Transport Ministry checks out data adviser

A Ministry of Transport request for proposal for a data/software protection adviser does not necessarily signal a move away from current adviser Arthur Andersen, the ministry says.

A Ministry of Transport request for proposal for a data/software protection adviser does not necessarily signal a move away from current adviser Arthur Andersen, the ministry says.

Certainly it signifies no dissatisfaction with the way Andersen has been doing the job, says the ministry's principal adviser, Conrad Petersen.

The data and software in question pertain to motor vehicle licensing and revenue management, tasks the ministry has contracted out to the Land Transport Safety Authority.

The adviser’s role is to ensure the data is managed and kept accessible in such a way that the ability to manage road user charges, motor vehicle registration and licensing and to enforce compliance with relevant law is maintained, and that there is continuity of service. There should also be protection against the software being changed or the data used for other purposes without the Secretary for Transport’s consent.

“If you’re outsourcing something, and spending public money on it, you need periodically to run the rule over what you’re doing, who’s doing it, how, and how much it’s costing,” Petersen says. “It’s standard government policy.”

The adviser’s function has been in place since 1997, he says. It has not always been run by Andersen.

The closing date for responses to the RFP, which was advertised on Sunday, is March 30. The current contract with Andersen terminates on June 30.

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