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Quebec Auditor General to investigate SAAQclic after setbacks during rollout

People waiting in line at the SAAQ. (LA PRESSE CANADIENNE/Ryan Remiorz) People waiting in line at the SAAQ. (LA PRESSE CANADIENNE/Ryan Remiorz)
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The Auditor General of Quebec says it plans to audit the rollout of the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) digital platform, SAAQclic, which experienced numerous setbacks during its launch in winter 2023.

On its website, the office of Auditor General Guylaine Leclerc says it is distributing a form for an audit concerning "SAAQclic and its components."

The public is being invited to describe what they experienced in connection with SAAQclic's deployment, which has been described as a "fiasco" by Quebec's Minister of Cybersecurity and Digital Affairs Éric Caire.

The audit report is expected to be published in the winter of 2025, but the timetable could change, the Auditor General's office notes.

Quebec City's Le Soleil newspaper was the first to report on the audit Friday morning.

Launched in February 2023, SAAQclic was presented as a platform that would enable customers to carry out most transactions online, including driver's licence renewals, paying for vehicle registrations and booking driving test appointments.

However, the launch was fraught with pitfalls.

SAAQ service centres had to close for two weeks to allow for the transition, resulting in long queues when they reopened.

Last fall, SAAQ President and CEO Éric Ducharme revealed that the cost of the bungle exceeded $41 million, including the hiring of 465 people, which is set to cost $28 million annually and $6 million in overtime.

Ducharme took office last April when his predecessor, Denis Marsolais, was dismissed by the cabinet in the wake of the SAAQclic fiasco.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on April 12, 2024. 

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