Panorama public health system over budget and not meeting expectations

VICTORIA – Auditor General of British Columbia Carol Bellringer issued an Audit of the Panorama Public Health System today.

Following the SARS outbreak in early 2003, an independent review recommended that Canada invest in a seamless public health system. Panorama, the IT system that government implemented, was expected to improve management of communicable disease outbreaks and immunization programs across the country.

“Panorama has been impacted by defects from the start. It is inefficient to use, burdensome to public health staff, and requires ongoing financial support,” said Bellringer. She also acknowledged that, “A complex national IT system such as Panorama is undoubtedly a challenge to build and implement.”

So far, Panorama has cost the province at least $115 million and annual maintenance costs are approximately $14 million. The project is five years late, incomplete, riddled with deficiencies, and much of the technology may already be out dated.

“Of particular concern, is not only a failure to control costs, but decisions that unnecessarily increased costs,” explains Bellringer. “When IBM could not deliver on the original contract terms, we saw no evidence that the ministry considered other options such as contract termination or alternate systems. Instead, the Ministry of Health renegotiated with IBM in a way that transferred financial risk from IBM to taxpayers.”

The audit also found that Panorama does not support public health services across the country, as intended. The project has not been fully implemented in B.C. and at present, five other provinces/territories are moving forward with implementation.

The audit identifies issues with the ministry’s project management, contract management and leadership.

The Office makes three recommendations to improve these practices for future projects, and recommends an independent review to assess ongoing suitability of Panorama.

The report is available on the Office of the Auditor General website:

Auditor General Carol Bellringer will answer questions pertaining to the report via a teleconference.

Teleconference Date: Aug. 13, 2015

Time: 11 a.m. (Pacific Time)

Dial-in Information:

From Vancouver: 604 681-0260
From elsewhere in Canada and the USA: 1 877 353-9184
Participant Pass Code: 44848#

During question and answer period, to ask a question: Press 01
During question and answer period, to exit the question queue: Press #

About the Office of the Auditor General of BC

The Auditor General is a non-partisan, independent Officer of the Legislature who reports directly to the Legislative Assembly. The Auditor General Act empowers the Auditor General and staff (known as the Office of the Auditor General or OAG) to conduct audits, report findings and make recommendations.

For more information or to speak with the Auditor General, please contact:
Office of the Auditor General

250 419-6100

To subscribe to receive report e-notifications, visit



NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More