New Zealand's spys want new software

21 November 2013 12:55 AM

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New Zealand's intelligence agencies are looking for a system they can share to help their bean-counters better manage their books and give them a place to store all sorts of information from all sorts of places.

The Government Communications Security Bureau and New Zealand Security Intelligence Service have put out the feelers for a reliable accounting and information system which will give them a common platform for 13 users in two business units, and another 80 staff across both agencies.

Through the government electronic tenders service they are looking for a preferred provider to align their financial management systems and software, which are currently different.

The system is expected to cover the agencies' accounting needs such as planning, budgeting, internal and external reporting, automation of workflows and business processes, providing Microsoft Excel functionality and electronically processing credit card transactions.

The intelligence agencies also want data warehousing capability to let them organise, manipulate and collate data "from disparate sources, with the ability to create simple, easy to access information for reporting or exporting or by use of other processes".

The SIS and GCSB also required the system have the ability to separate out access and sharing of information between multiple agencies, and be able to assign levels of security.

The inward-looking SIS had total expenditure of $40.7 million in the 2012 financial year, just under budget, while the GCSB, which is tasked with monitoring foreign threats to New Zealand, spent $56.1m, also within budget.

Both intelligence agencies published bare-bones financial statements in their respective annual reports.

The GCSB is rebuilding its reputation after it was found to have illegally intercepted communications as part of the arrest of internet mogul Kim Dotcom last year.

That led to an inquiry which found its inconsistent information management processes meant it probably didn't comply with the Public Records Act, and would struggle to meet statutory obligations set by the Official Information and Privacy Acts.


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