NZ:DEFENCE FORCE CLEARED IN COPIER DEAL

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NZ:DEFENCE FORCE CLEARED IN COPIER DEAL

 user 2006-10-10 at 11:19:00 am Views: 55
  • #16554

    Defence Force photocopier deal cleared
    OCT 2006
    Audit New Zealand has cleared the Defence Force of wrongdoing over its handling of a multimillion-dollar contract for photocopiers that double as printers.An anonymous whistleblower claimed a month ago that the Defence Force breached guidelines issued by government security agency GCSB by choosing equipment from Fuji Xerox over rivals that tendered equipment that had a higher security rating, and which was in one case cheaper.The whistleblower, who appeared to have detailed knowledge of the tender, claimed to work for another government department.Audit New Zealand has spent about three weeks looking into the allegations, but says it has no concerns about the deal and won’t be undertaking a more detailed inquiry.Sector manager Gareth Ellis says auditors did enough to satisfy themselves the allegations were unfounded and that the Defence Force “appropriately followed” GCSB’s guidelines.Mr Ellis says Audit New Zealand did identify a number of “process issues – opportunities for improvement in future tender processes”.”We will be raising those with NZDF, but we don’t believe any of those issues unduly affected the integrity of this particular process,” he says.The finding will do little to clear up uncertainty over the status of the GCSB guidelines, which are designed to prevent information processed by multifunction devices from falling into the wrong hands.GCSB says agencies should select devices that have a higher evaluation assurance level over devices that have a lower rating and that they must do so if they are used to handle secure or classified information.However, GCSB conceded in May that some departments were probably ignoring the security edict.The Fuji Xerox multifunction devices selected by the Defence Force had an EAL 2 rating, while competitors Ricoh, Konica Minolta and Sharp tendered products with higher ratings.