Three people appear to have lost their jobs in the wake of an auditor general’s report in information technology security at Halifax Regional Police.
As the Halifax Examiner reported last week, the report found that HRP has not only been slow to fix known gaps in its IT security, it also lied to the Board of Police Commissioners about it.
The person hired to fix the issues back in 2018, Chief Information Security Officer Andrew Kozma, is out of the job at HRP, and two now-former HRM IT employees — Sarah Teal and Jody Hubert — are no longer employed with the municipality.
Kozma’s LinkedIn profile picture contains the hashtag #OPENTOWORK, and his profile indicates he’s available immediately and actively applying. The section of his experience listing HRP says he had the job from June 2018 to February 2021.
As of Thursday evening, he was still listed on the website for HRP’s Executive Management Team, with a glowing profile:
Andrew brings to this role extensive experience in cybersecurity as well as network and security infrastructure design and implementation with leading public and private sector organizations. He has a proven track record of delivering solutions while leveraging Six Sigma methodologies across a wide range of organizations and technical environments.
Kozma’s salary was $132,720.04 in 2019-2020. The Halifax Examiner has asked Kozma for comment. We’ll update this story with his response.
Two employees of the municipality, not the police, are also out.
Teal was Halifax’s chief information officer. Her LinkedIn page indicates she’s no longer employed after two years in her current role and five with the municipality.
The position appears to have been filled already. On LinkedIn, Chad Mac Donald [sic] says he became chief information officer in February 2021, after about two years as “Manager, Planning and Delivery.”
MacDonald was listed and mentioned during a presentation to councillors from chief financial officer Jane Fraser last week. Fraser said he’s in charge of information, communications and technology under the Finance, Asset Management and ICT business unit.
Teal’s salary was $154,053.00 in 2019-2020. Her phone number with the municipality went straight to voicemail on Thursday.
And Hubert was cyber security manager at HRM, a job she’d had since March 2019, according to her LinkedIn.
Hubert’s salary was $139,463.48 in 2019-2020.
A source told the Examiner all three had their employment end abruptly and without notice, Teal was no longer with HRM as of Feb. 1, and Hubert as of Thursday. It’s unclear when Kozma was let go.
The Halifax Examiner has asked the municipality and the police when the three employees were let go, whether it was because of the AG report, whether there are any other personnel changes related to the report, whether the roles will be filled and who will fill the roles in the meantime.
We’ll update this story with the response.*
The Board of Police Commissioners held its second in camera session on the auditor general’s report on Thursday, spending about 50 minutes discussing it.
Halifax councillors voted in favour of a budget increase for HRP of at least 2.7% on Wednesday.
*Update, Friday, Feb. 19
Municipal spokesperson Maggie-Jane Spray provided the following response:
I’m unable to share details about these departures, as they are personnel matters.
Recruitment plans are being discussed in the coming weeks. Existing resources are available to meet interim coverage requirements.
It’s just so discouraging to see this as a taxpayer.
The salaries that HRM pays are way off the charts, compared to the private sector. Can anything be done to stop this? What would it take?
letting these people go is a start, if they are going to get the $$ do your job and do it right.
Not to defend any incompetence that may have occurred with these public sector employees (which as of yet we don’t know the details), a Chief Information Officer title is quite high up the IT food chain and financial compensation over 100 grand wouldn’t be unusual, even in the private sector.