Appropriation Bill No. 3, 2016-17—Second ReadingPublished on 20 June 2016 Hansard and Statements by Senator Joseph Day
Hon. Joseph A. Day:
I would like to thank the Finance Committee and Senator Smith for the work they have been doing with respect to these estimates. Bill C-20 is based on the report on Supplementary Estimates (A) that Senator Smith referred to.
This report was adopted last week. I referred to it as it was up for. I won’t say anything further with respect to the items in there, other than to reiterate a point I made last week that Shared Services Canada — this is the new entity that was created to handle all information technology in the main departments — is just not able to handle the workload, and a lot of delays are taking place.
They are saying they are not able to introduce shared services. They’re saying to their departments, “We’re not able to introduce new information technology because we are spending all our time just maintaining the legacy, the existing information technology.”
One of the results of the information technology not being handled well is the fact that quite a few public servants have not been paid for the last several months. That’s an area that needs to be rectified.
Part of the problem, in my view, is that that information technology group used to be within the department and reported up through the department. The deputy minister kept an eye on it. Now they’re spun off; they’re still located there, but they report off to somewhere else, not offshore but certainly away from that particular department. That, I believe, is a management problem that has to be looked at fairly quickly.
Honourable senators, you’ve seen the report, and then we have the bill that flows from that. The bill is supply for Supplementary Estimates (A). As Senator Smith pointed out, Schedule 1 does call for $7.9 billion.
There is, Senator Smith, a Schedule 2 that we wouldn’t want to forget, because several departments are covered by that schedule, which is for $107 million.
The total amount of this particular supply bill is for $7.014 billion, which you’ll be asked to vote on tomorrow. This does not, honourable senators, go to committee because the committee work has already been done.