Monday, November 26, 2007

Robert Dziekanski's Death: The Incompetence Continues

Canadian Border Services held a heavily controlled press conference to release their inquiry into the death of Polish immigrant, Robert Dziekanski, on October 14th. As I expected, it revealed nothing particularly new in substance, other than they had no idea what he was doing for 6 hours and 31 minutes, in between when he passed through primary inspection and when he tried to leave the luggage area.

It annoys me to no end how the process of tracking passengers is completely flawed. Nobody in this organization knew where he was. When his mother tried to find out, they didn't even know he had arrived!

Being in the I.T. business, it seems so glaringly obvious how a simple mobile database tracking system could have been implemented as long as 5 years ago. Federal Express has one. So does Wal-Mart. So does Amazon. But our Canadian government? Nope, they're still living in the 1980's.

How difficult would it be to have mobile wireless computers on every mobile official at the airport, each getting an update from their central database every minute. Anyone not accounted for, for more than 30 minutes could be red flagged and brought to the attention of one or the attention of many.

Additionally, each handheld computer could have prepared messages and/or questions in every language known to mankind, displaying them visually or audibly or even as welcome videos. Simple, simple, simple.

Yet will something so obvious get implemented? Probably not. Or if the government were to take on such a project, it would cost $100 Million and never get done right. If such technology was needed by a private sector facility, they would buy something "off the shelf" and just make minor modifications to suit their specific requirements. While I don't sell this kind of software myself I know many firms who do. I estimate the cost per mobile employee could easily be kept under $1,500 per person, for both the hardware & software.

What a concept, having timely, accurate information in the Year 2007! Who would'da thunk it possible?! Certainly not our public bureaucrats.


nachtwache said...

That's exactly were the blame lies, with border services, immigration, the airport. Not the police so much, because he was clearly agitated by the time they arrived. Where was everybody for all those hours this man was trying to figure out where to go and what to do???
No translators? No personal to help passengers?? What sort of 3rd world, backwater airport is this anyway??!
No wonder we get criminals strolling into this country without any problems, but decent people get hassled.
Lets hope the conservatives get a chance to clean up this government and incompetent system we have before the idiots vote in the idiots.
It's hard to believe nobody noticed a passenger wandering around lost, for hours. It's inexcusable.

PelaLusa said...

I do not let those 4 policemen off the hook at all, but your point is well taken. It truly boggles my mind how backwards so many sectors of our gov't still are.