Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 BC Liberals Suck Year in Review - Part 1: Campbell-Style Social Violence

When reviewing the BC Liberal's "performance" in 2008, it’s hard not to ask a few questions, such as:

What the hell did we do to deserve this nightmare of a government?

And more importantly, what the hell are we going to do to get rid of Campbell in 2009?

The answer to that is pretty simple – vote Campbell and his possum BC Liberal posse out on May 12th 2009.

2008 BC Liberals Suck Year in Review

Social Violence in the Age of Plenty

Child poverty: Food & Housing, Who do those freeloading Kids think they Are?

Well, BC is the tops in something, although not exactly what we’d like to be recognized for. Under Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberals reign of terror, “Beautiful BC” has led the entire country for five solid years in child poverty, with 21.9% of BC’s kids not having enough. Most shocking of all, this poverty has flourished in BC through years of economic prosperity and record wealth, at least for some.

2008 BC Child Poverty Report Card

Homelessness in BC: Increasing Year after Year

“B.C. taxpayers currently spend an average of $55,000 per year in health, corrections and social services for each of the estimated 11,750 homeless people in the province, according to a 2008 study by SFU's Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction. That's $644 million a year to maintain homelessness.

“The modular housing plan even holds the potential to transform the 2010 Winter Games from an international embarrassment -- during which the world would discover that British Columbia built multi-million-dollar condos for 5,000 Olympic athletes while doing nothing to house its legion of more than 10,000 homeless -- into a showcase of Canadian compassion.

Indeed, the crux of Vancouver's exploding homelessness problem is as follows: social and economic dislocation is rendering British Columbians homeless much faster than BC Housing can build homes for them.” (Monte Paulsen, December 19, 2008).

'Stop Gap Housing' Idea Could Make Big Dent in Homelessness

BC's Homeless Death Toll: 56 or More in Two Years
Tally of homeless deaths released to Tyee by chief coroner.
Monte Paulsen and Tom Sandborn, April 17, 2008. The Tyee.ca

B.C.'s homeless died at a rate that's at least 19 per cent higher than the general population, according to the office of the chief coroner.

Up to 15,500 Homeless: Report
Tally of BC homeless by health profs far higher than housing minister's.
Andrew MacLeod. January 31, 2008. TheTyee.ca

Housing and Support for Adults with Severe Addictions and/or Mental Illness in British Columbia. October, 2007.
Authors: SFU's Michelle Patterson and Julian Somers, Calgary's Karen McIntosh and Alan Shiell, and UBC's Jim Frankish.

Ministry of Children & Family Development (MCFD)

Anyone who has the misfortune of being involved with MCFD and the many who work in MCFD, or in the community and social services sectors know that child welfare in BC is an unmitigated disaster.

MCFD lacks competent, ethical, and strong leadership and continues to hurtle recklessly down the path to oblivion.
Oops, that light at the end of the tunnel is not daylight, it’s the headlight of
the train. And for this, BC tax payers paid $234,180, including a bonus and a “living allowance” to the lady from South Africa?

Words of advice for 2009, instead of renewing the contract of the DM of Misery, Churlishness & Family Disaster, we kindly suggest she resign and let’s get someone in who can lead this Ministry who truly understands that the child welfare system exists to serve the best interests of BC’s children and families not the privatization agenda of the current regime. That would also put a stop to all of those annoying, dazzling BS e-mails no-one has time (nor interest) to read.

“Premier Gordon Campbell appeared genuinely chastened by the grim report and promised all 62 of Hughes' recommendations would be implemented without delay. That has not happened. More than 2 1/2 years after Campbell's promise, B.C.'s Representative for Children and Youth looked at 15 of the most important recommendations and concluded none has been completed.”
- Editorial (Times Colonist), Dec. 12, 2008

Du Toit to serve an extra year?
Sean Holman, Public Eye Online. December 18, 2008.

“Your salary on appointment will be $180,000 CAD per annum plus up to 10% annual re-earnable bonus. You will also be entitled to receive a housing allowance of up to $2000 CAD per month. (Deputy Premier Jessica McDonald’s letter to Lesley Du Toit, Deputy Minister of MCFD).

2008 Progress Report on the Implementation of the Recommendations of the BC Children & Youth Review
("Hughes Review"). Representative for Children & Youth.

VIDEO: Heather Robinson reports: B.C.'s child protection system still broken: watchdog (Runs 1:12) CBC News.

In light of recent communications from Her Majesty, might the citizens of BC and employees of MCFD wonder what fresh new hell she and Campbell have got planned for the vulnerable children & families of BC?

Fiscal restraint measures at kids ministry
Sean Holman. Public Eye Online. December 04, 2008.
2008 BC Liberals Suck Year in Review - Part 2: Get Rich Quick Schemes - Become a BC Liberal appointee

Monday, December 22, 2008

Privatizing our Privacy: Questions We need Answered

Fourth & Final Installment of the series: Privatizing Your Privacy.

This is the information that EDS now has for each and every one of us, via the
Provincial Revenue contracts:

- driver's licence records, vehicle registration information, insurance information
- income assistance and student loan applications
- medical information (all MSP billing history)
- ambulance (where you were picked up and driven to)
- Social Insurance Number
- birthdate
- address (current and historical list of address from opening of any account to present)
- personal property and asset information
- credit information
- liabilities (who you owe money to currently and in the past, how much, monthly payments, credit card numbers)
- bank account #s
- if you are an owner (or otherwise) of a company
- place of employment (current and historical)
- your income and sources of income (EI, etc.)
- income of your spouse or common law partner
- amount of child support payment you receive or pay
- amount of child tax benefit and/or GST you receive
- your monthly expenses (rent, mortgage, how much you spend on food, telephone, cable, utilities, bus passes, car loan, child care, clothing)
- stocks, bonds, RRSPs
- BC Online:
- Personal Property Reg.
- Site Registry
- Corporate Registry
- BC Assessment
- Land Titles
- Rural Property Tax
- Home Owner Grant (current and history of houses or property owned)
- Skip Trace Unit (BC Hydro uses to search out of province driver's licence in Canada or U.S.)
- Equifax (all credit information; an inquiry by Provincial Revenue does not show up in Equifax history sent to individual)

**** courtesy of Kaybertoss
Questions to ask of the BC government:

- Do they have a corporate policy on privacy breaches?
- Since EDS received contracts for Provincial Revenue work, have there been any breaches of citizen's privacy rights?
- Have these been reported to the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner?
- Who is in charge of reporting breaches?
- Have citizens been informed of breaches of their privacy?
- Is the information considered to be covered under the Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act, or Personal Information Protection Act?

***Personal information is collected directly by the BC government, but then is privatized and under the care of a private corporation so which act applies?
- Where is this set out for citizen's understanding of the correct application of the Act?

Important Questions to be Answered before EDS is Awarded the Government Infrastructure Contract

We also have to wonder, what are the specific details of how the contract will be managed. These include:

- Who will assume authority and responsibility for managing this contract in BC?
- What government body and authority will have oversight and report out on the value for service and service delivery?
- What information will be transferred, transmitted and held by the contractor? Will it be digital data, hard copies, originals, copies, e-mails, written correspondence, hard drives, discs ...?
- How will BC's personal and private information be transferred, transmitted and delivered to the contractor?
- Who will have oversight of that in light of the serious breaches of privacy of subsidiaries of HP-EDS?
- What plans are in place to keep information secure during transfer, or transmission of data?
- What safety protocol will be in place for physical transfer of hard discs or laptops with highly personal information collected by government?
- Where will all of this information be stored? In BC, in Canada, the US, internationally? Where will the servers be? Who will have access to their servers and discs?
- Will other corporate entities have access to our information through other contracts with HP-EDS?
- Will BC be able to sue the transnational contractors for breaches of privacy rights for loss of data and records?
- What assurances will BC have that the integrity of our data will remain intact & our privacy protected?
- How will BC citizens know if their privacy has been compromised?
- Is there a disclosure agreement in the contract that the contractor will immediately notify the BC government and citizens of the province if they're privacy rights are breached? Who will monitor adherence to that contractual obligation?
- Will BC's citizens get to see the full terms of the contract? Who will before it's signed?
- Will this be a better thing for BC?
- What if HP-EDS goes down?
- What if they sell maintenance and operations to another transnational?
- Will we even know who has access and control of our information, or when?
- Is it in the public's interest to have our BC government transfer unknown millions of dollars to a very new transnational entity with such a negligent record?

Why Privatize Now, What's the Rush to have BC Spend Millions Heading into a Deep Recession?

Currently, the BC government apparently only has 115 full-time employees on the payroll to perform the important work of keeping BC's personal, private and confidential information safe and secure. Is it really worth the risk of BC's citizens privacy rights and security to privatize and outsource these jobs?

Should BC be signing multi-million dollar, multi-year contracts with transnational corporations at this time of economic uncertainty?

Why the rush? Why now? Even the neoCon economists can't avoid recognizing we're heading into a Deep Recession and we're only at the very beginning.

As citizens of BC, we should be asking ourselves why Gordon Campbell and his neoConLiberals are wanting to shovel millions of BC taxpayer dollars out of BC into the hungry mouth of a transnational corporation with a sketchy and troubling record of handling other governments’ and citizens personal and private information.

This is a Ruinous & Reckless Plan for BC

At BC Liberals Suck, we don't think this is a good plan, it's not good governance, leadership or management and it is NOT in the interests of the public good.

We believe that Gordon Campbell and his BC Liberals must cease and desist from proceeding with the plan to privatize BC's entire infrastructure. Once it's gone, it won't be coming back and we'll have no control over our government infrastructure and information again. EVER.

Please help stop Gordon Campbell's plan to Privatize Our Privacy:


Find your MLA

Gordon Campbell:

E-mail: gordon.campbell.mla@leg.bc.ca or premier@gov.bc.ca

Phone: 250 387-1715; Phone: 604 660-3202 (Vancouver office)
250 387-0087; Fax: 604 660-5488 (Vancouver office)

Friday, December 19, 2008

2 Liberal MLA's Being Investigated by RCMP

This story seems to be fairly quiet, definitely no front pagers for this,
at least online.

Last night, while watching the early news, the anchor hyped a story
that would appear in today's Vancouver Sun about two MLA's being
investigated by the RCMP. She didn't say who they were, why they
were being investigated, or anything else. I'm not sure what's on the
front pages of the mainstream media, but the story had to be searched
out online, with no headlines on any front pages.

Rich Coleman & Mary Polak are being "investigated" within the Liberal party for their unregistered endorsement of a slate of Langley school board candidates in October's municipal elections.

Note that Smyth didn't mention there is a RCMP investigation underway as well, examining Coleman, Polak AND the BC Liberal party. Pretty shoddy "journalism" for a 'professional journalist.' Daphne Bramham story is a lot heavier on details, adding to her credibility, amongst the dwindling cred of other CanWest hacks. See all stories below before the 'disappear'into the ether.

Another part of the complaint is that it is alleged Langley council candidate Jordan Bateman (vice president of Coleman's riding association), received access to BC Liberal constituency membership lists, which contained the names,phone numbers and addresses of those in the riding.

From Bateman's website:

September 9, 2007
Jordan has been re-elected vice president of Rich Coleman's Fort Langley-Aldergrove BC Liberal constituency association.

Bateman's Blog: Langley Politics Dotcom

Seems as though the mysterious Community Development ministry doesn't
have anyone set up to actually investigate complaints into adherence to
provincially enacted legislation, not an uncommon finding for other BC
Liberal governmental organizations.

Just try and make a complaint regarding community licensed facilities.
As many have found out, it's all hollow, looks legit from the outside,
empty and buck-passing behind the mirror.

Ministry of Community Development

Local Government Department

Local Government Act

Division 17 - Election Offences

"Vote Buying"
Sec. 151 (1) In this section, "inducement" includes money, gift, valuable consideration, refreshment, entertainment, office, placement, employment and any other benefit of any kind.

(2) A person must not pay, give, lend or procure inducement for any of the following purposes:

(a) to induce a person to vote or refrain from voting;

(b) to induce a person to vote or refrain from voting for or against a particular candidate;

(c) to reward a person for having voted or refrained from voting as described in paragraph (a) or (b);

(d) to procure or induce a person to attempt to procure the election of a particular candidate, the defeat of a particular candidate or a particular result in an election;

(e) to procure or induce a person to attempt to procure the vote of an elector or the failure of an elector to vote.

(3) A person must not accept inducement

(a) to vote or refrain from voting,

(b) to vote or refrain from voting for or against a particular candidate, or

(c) as a reward for having voted or refrained from voting as described in paragraph (a) or (b).

(4) A person must not advance, pay or otherwise provide inducement, or cause inducement to be provided, knowing or with the intent that it is to be used for any of the acts prohibited by this section.

(5) A person must not offer, agree or promise to do anything otherwise prohibited by this section.

(6) A person prohibited from doing something by this section must not do the prohibited act directly, indirectly or by another person on behalf of the first person.

Police investigate election activities of cabinet ministers

Janet Steffenhagen 12-19-2008.

Police are investigating two cabinet ministers, the Liberal Party of B.C. and a Langley parent group to determine whether they violated the Local Government Act during the municipal election.

The ministers are Rich Coleman and Mary Polak, who endorsed several people seeking election to the Langley board of education in the days leading up to the Nov. 15 vote. A group called Parents for Independent Trustees backed their endorsation.

The cabinet ministers, the party and the parent group were not registered as campaigners.

The police investigation began after former trustee Sonya Paterson filed a complaint alleging that some candidates had access to Liberal constituency membership lists. Read Sun columnist Daphne Bramham's full report here. The Province's Michael Smyth also writes about the issue today.

Officials investigate ministers
Complaint about endorsement
Michael Smyth, The Province. Published: Friday, December 19, 2008.

B.C. cabinet ministers Rich Coleman and Mary Polak say they did nothing wrong by endorsing a slate of school board candidates in last month's municipal election in Langley, despite a complaint they may have breached the Local Government Act.

Sources say officials are investigating a complaint that Coleman, Polak and the B.C. Liberal Party should have registered as official "campaign organizers or elector organizations" when the two cabinet ministers endorsed a group of candidates for the Langley board.

"We allowed our pictures and our endorsements to appear in an ad by the candidates, but the candidates themselves paid for the ads," Polak said.

"I think this is a misunderstanding. We didn't take out the ad, the candidates did."

Polak said she and Coleman believed that by endorsing the candidates they were not contravening the Local Government Act, but she has since asked the Liberal Party head office to clarify the rules. She said she's still waiting for the clarification and she has not been contacted by the RCMP or anyone else about the matter.

But a Liberal official said last night there may be a "technical investigation" of the matter under way as a result of a citizen complaint about the involvement of Coleman and Polak in the local election.

Polak suggested that some of her political enemies may be making mischief on the issue and noted that she's aware of NDP MLAs helping municipal candidates in Surrey.

© The Vancouver Province 2008

Two B.C. cabinet ministers probed by RCMP
Complaint alleges their endorsements of civic candidates broke election rules

Daphne Bramham, Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, December 19, 2008

Two B.C. cabinet ministers, the Liberal Party of B.C. and a Langley parents' group are under investigation by RCMP after a complaint alleged that they violated sections of the Local Government Act during November's municipal election.

Housing Minister Rich Coleman and Healthy Living and Sports Minister Mary Polak endorsed a slate of school board candidates in three newspaper ads along with a group called Parents for Independent Trustees. In the ads, the six candidates were described as "strong ethical leaders."

The Local Government Act requires that anyone who augments the election campaign of one or more candidates by endorsing them or by opposing the selection of other candidates must register "as soon as reasonably possible" after a candidate is declared.

The campaign or elector organization must also file financial disclosure documents.

None of those filings has been made by either minister, by the parents' group or by the Liberal party.

Penalties for contravening those sections of the act include: a fine of not more than $5,000; imprisonment for not longer than one year; a prohibition on holding an elected local government office for up to six years; and, a prohibition on voting in local elections for up to six years.

It's also possible that the trustees who benefited from the endorsement could be disqualified from holding office until after the next election.

In a written complaint filed this week, Sonya Paterson also asked RCMP to investigate rumours that some candidates had access to Liberal constituency membership lists of mailing addresses and phone numbers.

"One of the township councillor candidates (Jordan Bateman) is the president of Rich Coleman's [constituency] executive," Paterson noted in her letter to RCMP Supt. Janice Armstrong.

Bateman topped the polls in the council election, while four of the six candidates endorsed in the ads were elected as school trustees.

Interestingly, in 1996 Coleman attacked former NDP cabinet minister Penny Priddy for endorsing school board candidates. Even though Priddy's letter contained no mention of her position, Coleman said: "This puts a real partisan side on her ministry and her government. I don't think it's acceptable."

Coleman went on to say that if other candidates won, "How does she expect to work with them in the future?"

Paterson, the complainant, is a former trustee who ran unsuccessfully for council. She is also a longtime member of the Liberal party. She has financially supported both Coleman in his Langley riding and Polak in her riding of Fort Langley-Aldergrove.

In fact, it's because of her Liberal ties that Paterson is so angry about what she sees as interference in the municipal election.

"In the last polls, the NDP were ahead. So what part of this is going to play in the [Liberal] party's favour in the spring? This issue has caused so much fury out here that it's divided the community."

Paterson is the second citizen to force a police investigation since the November municipal elections under new regulations passed earlier in 2008 that pertain especially to special-interest groups and groups that act like quasi-political parties.

The first complaint was filed in West Vancouver by Michael Lewis, a successful council candidate, and his campaign manager, David Marley. Their complaint was aimed at the West Vancouver Citizens for Good Government and the Low Tax, Low Growth Association. Both of those groups also raised money, advertised and endorsed candidates without registering.

The other similarity is that initially, complainants met with some resistance from police, who had no idea that they were responsible for enforcing the election provisions of the Local Government Act.

But they seem to be, since no other agency claims responsibility for ensuring that election rules are enforced. Officials in the Community Development Ministry, which is responsible for the act, say it's not up to them. Rather, they say, it's up to citizens to complain and police to investigate those complaints.

Free and fair elections are at the very root of a democracy. It seems incredible that such a fundamental part of our democratic system would be left to individual citizens to oversee.

It most certainly is not an individual's responsibility at other levels of government, where independent agencies are set up specifically to ensure that there is no buying and selling of seats. It is the full-time job of Elections BC and Elections Canada to monitor candidates, their financial agents, political parties and special-interest groups to ensure everyone is following the rules.

It makes no sense that no similar agency protects the integrity of municipal elections. Just last week, Premier Gordon Campbell told me that it might be possible for Elections BC to take on the role of independent monitor.

But he also said he'd never heard any complaints about lack of enforcement of municipal election regulations.

Funny, that. Paterson says she and others called Campbell's Victoria and Vancouver offices a couple of times. Paterson even wrote the premier a letter.

The calls and letters apparently didn't get to the premier. But perhaps now, with police investigations underway in two B.C. municipalities, Campbell has got the message.

© The Vancouver Sun 2008.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

PyP: Part 3 - How did EDS Get Involved with Gordon Campbell, the Liberals & BC?

We should be asking and answering that question very carefully and there are some very interesting answers.

From the Lobbyist Registry from the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner:

EDS Canada Inc. - Registered Lobbyists

Lobbyist: Dobell, Lauren; Consultant Lobbyist Start: 2002-MAY-01
Lobbyist Organization: EDS Canada Inc. End: 2004-MAR-18

** This Lauren Dobell would be none other than Ken Dobell’s niece, who reportedly worked with Michael Bailey on his various lobbying activities.

Bailey, Michael: Start: 2002-MAY-01 End: 2012-DEC-31
Smith, Christopher: Start: 2003-JUN-13 End: 2013-DEC-31

Bailey & Smith are also on long-term contracts with Maximus Ltd. . as well, regarding privatization & outsourcing contracts.

The same company, Virginia-based Maximus Ltd., has been embroiled in controversies in four other states, involving accusations of mismanagement, overspending or improperly receiving information while seeking a contract.

On Nov. 4, the provincial government signed a ten-year $324 million contract with the Canadian subsidiaries of Maximus to run the province's Medical Services Plan and PharmaCare program.

Outsourcing services to American firms has raised concerns about whether the Patriot Act opens B.C. medical records to U.S. intelligence agencies. Minister of Health Colin Hansen assured the province there is nothing to worry about.

B.C. Contractor Maximus Mishandled Public Funds in U.S. Liberals, as part of privatizing push, gave a $324 million contract to a firm with a history of controversy in five states.
Scott Deveau. December 3, 2004. Thetyee.ca

Libs Do Something Right, For Once:
Lobbyists' Shadowy World Exposed

By Bill Tieleman. Georgia Straight. April 17-24, 2003.

B.C. auditor general red flags costly privatization scheme

Victoria (29 April 2008) - In a scathing review of one of British Columbia's flagship privatization schemes, B.C.'s Auditor General has identified critical lapses by the Campbell Liberals, calling into question the financial case to justify privatization in the first place.

At the heart of Doyle's review is the 2004 deal between the Campbell government and EDS that saw the U.S. multinational take over provincial government revenue collection services. His report offers several key findings:

● The Campbell government, lacking basic baseline financial data, entered into a one-sided deal with EDS that gave the U.S. multinational the opportunity to reap windfall profits.
● The lack of basic information "can also lead to the wrong decisions being made on whether to outsource at all."
● The government low-balled the costs of negotiating privatization deals and ongoing contract management requirements, making the privatization appear more appealing.
● As a result, there is an immediate need for conflict of interest guidelines governing privatization.

EDS Associated Election Contributions to the Liberals:

EDS Canada Inc. – between May 15th 2005 and October 4th 2006 they donated $4780.

EDS Advanced Solutions Inc. - $2,990.00 on 2006/03/29.

Ross Breckon, first president of EDS Advanced Solutions – donated $1000 to the BC Liberals (2005/06/30 & 2006/11/09).

Doug Barkley was appointed President of Victoria, British Columbia-based EDS Advanced Solutions, effective October 22, 2007.

Barkley brings a wealth of experience to his new role, having led many of the largest and most complex accounts for EDS Canada, including General Motors, Canada Post, Stelco and most recently the Bank of Canada.

Check THIS out:, there is an Outsourcing page:

Outsourcing Manages Risk While Transforming Processes for Canada's Central Bank
By Beth Ellyn Rosenthal, Editor

After going through an RFP process, the Bank of Canada signed a contract with EDS Canada in 2001. "EDS presented a cost-effective model that mitigated risk for the bank," says Fleck.

[Doug] Barkley says EDS was able to cut costs by changing the bank's processes and getting the public to do things in an automated fashion. A large part of the cost was maintaining the call center. EDS installed an interactive voice response (IVR) system and installed a Web portal, which allows citizens to buy and redeem their bonds online. The site also provides detailed information about the bonds, eliminating the need to contact the call center. These initiatives have cut the number of people working on the retail debt program by half.

Centre for Outsourcing Research & Education (CORE)

Board of Directors:

Al Hurd - vice president of EDS Canada for EDS, an HP company, with more than 25 years of Canadian IT industry experience. Before assuming this role in August 2008, Hurd served as vice president of Government and Healthcare for EDS Canada. From 2004 to 2006, he was president of EDS Advanced Solutions Inc., a subsidiary of EDS Canada, where he was responsible for overseeing business and service delivery to EDS Advanced Solutions customers. Hurd joined EDS Canada in 1992 to lead the EDS Federal Government team in Ottawa. Prior to joining EDS, Hurd led the establishment of the professional services division for Westbridge Computer Corporation in Ottawa. From 1986 to 1990, he managed IT infrastructure operations for the federal Department of Public Works and Government Services. In 1980, he joined Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) in a senior IT role.

Alternative Service Delivery in the Public Sector
Conference held in Victoria, BC in March 2008.

Managing "Troubled" Outsourcing Relationships

Yah, it's kind of funny how all those employees "outsourced" out of their
jobs might be "troubled" about that. "CORE" might have wanted to include employees experiences in this project. This "research" makes the right-wing anachronism that is the Fraser Institute glow in comparison. This report is nothing less than self-serving, unscientific and embarrassing from a professional research standpoint. I can see why no-one would want to put their name and qualifications on this garbage.

Part 4 - Why We should Care about Campbell Privatizing our Privacy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Privatizing Your Privacy: EDS' Trail of Slime - Part 2


EDS Canada created EDS Advanced Solutions with corporate headquarters in Victoria, BC. Here’s a bit from their company webpage:

EDS Advanced Solutions Inc. is a subsidiary of EDS Canada, was incorporated in May 2004 and is headquartered in Victoria, British Columbia. The company works closely with EDS Canada and plans to expand EDS Advanced Solutions operations across Canada.

HP-EDS has its’ corporate headquarters in Plano, Texas. In addition to its many industries and good-quality living, Plano has excellent schools that consistently score in the top few percent of the nation, and has been rated as the wealthiest city in the United States by CNN Money.

Ministry of Small Business and Revenue:

Revenue Services of British Columbia Report, 2005-2007, on the operations of EDS Advanced Solutions Inc.

New Provincial Brand for Revenue Collection (Dec 2, 2004)

The Province recently signed an agreement with EDS Advanced Solutions to improve customer service and consolidate revenue management across government, including account management, billing, payment and remittance processing, and non-tax collections for the Province.

The Billing and Receivables Branch and the Collection and Loan Management
Branch of the Ministry of Provincial Revenue formerly provided these functions.

Beginning Dec. 6, 2004, EDS Advanced Solutions is authorized to operate under the brand "Revenue Services of British Columbia" to identify itself when performing revenue services on behalf of the Province of British Columbia.

Ministry of Provincial Revenue. Now known as Ministry of Small Business and Revenue.

Revenue Management Project
2 Dec 2004

Summary Report

In 2004, the Province of British Columbia signed a 10-year Agreement with EDS Advanced Solutions Inc. to work with the Ministry of Small Business and Revenue to build and operate a Centre of Excellence for Revenue Management.

The Revenue Solutions Portfolio includes:

·Tax and non-tax debt recovery/collections
·Contract management of the private-sector service provider
·Business development, working with client ministries to transition their revenue management functions to the Ministry of Small Business and Revenue

Taxpayer Fairness and Service Code

EDS' Track Record

We need to follow the bouncing ball on this one. EDS’ track record involves much more than alleged incompetence and negligence if we examine all of the pieces of the puzzle together. Be very, very afraid and ask yourself, what’s in store for BC and all of our information?

In July 2007, EDS, the UK contract holder lost a hard drive with the personal details of over 5,000 British prison officers working in the Ministry of Justice. They only fessed up to it in September 2008.

Also in July 2007, “The loss of the data on a hard drive of 256 National Offender Management Service staff's personal details … did not come to light until July 2008, which Mr. Straw said was down to the "the inadequacy of EDS's tracking system". (BBC).

In August 2008, the British government announced that their Ministry of Justice “lost” the personal records of 45,000 citizens in the UK.

“The information included dates of birth, national insurance numbers, criminal records, and in a single incident, the loss of bank details and other information belonging to 27,000 people working for suppliers to the department.

In another case, officials lost an “inadequately protected” laptop storing the job applications of 13 people who were applying for judicial positions with the service.”

In January an "inadequately protected" laptop containing records of 14,000 fine defaulters including names, dates of birth, addresses, offences, and - in a fifth of cases - national insurance numbers, went missing from a "secured" government office.

In June 2007 records of 27,000 people working for suppliers to the Ministry of Justice, again kept on “inadequately protected” storage devices, were lost.

Two other laptops and several other storage devices were mislaid in 2007, leading to the loss of names, dates of birth and national insurance numbers of 145 court appellants, and the names of 138 criminals and the offences committed by them.” (Times Online).

On October 11th 2008, a scant three months ago, EDS “lost” a hard drive with the personnel data of over 100,000 armed-forces workers in the Ministry of Defence.

“The hard drive was being held by EDS, the Ministry of Defence's main IT contractor. It contains the names, addresses, passport numbers, dates of birth and driving licence details of those serving in the army, navy and RAF. It also includes next-of-kin details, as well as information on 600,000 potential services applicants and the names of referees. Officials said it may also include some bank account details.” (BBC)

HP-EDS is also alleged to have mishandled their contract with UK Revenue and Customs for tax credits. If this doesn’t give you chills, I don’t know what will.

“The personal details of virtually every child in the UK has been lost by HM Revenue and Customs, the chancellor, Alistair Darling, admitted today. The missing information includes the names, addresses and dates-of-birth of the children and the national insurance numbers, and in some cases the bank details, of parents claiming child benefits. More than 25 million individuals are affected… two discs containing details of the 7.25 million families claiming child benefit, sent to the National Audit Office, failed to reach the addressee…”

EDS ended up having to pay more than $129 million CAD (in pounds) to the British government in legal settlements.

An additional HP-EDS contract to introduce a national ID card in the UK had to be halted due to concerns about EDS cost overruns and breaches of privacy (good).

EDS has been investigated at least twice for its’ business activities by the US Security and Exchange Commission related to their US Navy contract.

“That contract has ended up costing EDS hundreds of millions of dollars. So far, the Navy deal has yet to produce revenue or
profits, according to the Financial Times. Last year the commission
launched a probe of EDS's hedging activities,
which reportedly
produced large losses and sent the company's share price tumbling in September.

This go-round, EDS management reportedly warned of sharply lower profits
and revenue due, in part, to the problems with the Navy contract.”

Frank Hayes of Computer World on the HP-EDS acquisition

"It's a terrible time for HP to buy EDS's big-custom-technology-project business. Big custom technology projects fail a lot, and EDS's record is no exception to that. At a time when packaged software and agile development are the way the corporate IT world is going, EDS's software development side is a dinosaur in a tar pit."

Before any contracts are signed here in BC we should have a really clear understanding of all of the corporate and transnational linkages that are entailed here, since HP-EDS is also linked to IBM, Microsoft and who knows who and what else through other corporate partnerships we have no idea about. We should have a full understanding of that as it may have implications for the integrity of our information and privacy as citizens of BC and Canada.

See a thorough list of all of the privacy breaches in the UK, many associated with EDS contracts, which revert to the new “global” corporate entity: HP-EDS through successorship of contracts. When BC signs on the dotted line with one corporation, if they’re bought out, the contract goes to the buying company and taxpayers have no control over what happens after that and often very little knowledge about it too.

We’ve already seen this kind of thing in BC, with the privatization and outsourcing of employment programs for income assistance recipients, to WCG International, based in Victoria (BC Liberal insider Ian Ferguson) then the sale of WCG to Providence Service Corporation of Tucson Arizona.

Previous cases of missing data
There have been a variety of cases where confidential information has been lost or stolen.

BBC News UK.

What does the HP-EDS deal really mean?
InfoWorld | News | 2008 ...

At $13 billion, Hewlett-Packard's purchase of EDS is a big deal, but its impact goes far beyond the cost as it will have serious ramifications for the IT services industry.

What EDS is telling its people about HP deal
By Paul McNamara on Tue, 05/13/2008

Check out the comments for industry grapevine about what's
happening inside EDS since the take over.

Government computer jobs are axed
BBC News, UK.

“It comes after EDS, which had contracts with departments including Work
and Pensions and Defence, was taken over by Hewlett Packard last month.

HP had warned that the takeover would mean 24,000 jobs would go
and have confirmed 3,378 will be in the UK.”

Will It Float? SEC Probing EDS's Navy Contract
CFO.com, Jennifer Caplan. May 19, 2003.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched a second investigation into business activities at EDS, the Texas-based IT-outsourcing provider. In a regulatory filing, EDS management said the SEC has requested information related to the company's technology-outsourcing contract with the U.S. Navy, a deal worth a whopping $7 billion.

That contract has ended up costing EDS hundreds of millions of dollars. So far, the Navy deal has yet to produce revenue or profits, according to the Financial Times.

EDS gets $3 billion U.S. Navy contract extension
Network World.

Private data on armed forces goes missing
Matthew Taylor. The Guardian, Saturday October 11 2008.

Next installment: Part 3 -
Why should You care about BC signing this contract?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Campbell's Plan to Privatize Your Privacy: Infrastructure Outsourcing for BC - Part 1

The word is out that in January 2009, Campbell & his Liberal puppets are set to privatize the rest of BC citizen's personal, private and confidential information by signing a multi-million dollar, multi-year contract with EDS Advanced Solutions. Hewlett Packard (HP)-Electronic Data Systems (EDS) is a global, transnational information technology corporation based in Texas.

This privatization will see the operation and maintenance of the BC government mainframe computer servers under the management of HP-EDS. Before you're tempted to give a big yawn and a "who cares" you should know that this means that any personal and private information that is held by the BC government about you and anyone else you know, all government documents, health care numbers and information, social insurance numbers, e-mails and communications with government.

Ever been on welfare in BC? Or had a child protection report made about you and your family? Been in jail? Charged with a crime? Been to Small Claims, or the Supreme Court? Ever registered a business with the province of BC? How about your Vital Statistics? Refugee and Immigration status? Do you have any government student loans? Any complaints you've made to government? Ever made any submissions to a government panel? Or had any other dealing with the BC government where information might have been collected about you, from you, or one of your loved ones?

Well, if GC and his neoConLibs get their way, all of that information will now be heading off into the hands of HP-EDS and whoever else they're connected to. There is a tangled little web of business partnerships in the IT world.

History of HP-EDS

According to industry reports, HP has been buying up all sorts of different IT sector businesses over the last few years. In October 2007, they bought Atos Origin, who was implicated in the loss of a memory stick containing passwords for a government computer system - the Gateway website, which provides access to services including tax returns and child benefits. That happened in November 2008, a small piece of a very large pattern.

HP Acquires Atos Origin Middle East Group to Broaden Systems Integration Business

From 2000 onward, EDS has held billion dollar contracts with the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) and the US Department of the Navy to set up an Intranet. There were wide reports of problems with those contracts, related to "delays and controversies over its scope... [that have] caused financial and logistics problem for EDS. In early 2004, Michael Jordan, who had become EDS chairman and chief executive officer in March 2003, said the company had gotten the project under control but acknowledged that the contract was "a mess" (due to a lack of leadership, oversight and accountability at EDS and NMCI).”

In spite of years yo-yo-ing of quarterly losses, gains and flatlining for shareholders, they continued to get big US & UK government contracts. In the 2007 fiscal year, EDS was reportedly #2 in the Information Technology services, behind IBM. EDS reported $22.7 billion in revenue for the 2007 fiscal year.

So, question, if they're so successful, why did EDS sell the corporation to HP for $25 per share, or only approximately $13.9 billion in the second half of 2008? I ain't no economist, but that sounds like a really good deal for HP and something doesn't smell right about that.

Wonder how much liquidity EDS lost in equities, investments and bad mortgages from 2007 to 2008? That's the only sensible explanation for this acquisition and merger. Considering their corporate headquarters are in El Presidente Bush's home state of Texas it's probably not a stretch to say EDS was involved in the sub-prime crisis, like many of the other "good ole Boys" who've been caught with their pants down and empty coffers.

Since EDS held the highest of security clearance and contracts to build an Intranet for the US Department of the Navy, I think we should be asking ourselves how close are they to the US Administration, both the previous one and the current one?

HP (Hewlett Packard) only just acquired EDS in May 2008, with the re-organization, inevitable slash and burn of staff taking place and some interesting industry comments about their tactics to get rid of staff. One might also note that a number of EDS staff have been sacked in the UK over the massive privacy breaches that have occurred there. Hey, why not kill two birds with one stone, very efficient.
HP-EDS haven't even gone an entire fiscal year yet as a combined transnational corporate entity, not enough time to try to straighten out some of the international messes created by EDS on other contracts (UK). So, now, they want to take on BC’s infrastructure.

HP and EDS Try a Tieup

In its largest acquisition since it bought Compaq, Hewlett-Packard has agreed to buy Electronic Data Systems for $13.9 billion
Business Week. May 13, 2008.

More tomorrow on EDS.