Police: Government rush behind SAP contract, privacy breach

Tue, 03 Dec, 2019

“Police has now confirmed that it was put under serious time pressure by the Government when it handed the gun ‘buy-back’ database contract to German firm SAP”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The Government must now launch a full, independent investigation.

IT expert Victoria MacLennan told the Herald that Police handed the ‘buy-back’ database contract to German multinational SAP without giving any other firms a chance to bid for the contract, and that it was wrong to do so. MacLennan said that New Zealand software companies were disappointed when Police chose not to let them bid.

Tech commentator Ian Apperley said the time pressure the Government put Police under would have led to key risks being missed and a less-than-optimal testing regime. He called for full transparency on the process that led to the privacy breach.

“Police has confirmed that it was put under too much time pressure, saying: ‘The project was not put out to tender because of the time constraints…’

“The Government must now accept responsibility that its rush to pass Arms Amendment Act and put in place a six-month buy-back scheme was the ultimate cause of the privacy breach which saw the personal information of 37,000 firearms owners made available on the Police website.

“It must also launch an independent investigation into the privacy breach.

“ACT has always maintained that the rushed Arms Amendment Act would create unintended consequences and now we have the proof. Rushed law is bad law.

“That is why ACT is calling for an independent investigation, headed up by a retired District Court judge, in order to forensically examine the process that led to the privacy breach.

“The Prime Minister and Police Minister have repeatedly refused to accept any responsibility for this incident. Ministers are accountable to Parliament for ensuring their departments run properly and are required to account for the actions of a department when mistakes are made. The Government has done nothing of the sort.

“There must be full transparency and accountability in relation to this very serious issue.”