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Public board had said it was spending $700,000 to patch potential security breach, but now says it will cost closer to $160,000. (Mark Blinch/The Globe and Mail)
Public board had said it was spending $700,000 to patch potential security breach, but now says it will cost closer to $160,000. (Mark Blinch/The Globe and Mail)

TDSB says cost to fix locks at 140 schools less than estimated Add to ...

The Toronto District School Board has revised its estimate to change school locks after accidentally making confidential information public.

Just a few days earlier, the TDSB said it was spending $700,000 from its operating budget to reconfigure the pin settings in locks at 140 schools.

Now, it estimates that patching the potential security breach will cost closer to $160,000.

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Board spokeswoman Shari Schwartz-Maltz said that further analysis showed that the lock information is proprietary to the TDSB and the supplier.

“Although there will be some associated costs, the actual costs will be far less than originally reported,” she said in an e-mail on Sunday. “We will continue to be proactive by checking all possible breaches, so that access to all impacted classrooms and schools is properly secured.”

The school board released the details of hundreds of thousands of work orders to at least two newspapers in response to Freedom of Information requests. The data detailed maintenance work performed by the board’s skilled trades workers’ union between 2010 and 2012.

The work orders provided to The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star supplied evidence of the shoddy record-keeping that has fuelled allegations of overspending at the school board’s maintenance and facilities department. Some work orders provided too little detail, while others – such as orders to change locks – revealed too much.

Some of the work orders included the key pin settings for locked doors in more than 100 schools.

The Toronto Star recently launched an online project that released the full database of work orders, which included the pin settings of locks at some schools. It has since removed the description of work orders under locks. But the work orders provided to The Globe show the names of the schools and describe the locks that need to be changed, along with some pin-setting numbers.

Staff are in the midst of changing the key settings for the main doors at one school, and interior master key pins, which include doors to the gymnasium and main office, at 19 schools. Staff will also be changing the locks for individual rooms at 120 other schools, where codes were made public.

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