October 27, 2013

MARK STEYN: Obamacare’s Magical Thinkers: Not even the coolest president ever can conjure up a national medical regime for 300 million people.

CGI is not a creative free spirit from Jersey City with an impressive mastery of Twitter, but a Canadian corporate behemoth. Indeed, CGI is so Canadian their name is French: Conseillers en Gestion et Informatique. Their most famous government project was for the Canadian Firearms Registry. The registry was estimated to cost in total $119 million, which would be offset by $117 million in fees. That’s a net cost of $2 million. Instead, by 2004 the CBC (Canada’s PBS) was reporting costs of some $2 billion — or a thousand times more expensive.

Yeah, yeah, I know, we’ve all had bathroom remodelers like that. But in this case the database had to register some 7 million long guns belonging to some two-and-a-half to three million Canadians. That works out to almost $300 per gun — or somewhat higher than the original estimate for processing a firearm registration of $4.60. Of those $300 gun registrations, Canada’s auditor general reported to parliament that much of the information was either duplicated or wrong in respect to basic information such as names and addresses.

Sound familiar?

Also, there was a 1-800 number, but it wasn’t any use.

Sound familiar?

So it was decided that the sclerotic database needed to be improved.

Sound familiar?

But it proved impossible to “improve” CFIS (the Canadian Firearms Information System). So CGI was hired to create an entirely new CFIS II, which would operate alongside CFIS I until the old system could be scrapped. CFIS II was supposed to go operational on January 9, 2003, but the January date got postponed to June, and 2003 to 2004, and $81 million was thrown at it before a new Conservative government scrapped the fiasco in 2007.

So, basically, these CGI folks are heroes of liberty! Hats off to a company that’s done more to frustrate the Leviathan State than practically anybody!

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.