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It's 'obvious' that rules weren't followed with ArriveCan development, Trudeau says

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VANCOUVER -

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it's "obvious" contracting rules weren't followed during the development of the controversial ArriveCan app.

Trudeau says the app was developed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when everything was in question, but there is still a need to follow rules even in difficult times.

He says investigations are ongoing and there will be consequences for instances in which public servants did not abide by the rules.

The federal government launched ArriveCan in April 2020 to track health and contact information for people entering Canada during the pandemic, and to digitize customs and immigration declarations.

Canada's auditor general said earlier this month there was a "glaring disregard" for fundamental management and contracting practices as ArriveCan was developed and implemented.

The watchdog said the government's reliance on sole-sourced external contractors drove up the price of the app, and those costs weren't properly tracked.

"It is obvious that the contracting processes and rules were not followed in this case," Trudeau told reporters at a news conference in Vancouver on Tuesday when asked if he would take responsibility for the problems.

"We need to make sure that there is accountability and transparency around that."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 20, 2024.

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