[LINK] More on Access ID Card

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Tue Mar 13 10:53:02 AEDT 2007


New boss in ID card rush
Karen Dearne
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 
minister's office.

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 
computing capacity.

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.

The Australian

Jan Whitaker
JLWhitaker Associates, Melbourne Victoria
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com
personal: http://www.janwhitaker.com/personal/
commentary: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/

'Seed planting is often the most important step. Without the seed, 
there is no plant.' - JW, April 2005
_ __________________ _

More information about the Link mailing list