Waste and camouflage in computer spending by the Quebec government

A web portal has been available to help citizens follow “the growth of government spending in a completely transparent way.” In reality, it has been used to mislead the public about the actual state of public finances, according to a March 15, 2013 article in Le Devoir, “Quebec accused of digital disinformation.” An extract from the article: “The manipulations identified and confirmed to Le Devoir targeted the webpage "Financial health of computer resource projects" which, since its creation last May, gives the impression that 96.6% of computer and digital government projects are carried out, set up, or broken in with no cost overruns, no management problems, and no need to be modified.” http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/actualites-en-societe/373360/quebec-accu.... Sources close to the Secrétariat du conseil du trésor (SCT) have confirmed, to Équipe autonomiste, the truth of what is stated in the article, except that it’s not the politicians who are trying to conceal the situation but rather the senior officials of the bureaucracy who hope to protect the special interests of certain computer programmers and consultants. According to the same sources, the amount published by the SCT, which puts government computer spending at $2.6 billion, has been wilfully underestimated. Actual spending on computer resources is three to four times higher and much of it has no tangible benefit for the government or the citizens. Annual project costs are $8 to 10 billion, and not $2.6 billion as the SCT would have us believe. Civil servants are hiding information on computer project costs and the Conseil du trésor is fiddling the data to make us think public spending is under control.

Équipe autonomiste makes a point of informing citizens to make them self-reliant in their choices. Équipe autonomiste has a proposal to make public the government’s finances on a daily basis. Taxpayers need to see the raw data and know where their money is actually going.