Software to support the new Clean Slate legislation, allowing old convictions to be concealed from inquirers, is a classic example of joining “silo” applications, says Justice Ministry support services manager Kel Crofskey.
An inquiry about someone’s convictions now has to pass through a filter which looks at the Corrections offender case management system and the Collect fines system, with a new filter on the process of inquiry that suppresses records of offences that meet the Clean Slate criteria.
Development, done within Justice by staff and contractors encountered “the usual problems of matching data from systems designed in silos,” Crofskey says; “some of the references to data on the two systems were not the same.” But complications were minor and the development proceeded “quite smoothly”, he says.
Conviction records are not “wiped”, they are simply withheld from the typical queries that come in from Justice staff, law-enforcement authorities and third parties such as prospective employers and insurance companies processing a claim. The last category of inquiry naturally needs to have the permission of the person whose record it is.