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NEWS RELEASE · 22nd September 2011
New Democrats call for Auditor General to look into failed BCeSiS program

New Democrats are calling on the Auditor General to investigate whether or not then Education Minister Christy Clark did due diligence before leaving taxpayers on the hook for an expensive computer program that will now need to be scrapped.

“As the education minister who brought in this software, Christy Clark needs to explain what due diligence she did before moving ahead with a computer program that has drained $90 million directly from the education ministry, and cost school districts countless millions more in lost productivity and training costs,” said New Democrat education critic Robin Austin. “If the premier won’t give the public the answers they deserve, I’m hoping the Auditor General will step up and get those answers for us.”

Over the last few years, numerous school districts raised concerns about the fact that the BCeSiS student tracking software was expensive, difficult to use, and worked poorly, yet the Liberals ignored them, and wasted millions of dollars of education resources in the process.

“The premier needs to explain to parents why she could afford to waste millions of dollars on a broken computer program, while there is no money for smaller class sizes, increased supports for special needs children, and better resources for ESL students,” said Austin.

Austin promised that Adrian Dix and New Democrats would be raising these issues in the coming legislative session and they will be looking for the Premier to be forthcoming in the House.

"We will be looking for some real answers from Premier Clark about why putting 'families first' doesn’t seem to include giving our children the kind of world class public education that they deserve.

“The Liberals are constantly telling everyone else to tighten their belts while they waste millions of dollars on their pet projects,” said Austin. “Parents are outraged that Christy Clark and the Liberal government wasted millions and millions of dollars on a broken computer program while making excuses about how we simply can’t afford the supports our children need in the classroom. It should not take an Auditor General investigation to get answers, but we are covering all bases on this important issue.”

Comment by Al Lehmann on 22nd September 2011
This kind of "we know better" management is typical of the BC Liberals. First, announce a wonderful new resource that is supposed to save millions in government money. Use their "expertise" to select a substandard product. Ignore the legitimate criticisms of those who actually have to use the tool. Waste a pile of money and pretend to be great fiscal managers.

Remember this typical pattern coming from this government when election time rolls around.