[LINK] More on Access ID Card
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Tue Mar 13 10:53:02 EST 2007
New boss in ID card rush
MARCH 13, 2007
THE rush to introduce the Access Card continues, with new Human
Services Minister Chris Ellison unwilling to call a halt while
details of the controversial scheme are thrashed out.
Senator Ellison has been handed the portfolio at a time when
legislation is being rushed through a Senate inquiry so it can be
passed before the end of the month, largely to give legal certainty
to tender processes that commenced in early January.
Senator Ellison replaced Ian Campbell following the former minister's
resignation last week over a meeting with disgraced former West
Australian premier Brian Burke.
Senator Ellison said there was no reason why there should not be a
seamless transition. "The Government's intention is to seek passage
of the Bill as soon as possible to take the project forward," he said.
"There has been extensive public consultation during the past year,
and I look forward to considering the report of the Senate inquiry,
which will be handed down this week."
The Consumer and Privacy Taskforce headed by Professor Allan Fels was
also providing independent advice, he said.
However, the taskforce's discussion paper on the registration process
- initially due in late January - is yet to be released by the
Senator Ellison brushed off suggestions that he'd had insufficient
time to digest the huge, $1.1 billion Access Card project. "In my
previous portfolio of Justice Minister, I had experience with a range
of issues similar to those involved with the program, including
privacy and legislation," he said.
"These included the introduction of reforms to Australia's
anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws, and the
document verification service."
[yeah, and they got that *so* right, yes? /sarcasm]
As Customs Minister, Senator Ellison also presided over the
disastrous $210 million cargo systems re-engineering IT project. His
performance in that instance was criticised in an independent review
last year by consultants Booz Allen Hamilton - now lead adviser on
the Access Card project.
Booz Allen found the fiasco had left industry "angry and disappointed".
Last month Senator Ellison defended his handling of the Customs
debacle at a Senate estimates hearing, following a damning audit
report showing that Australia's cargo security gates were wide open
for 12 days after the system went live on October 12, 2005.
Senator Ellison had ordered the launch of the Integrated Cargo System
despite widespread industry concerns that the system was not ready.
Brokers reported problems with third-party software, inadequate
testing of key components and that there was insufficient memory and
Meanwhile, the states and territories are worried that the Access
Card registration process will swamp their agencies as people try to
obtain proof of identity documents in order to register.
WA Premier Alan Carpenter has slammed the lack of consultation. He
said a promised briefing by former Human Services minister Joe Hockey
did not eventuate and a single meeting with Office of Access Card
officials "focused on technical issues rather than strategic concerns
and cost implications for the WA government".
Mr Carpenter has asked for "an agreed process for indemnifying the
states for any additional costs accruing from the implementation,
including the installation of infrastructure".
The ACT Government has also warned of problems. "The financial
implications for states and territories arising from the introduction
of the new technology need to be properly addressed, and to date the
federal Government has failed to provide any direction in this
matter," the government said.
Northern Territory information commissioner Peter Shoyer said the
project would require substantial resources of state agencies
involved in identification documentation.
JLWhitaker Associates, Melbourne Victoria
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
'Seed planting is often the most important step. Without the seed,
there is no plant.' - JW, April 2005
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