Noth­ing but a booze por­tal

Op­po­si­tion crit­i­cal gov­ern­ment might spend money on PEILCC web­site up­grades when teach­ers fight­ing for jobs

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - BY DAVE STEWART

The Op­po­si­tion charged Tues­day that the province cares more about spend­ing money on a booze por­tal than sav­ing teach­ers’ jobs.

The P.E.I. gov­ern­ment is­sued a re­quest for pro­pos­als (RFP) last month on up­grades to the P.E.I. Liquor Con­trol Com­mis­sion’s web­site.

The RFP process closed July 3 with a de­ci­sion ex­pected next week. The RFP in­di­cates gov­ern­ment has bud­geted $49,000 (be­fore taxes).

Op­po­si­tion Leader Steven My­ers said gov­ern­ment’s pri­or­i­ties are messed up.

“We have a gov­ern­ment here which seems struck on get­ting teach­ers out of the sys­tem. They don’t seem to think they have the money for that yet they have money for a booze por­tal where they can look up what kind of liquor they sell,’’ My­ers told the media fol­low­ing ques­tion pe­riod in the leg­is­la­ture.

The RFP states the web­site must be open-source, prefer­ably Word­press based. Sep­a­rate from the web­site de­vel­op­ment pro­ject, there will be main­te­nance re­quired, in­clud­ing an­a­lyt­ics re­view, re­port­ing and rec­om­men­da­tions, on­go­ing search en­gine op­ti­miza­tion and on­go­ing con­tent de­vel­op­ment. The RFP states the new web­site will not re­quire e-com­merce func­tion­al­ity.

The work is an­tic­i­pated to be­gin July 20 with the new web­site launch­ing Nov. 9.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Allen Roach told The Guardian it’s much more than just up­dat­ing a web­site.

Roach said the liquor con­trol com­mis­sion has to bring its tech­nol­ogy up to a higher stan­dard; to pro­tect con­sumers, us­ing credit and deb­its cards to pay for prod­uct, from fraud.

“The sys­tem we have is very, very old and doesn’t meet to­day’s se­cu­rity stan­dards,’’ Roach said. “The pay­ment card in­dus­try has a data se­cu­rity stan­dard and it’s pro­pri­etary in­for­ma­tion, a se­cu­rity stan­dard for or­ga­ni­za­tions that han­dle branded credit cards.’’

Roach said those up­grades will in­clude a web­site up­grade.

My­ers also ques­tioned why gov­ern­ment is out­sourc­ing the work and not us­ing its own tech ex­perts to do the work.

“They have the re­sources. Let’s face it, an eight-year-old could prob­a­bly fig­ure it out. They have all sorts of peo­ple within gov­ern­ment that could do it,’’ My­ers said. Roach said that isn’t true. “The liquor con­trol com­mis­sion must be com­pli­ant which is not pos­si­ble through our ITSS shared ser­vices which . . . is why we can’t do it in­ter­nally,’’ the fi­nance min­is­ter said. “We don’t have any­body that falls within that in­dus­try se­cu­rity stan­dards.’’

Roach also em­pha­sized that gov­ern­ment hasn’t spent a dime yet.

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