Thursday, October 27, 2011

Some examples of government slowness

Back in August, I wrote a post entitled More on the real CSI - there aren't even resources to solve the notorious cases which noted that it took decades for Ted Bundy's DNA to be added to the federal government's CODIS database.

But governments are slow all over. Take Azerbaijan:

Back in 2005, Azerbaijan proclaimed an ambitious programme to bring all its state institutions online, but six years on, the authorities are still woefully bad at responding to enquiries.

The e-government strategy was supposed to allow anyone open access to information about state institutions, public services and utilities, education and so on.

At present, though, just four services are available online – tax returns, entrance forms for university, utilities payments, and a system for complaining about state institutions. think that if the bureaucrats were protecting their own interest, the complaints web page would be the LAST thing that they'd get around to implementing.

But that's a former part of the Soviet Union. We're obviously more advanced in the United States, aren't we?

The theft last month of backup computer tapes containing the medical records of nearly 5 million military personnel was not reported to the public for more than two weeks, and active and retired personnel will have to wait another four to six weeks before finding out if their records are at risk....

In its own defense, Tricare says that the data on the stolen tapes is not easy to read. Not, apparently, because it was encrypted, but because it is written in government-ese that is so complex no sane person can get through it. Really good government-ese ranks right up there with AES 256 encryption as a way to protect data.

Of course, the dirty little secret is that private industry isn't much better.
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