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CIPS Honorary Fellow Douglas William (Bill) Rogers (February 14, 1921 - August 30, 2013)

via William (Bill) Rogers FCA, Honorary Fellow CIPS, the first Auditor General of Alberta, passed away on August 30, 2013, at the age of 92. He was born in Birmingham, England in 1921, and came to Canada in 1945 with the Royal Air Force. After leaving the Force, Bill had a lengthy career with the office of the Provincial Auditor (which, with a change in legislation, became the Office of the Auditor General in 1978), joining the office in 1948. He was appointed Provincial Auditor in 1972 and retired from the role of Auditor General in 1986.

Bill’s career saw the role of the Office increase greatly in sophistication, including in the area of technology, a particular passion of Bill’s.  Bill was appointed Director of Data Processing in 1958, and in that role he ushered in the era of computerization with the Government of Alberta, with the first computerized equipment for data processing being introduced in 1962. With the change from the Office of the Provincial Auditor to the Office of the Auditor General, the scope and authority of the office grew, including guaranteeing the independence of the position of Auditor General.

From an Alberta Treasury perspective, two of Bill's greatest accomplishments in terms of IT, other than the initial development of the Province's payments, payroll, and appropriation control systems in the early 60's which the ICAA article references, were the development of the Medicare payment and fee collection systems in 1968 (at which time the Province acquired an IBM 360 system to cope with the medicare system and supplement the IBM 7070 which was used for the Province's financial system; and the development of the AFIS (Alberta Financial Information) System in the early 70's.  This system,among other things,  was developed  to cope with the introduction of a program budgeting system by Alberta Treasury in April, 1975. 

Always dedicated to his profession, Bill served on a number of provincial and national committees, and he co-authored a, at the time ground-breaking, publication for the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), Computer Control Guidelines.

Bill obtained his ISP when it first became available.  He was made an Honorary Member of CIPS in 1986.

Even more important is Bill’s personal legacy. As his obituary in The Edmonton Journal noted, “He valued friends and family, and loved animals. He was always positive and never had an unkind word to say about anyone.”  That was true … and he was always a good friend of CIPS!

As his former colleague and past ICAA Council Public Member Al O’Brien summarizes, “I worked closely with Bill for more than twenty years. He was a leading pioneer in the adoption of automated information systems in the public sector and virtually "wrote the book" on IT auditing and control systems in Canada. He was a true professional and made enormous contributions to the development of public sector accounting and auditing standards and practices in Canada and internationally. Bill was a remarkable leader, dedicated public servant, and wonderful friend.”

Bill is survived by his wife Norma and her extended family, and many friends and colleagues.

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