Ontario's 'robojustice' plan sparks political controversy

Concerns in Ontario about an ambitious C$100m plan to computerise and re-engineer the province's entire justice system have been heightened by accusations that the regional government is pursuing a policy of “information control”.

Negotiations are under way between the provincial government and a consortium of companies led by IBM to sign a deal to launch the Integrated Justice Project, the world's largest legal automation system.

But so far the government has not formally announced the project, which will affect the police force, the courts, the prison service and the parole service.

However, The Canadian Law Times has reported the names of the other members of the consortium, which includes KPMG, after a government leak.

It says the sensitivity of the project is underlined by the fact that the Ontario government has produced a “script” for the negotiating team and project managers to tackle awkward questions from employees worried about job security.

Sources in Ontario report that officials are obstructing requests for documents relating to the project, which should be public.