Design and development work is now underway on the resuscitated Public Access to Legislation project, says deputy chief parliamentary counsel Geoff Lawn. The project, he says, is still on track for completion in late 2006 early 2007 as originally envisaged when PAL was relaunched almost a year ago (Computerworld, April 18, 2005, page 3).
PAL is designed to provide free online access to the definitive version of New Zealand laws and regulations and to print them from the same database. Its reassessment followed delays and escalation in the cost of the project and disputes between the client, the Parliamentary Counsel Office, and provider Unisys.
Prior to recommencing development, a revised specification was completed and signed off, a proof of concept of new system components, particularly the printing engine, has been undertaken, and a “spotlight review” of the project schedule and deliverables done, Lawn says. The PCO and Unisys expect to give a further progress bulletin in March.
Before the formal relaunch last March, Computerworld attempted to ascertain the situation and obtain pertinent documents through an Official Information Act request, but the PCO has a blanket exemption from the Act and does not have to provide media or the public more information than it wishes to.