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    Canadian Press: Government officials show poor judgment in privacy breach case, says reviews

    The Canadian Press reports on the results of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s review of the British Columbia government’s handling of a privacy breach.

    The B.C. government exercised poor judgment in its handling of a privacy breach case involving former government employees accused of misusing the private information of welfare recipients, says a review of the case released Friday.

    Two government public servants were fired last year after personal information of about 1,400 welfare recipients was found at the home of a former government employee under investigation by the RCMP’s commercial crime unit and the Insurance Corp. of B.C. on an unrelated matter.

    The leaks are the subject of ongoing criminal investigations, but no charges have been laid. The RCMP has said it believes none of the information obtained by the former employee was used for fraud or identity theft.

    But the RCMP said its investigation involves fraud linked to fake drivers’ licences and allegations about false pretences involving how the employee represented himself to his employers.

    The review said police found nine different types of documents at the employee’s home, amounting to 408 pages. Much of the material was from the former Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance and dated from December 2006 to March 2007.

    The remainder of the documents dated from March 2007 and September 2008 and were connected to the Ministry of Children and Family Development and the employment ministry. […]

    The review made six recommendations, including urging the public service to review its policies on criminal records checks.

    It called for tougher background checks on employees – the fired male employee had a prior theft and fraud-related criminal record when hired by the government. […]

    A separate review of another case involving a government employee and the misuse of government emails has been referred to the police for further investigation, said the government.

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