Loose lips sink ships … and elections

The dome of silence has descended over the Department of Education, at least when it comes to the cost of a controversial computer system used to track student performance.

The dome of silence has descended over the Department of Education, at least when it comes to the cost of a controversial computer system used to track student performance.

The department insists it can’t disclose the cost of implementing the Yukon Student Information System until after the territorial election.

Doing so may create the perception that bureaucrats are trying to steer the election’s outcome, said Chris Madden, a spokesman for the Department of Education.

But this objection is only expressed when information is sought that would likely embarrass the Yukon Party government.

The Health Department didn’t have any problem disclosing information about the newly opened Thomson Centre.

Energy, Mines and Resources was happy to share details about royalty rates, which have become the subject of heated debate by politicians.

And the Yukon Energy Corporation is crowing this week that its expansion of the Mayo hydroelectric project is ahead of schedule and underbudget.

But Education’s computer system is different – possibly because it’s wildly unpopular with teachers, and rumoured to have run well above budget.

Senior officials are deciding which queries to address on a case-by-case basis, said Madden.

He offered the News a full interview about the computer system – after the election. He wasn’t authorized to disclose the system’s cost.

Previous reports had gotten information about the system wrong, said Madden. But he wouldn’t provide any details until after October 11.

Contact John Thompson at

johnt@yukon-news.com.

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