Sue IBM and get our own civil servants to fix this mess

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, this whole disaster reminds me so much of Cortés in 1519, who took a fleet of Spaniards to the coast of Mexico and on arriving, before they found the golden treasures, burned all the boats. There was no going back.

The Phoenix pay disaster was set up like that, so partisanship should be set aside. This was a bomb left to us by the previous government. The Liberals have not defused it.

Why are we not talking about suing IBM? We had a system that worked. Federal civil servants were paid on time all the time, and no one thought it was a big success when it happened. How did we privatize paying our civil servants in such a way that we keep paying the people who have ripped us off because the contract says every time we go back for more, we pay through the nose. Sue IBM and get our own civil servants to fix this mess.

Carla Qualtrough – Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the member that this was an unequivocal disaster and a bomb that was left to us by the former government.

We have to understand the scope. It is imperative to understand that the contract with the provider was extremely narrow in scope, and we have been holding the provider to task on everything it was supposed to deliver. I can assure the member that Phoenix will be fixed by public servants. It will be fixed by the hard-working experts in our midst who are working tirelessly to resolve this issue.

We have an ongoing relationship with the vendor. The sole purpose is to ensure that we hold it to the terms of the contract, and it is very willing to help us as much as it possibly can. It is partnership, whether it be with unions, public servants, vendors, or other parties, that will get this resolved.

I encourage, once again, that we all work together, because we are all impacted by this issue.