Auditor General Acknowledges Need to Modernize Ontario’s Court System

  • December 05, 2016

The Office of the Auditor General of Ontario released its Annual Report on November 30, 2016. The report acknowledges that Ontario’s courts are using outdated technology, an issue OBA President David Sterns has been speaking about during his term.

Section 4 of the Auditor’s Report is a review of the government’s Information and Information Technology (I&IT) General Controls, which considered "whether there are effective general controls in place to maintain the integrity of I&IT systems."

While not a comprehensive review of all government I&IT systems, the Auditor’s report refers specifically to the court system used in the Ontario Court of Justice (OCJ).  The Auditor's report flags some of the systemic issues that OBA members have pointed to for months, issues that have a negative impact on the overall efficiency on Ontario's justice system, and that require urgent and careful attention to improve Ontario’s court infrastructure.

In particular, the report notes some of the challenges with implementing changes to the court system used in the OCJ, and acknowledges that making changes to those outdated systems could corrupt functionality or possibly cause them to crash.  According to the Auditor General, “Innovation that could improve service delivery is not occurring as a result."

The Auditor’s report also acknowledged that the court system was flagged as overdue for replacement in 2009/10, but has not yet been fixed and that “no plan has been put in place that estimates when the existing Court System will be replaced."

These are issues the OBA has been hearing from its members and is committed to continue bringing to the attention of Government and key decision makers.

Click here to view the section of the Auditor’s Report on Information and Information Technology General Controls.