Tuesday, April 28, 2009

CPC boondoggle du jour

So the top-secret Arctic Breeze surveillance program, one so secret that DND refused to acknowledge its existence until the NDP found 50 pages of documentation on it through an FOI request, is over budget by 30% and counting.

It goes without saying that military programs can remain secret, and their existence denied. The reasons DND is so secretive about this program in particular are obscure at best; RevDave points out that other, similar Arctic surveillance programs are not kept at the same level of secrecy.

However, if you're going to keep a program secret, you have even more responsibility to manage it well, because you have no accountability to the taxpayer. Having such a significant budget overrun is completely irresponsible. The government should be forced at this point to come clean and at least explain what's going on with this project that cost an extra $30 million.

But accountability is just some word you say to get elected, you know. You don't have to actually do anything.

(h/t Terrible Depths and Accidental Deliberations)


Ti-Guy said...

But, but, but...ADSCAM!

They'd better not start dicking around because securing sovereignty over the Artic is the only Harpy initiative I've supported.

Mike said...

$30 million...now why is that amount familiar? Could that be the amount of money Harper almost lost his government over in November when he tried to cut funding to the political parties?

Nahhh...I'm sure its a coincidence...

Ti-Guy said...

I don't think Conservative accounting is that precise, Mike. After all, these people can't even grasp simple cost/benefit analysis.

Sixth Estate said...

Sorry, but it probably is a coincidence. I sincerely doubt this is directly connected to some $30 million surplus somewhere else. It's more likely that it's another example of the problems that come up with obsessive, kneejerk secrecy on the part of the government.

As I noted on my blog (thanks for the link, M@), though, it does raise the question of what is so special about POLAR BREEZE. If other surveillance projects like Radarsat-2 are unclassified - then why is POLAR BREEZE suddenly so secret?

M@ said...

Not at all, Dave. Glad to link to you -- I hope others read your take on it as well.