January 15th, 2021

Poor IT support hurting Canadian military operations, internal review finds


By The Canadian Press on January 4, 2021.

The facade of the headquarters of the Department of National Defence is pictured in Ottawa, on April 3, 2013. An internal Defence Department report says Canadian Armed Forces' operations and security may be at risk due to major problems with how the military's computer networks are built and supported. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – An internal Defence Department report says Canadian Armed Forces operations and security may be at risk due to major problems with how the military’s computer networks are supported.

The report follows a review of the Defence Department’s information management and technology systems, which are described as critical to military missions and training.

The review found numerous problems in the technical support provided to the military by Shared Services Canada, which took over management of most federal networks in August 2011.

In one instance, an email server that went down during one military operation couldn’t be fixed right away because the server broke on a weekend and Shared Services did not have staff on call.

The reviewers also heard Shared Services does not have anyone in Europe to support the hundreds of Canadian military personnel posted there, and that many requests for help sit unresolved for months.

Defence officials told the reviewers that these shortcomings and others have put the department and military at great risk on a number of fronts, including security.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 4, 2021.

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