Author Topic: Vets' 'Budman: Still waiting to make it easier to apply online  (Read 5149 times)

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Offline milnews.ca

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A software program that could end much angry debate between injured soldiers and Veterans Affairs Canada has been stuck in the federal bureaucracy for over a year.

Canada's veterans watchdog has been pushing for the application to be made available online so former members of the military and RCMP can calculate their individual eligibility and accessibility to the department's Byzantine series of programs.

"We're very active in trying to get Veterans Affairs Canada to modernize its ways, if you wish," Guy Parent, the veterans ombudsman, said in a recent interview with The Canadian Press.

(....)

Having better information at their fingertips could only help those who approach the department, said Parent.

"It is a fantastic piece of work that helps identify a veteran — or the family of a veteran — by service, and it can lead you right to the programs, benefits that are accessible to them."

The software program, developed by two officials in ombudsman's office, was originally intended for agency staff so they could quickly determine whether a complainant had a case and where they fit in to the system.

It is similar in complexity to online applications long in use by banks and insurance companies.

After going through several revisions and updates through the years, the navigator program was handed over to the department in 2010 in the hope it would be put on the government's website.

But so far, it has been the subject only of a pilot program for the department's internal use at a regional office in Winnipeg, and was recently made available to call-centre staff.

The plan is to roll it out to the entire department early this year, said veterans affairs spokesman Simon Forsyth.

Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney is said to be enthusiastic about its potential and wants to see it in the hands of the public, said Parent.

Forsyth didn't specify when that might happen and critics were skeptical whether it'll ever go that far ....
The Canadian Press, 3 Jan 12
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Vets' 'Budman: Still waiting to make it easier to apply online
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2012, 20:12:11 »
VA doesn't want you to know what programs, aid, payments or resources you're entitled to. They want you in the dark, feeling beholden to any archaic decision they decide on.

Bunch of civie bureaucrats that have never served a day deciding what a military injury should be worth.
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Offline milnews.ca

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Re: Vets' 'Budman: Still waiting to make it easier to apply online
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2012, 20:39:15 »
My fave bit:
Quote
.... Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney is said to be enthusiastic about its potential and wants to see it in the hands of the public, said Parent ....
I can't wait to see how long it'll take for the Minister's supposed intent to be implemented - or at least the intent he shares with the media.
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Offline kstart

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Re: Vets' 'Budman: Still waiting to make it easier to apply online
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2012, 23:54:41 »
I've been truly disgusted by some of the stories I've read about.  There have been infractions, which in the civvy system would lead to job firing (e.g. leakage of private confidental health records. . .).  There seems to be some very weak accountability enforcement in some cases.  It's furtherly offensive because of the special contract among military and Governent of Canada and the soldiers contract of unlimited liability.  Hard, added sense of betrayals for at the times when an injured soldier needs the most support.  The percentages system of coverage can be very dehumanizing and not in appropriate scale (WSIB may work in a similar fashion), robbing of sense of dignity.  The longer waits for settlement can be particularly stressful re: income to live on, bills to pay, etc.  In my case, all I needed was a doctor's note, doctor filled out the form, and it was accepted as is.  I made sure I got advocacy to make sure all the 'i's were dotted, "t's crossed, as incompleted paperwork would cause delays (but I'm just a nobody. . .), but I had far more humane treatment, then some of the cases I'm hearing about facing Veterans.  It sounds like there are a lot more hoops to jump through, added bureacracies. . . ?

I sincerely hope things will get better.  It's receiving a lot more press coverage it seems.  I hope that can help as well and maybe the people of Canada, can also remain vigilant in support of our troops and their families and even keep on it with our MPs.  :yellow:   :2c:

Offline dapaterson

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Re: Vets' 'Budman: Still waiting to make it easier to apply online
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2012, 09:00:53 »
The challenge:  Is the system linked to the "live" VAC database of recipients?  If so, is the program secure?  Because VAC is also responsible to ensure the security of personal information - it would not do to permit people to access other people's files - either accidentally or deliberately.

Ther ehave been enough data security breaches that governments tend to plan for the worst.
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Re: Vets' 'Budman: Still waiting to make it easier to apply online
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2012, 09:31:58 »
The challenge:  Is the system linked to the "live" VAC database of recipients?  If so, is the program secure?  Because VAC is also responsible to ensure the security of personal information - it would not do to permit people to access other people's files - either accidentally or deliberately.

Ther ehave been enough data security breaches that governments tend to plan for the worst.

VAC uses the My Service account System

It us used by many Government organizations, that allow the public secure access to their own information.

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Offline Nemo888

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Re: Vets' 'Budman: Still waiting to make it easier to apply online
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2012, 10:30:26 »
If anyone on priority hiring wants to work for the ombudsman,.....

1.  Advertisement: 11-DND-DM-OTTWA-361341    Type of Advertisement: Deployment, Assignment, Secondment
    Position Title(s): Complaint Analyst
    https://jobs-emplois.psea-lefp.publiservice.gc.ca/cli101.do?id=122781&lang=en
    Classification(s): AS - 4
    Salary: From: $ 61,493 To: $ 66,447
    Federal Organization(s): Department of National Defence - Office of the Ombudsman
    Location(s): Ontario - Ottawa
    Closing Date: 2012-01-13
    Official Language Proficiency: Various Language Requirements
    Open to: Persons employed in the Public Service who occupy a position in the National Capital Region with a substantive position at the AS-04 level or equivalent.