*NEWS*DEFENCE FORCE CLEARED/COPIER DEAL

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*NEWS*DEFENCE FORCE CLEARED/COPIER DEAL

 user 2006-10-10 at 11:20:00 am Views: 57
  • #16719

    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.