*NEWS*PROBE INTO FUJI XEROX CONTRACT

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*NEWS*PROBE INTO FUJI XEROX CONTRACT

 user 2006-08-07 at 10:51:00 am Views: 117
  • #16039

    Defence Force probe into Fuji Xerox contract
    AUGUST 2006
    The Defence Force has asked Audit New Zealand to investigate allegations concerning a multimillion dollar contract for photocopiers.An anonymous “whistleblower” said the Defence Force breached guidelines issued by government security agency GCSB by choosing photocopiers from office equipment maker Fuji Xerox over rivals that were more secure, and in at least one case cheaper.The whistleblower, who claims to work for another government agency, said that Fuji Xerox was given preferential treatment during the tender.Defence Force spokeswoman Major Denise Mackay said the allegations were being taken seriously.”The matter has been referred to Audit New Zealand for investigation to ensure transparency and independent review.”We will of course be cooperating fully with them. Details of the investigation will be released in due course.”Photocopiers have become an achilles heel for IT security staff now that many double as printers and faxes and are attached to computer networks.Modern copiers contain a hard disc drive that is used to quickly output multiple copies of documents and which can contain thousands of pages of previously copied and printed material. The information on these drives can be hacked into or stolen, if not adequately secured.Guidelines drawn up by GCSB say copiers that have a higher Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) rating, should be considered over those that have a lower rating. If the devices are used to output secure or classified information, products with a higher EAL rating must be purchased.The whistleblower said that the Xerox copiers chosen by the Defence Force have an EAL 2 rating, while competitors Ricoh, Konica Minolta and Sharp tendered products with higher ratings of 3, 3+ and 4.”NZDF blatantly ignored GCSB policy, thus placing the information they retain in jeopardy, and are also spending more taxpayer dollars by doing so.”A pre-Budget leak of the Government’s plans to further regulate Telecom prompted GCSB to remind government agencies of its security advice in May, though later it turned out that a government messenger, Michael Ryan, had taken confidential Cabinet papers home and copied them there.GCSB spokesman Hugh Wolfensohn said GCSB had no comment to make on what was “an internal matter for the department concerned”.A spokesman for Fuji Xerox New Zealand, Clive Forbes, said the company was confident all correct procedures were met and said that Fuji Xerox was an international company that fully supported its equipment. “We are not aware of any shortcomings.”The Defence Force referred the allegations to Audit New Zealand within hours of hearing of them and Major Mackay said it was too early to speculate whether they may have substance.