If Randal Jackson thinks that the New Zealand Customs Service has awarded a tender to Hewlett-Packard, he is misinformed (Computerworld, 30 July).
Firstly, as explained to your reporter, Customs has not as yet awarded tenders to any company.
The statement by your reporter, “Customs won’t confirm the contract at this stage...” is indeed misleading. Customs clearly provided a written response to your reporter, that no such contract had been awarded.
Secondly, the claim that HP is believed to have won a contract to provide initial planning for the replacement of CusMod is wrong. Customs has selected a number of potential providers who may be called upon to provide resources.
Finally, Customs is obliged to go through a formal tender process, just like any other government department. The current law gives Customs a clear responsibility to approve and publish any tender agreements that it deems suitable. The misinformation you printed in the article is now causing disruption at Customs with applicants calling us, thinking an announcement on the successful tender has been published.
I would appreciate it if your reporter in future stuck to the information provided by Customs rather than pegging his facts upon an obviously unreliable source.
New Zealand Customs Service
Jackson replies: Computerworld was told by one of the unsuccessful bidders that Hewlett-Packard had won the deal. McKenzie would neither confirm nor deny, saying the “appropriate” place to announce the successful bidder was on the GETS tender site. In a subsequent email, McKenzie said there was “no preferred provider at this stage”. Verbally she told Computerworld an announcement would be made at the end of the week. We still await that announcement.