(Quebec) François Legault deplores “serious planning shortcomings” in the computer transition of the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec and requests an evaluation of the work of the Board of Directors and the big boss of the organization, Denis Marsolais.
“There was a planning problem at the SAAQ. It’s clear. And what I want, in the next few days, the next few weeks, is to evaluate the work of the Board of Directors of the SAAQ, and of the President of the SAAQ. There was obviously a serious planning flaw at the SAAQ,” the premier said Tuesday during a press briefing at the National Assembly.
He added “that we cannot think that we are going to close offices for three weeks, and that the day we are going to reopen, that there will not be an impact”, launched the Prime Minister on Tuesday during a press briefing at the National Assembly. He claims that the state-owned company caused this closure without making any transition plan.
Mr. Legault cleared his Minister of Cybersecurity and Digital, Éric Caire, who only had an “advisory role in digital transformation for both ministries and state corporations”.
The responsibility of the SAAQ
“The SAAQ has final responsibility, including its IT department,” concluded Mr. Legault. His government had to announce since last week a series of measures, including a grace period for motorists and truckers unable to renew their driving license.
But several citizens had difficulty creating their account for the Government Authentication Service (SAG), for which Éric Caire is responsible. Citizens can also, since Monday, create their account directly in a branch of the SAAQ, by obtaining help on site. But Mr. Legault and his government believe that the problem is more on the side of the failures of the SAAQClic platform.
About 150 additional employees have been sent as reinforcements to seven service centers where it will be possible to do so, namely those of Carrefour Langelier in Montreal, but also in Gatineau, Laval, Longueuil, Lebourgneuf, Drummondville and Saguenay. Other points of service could then be added.
Recall that stakeholders had raised red flags. The Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) had been warned by employees that the digital transition should be more “gradual”, says their union, which attacks the government’s “poor planning”, when queues are growing across the province.