure kids in care don't fall through the cracks was mentioned as a problem in the 2006 auditor’s report, and was still a problem when Bellringer conducted a follow-up review in 2012. She said the CFSIS system is still not being used appropriately by all agencies and there are problems with the system itself.
A new system would cost more than $10 million and take more than a year to implement but could be a good investment, said the accountant with 30 years of experience.
"I’ve seen numerous examples of an information technology solution used as a launching pad for organizational change,:" she said. "It can do amazing things."