There are few tabloids more lurid than Britain’s Daily Mail but once you get past the hyperbolic headlines you get to a nugget of truth:
Police and immigration officers are searching for hundreds of ‘very serious’ foreign criminals in Britain after massive delays in obtaining their conviction records from Romania. UK detectives inundated authorities in the Eastern European country with requests for background intelligence on suspects but, lacking the money and the computers to get through them all, the Romanians were unable to cope.
I cannot even begin to list all the times that I’ve seen a failure of Romanian computer systems cause major problems. The judicial computer systems are slow and not up to speed, the ANI’s procurement system checker isn’t working, the police in Cluj-Napoca (the country’s second-largest city) have a grand total of one computer (connected to a database), the civil aviation authority’s computer system failed in the Frozen Tears debacle, the border police’s computer system has major problems, the health authority’s digital patient records system had a ton of issues, the tax authority’s e-filing system has major glitches, the parliament’s e-voting system has serious problems, you still can’t digitally sign for or order commonly needed documents (which RM has had for years), and now this report that seemingly nobody in Romania could run a simple background check on citizens who have emigrated to Britain.
What’s even weirder is that Romania is home to tons of amazing computer programmers. There are probably 50 software design firms in Cluj alone, and they do really good work. Hackers (the good kind), coders, and programmers are extremely abundant in Romania, so why are government computer systems always failing, slow, or non-functional?