By Mel Duvall Print this article Print

A national computerized firearm registry in Canada was supposed to cost taxpayers $2 million. Instead, it has held them up for more than $1 billion.

Base Case">

Canada Firearms Base Case

284 Wellington St.,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0H8

(800) 731-4000

Government agency responsible for issuing firearms licenses and registering firearms.

Commissioner of Firearms:
William Baker

$16 million Canadian ($11.8 million U.S.) in revenue from user fees in 2003; $33 million in operating costs.

Program implementation forecast:
$119 million

Actual cost:
$1 billion

To bring the program's annual operating expenses in line with revenues and overcome public hostility to the program's runaway implementation costs.

Baseline Goals

  • Reduce annual operating expenses to $25 million per year, from $135 million in 2001.
  • Cut waiting times for registration approvals to 30 days, from six months.
  • Lower cost of processing licenses to $5.50, from $23.75, and registration forms to $4.60, from $16.28.
  • Reduce follow-up inquiries to fewer than 20% of registrations, from 90%.

This article was originally published on 2004-07-01
Contributing Editor
Mel Duvall is a veteran business and technology journalist, having written for a variety of daily newspapers and magazines for 17 years. Most recently he was the Business Commerce Editor for Interactive Week, and previously served as a senior business writer for The Financial Post.

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