Federal exec deletes hundreds of Arrivescam emails, blames ‘unfortunate computer error’

‘I needed to change my laptop because the battery in my current one is failing,’ testified Minh Doan, former chief information officer for the Canada Border Services Agency. ‘When transferring files from my old computer to my new one, files were corrupted and emails were lost.’

Federal exec deletes hundreds of Arrivescam emails, blames ‘unfortunate computer error’
rocketreach.co / THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
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A former border agency executive attempted to explain a sketchy text exchange while admitting to the erroneous deletion of several emails concerning Arrivescam.

Minh Doan, former chief information officer for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), claimed he mistakenly corrupted thousands of emails while trying to replace a battery.

“I needed to change my laptop because the battery in my current one is failing,” testified Doan. “When transferring files from my old computer to my new one, files were corrupted and emails were lost. I personally reported this.”

The incident occurred last year amid investigations into the pandemic application, reported Blacklock’s Reporter

Doan also claimed to have suffered a ‘memory lapse’ when asked why he “can’t throw Ministers under the bus.”

“I have nobody to protect,” Doan told the Commons government operations committee when confronted on a text exchange to a former co-worker. “It was a very stressful and difficult time.”

Auditors tracking irregularities in the $59.5 million Arrivescam boondoggle have complained that they’ve been unable to find key records including thousands of emails on Doan’s laptop. 

“The Canada Border Services Agency’s documentation, financial records, and controls were so poor that we were unable to determine the precise cost of the ArriveCan application,” reads the February 12 report, COVID-19 Pandemic: ArriveCAN.

MPs learned that more than 1,000 records were lost. “How many emails?” asked Liberal MP Parm Bains. “I couldn’t tell you,” replied Doan.

He confirmed CBSA still has in their possession those laptops and files. “Everyone knows emails do not solely reside on a particular computer or laptop,” said Doan. “They are delivered through servers where they are usually backed up.”

The former executive clarified “those emails exist” in the recipient email accounts within the federal agency.

“Those are scattered across dozens if not hundreds of other people’s computers,” replied Conservative MP Michael Barrett. “It makes the investigation exceedingly difficult when the Agency you were with at the time has been noted to have the worst record keeping that has been seen,” he added.

Doan acknowledged he made no attempt to retrieve records. An internal CBSA investigation is ongoing.

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