Parliament's Public Accounts and Audit Committee resolved today to reopen its inquiry into the integrity of electronic information held by the Commonwealth. This inquiry will now run in parallel with the Committee�s inquiry into Aviation Security.
Public Accounts and Audit Committee Chairman, Mr Bob Charles MP said: "The security of confidential information on government computers is of ongoing concern for all Australians and critically so when it relates to aviation security.
�The decision to reopen the inquiry has arisen from the Committee�s disappointment at learning about IT security breaches through the media, rather than from government officials who were giving evidence to the Committee.
�On 4th September the Committee took evidence from the Australian Customs Service for the Aviation Security inquiry only to find out, on the following day, that there had been a major theft of IT equipment at a Customs facility adjacent to Sydney Airport.
�At the same hearing, the Committee took evidence from the Department of Transport and Regional Services, only to hear the following week about a computer theft from one of their secure offices in Canberra.
�The Committee will recall officials from both agencies and others so that its Members can receive full briefings on the incidents. The Committee will hold both public and confidential hearings to investigate the matters.
�It becomes a matter of national importance when confidential security related information can be taken from supposedly secure locations.
�As the Parliamentary Committee charged with responsibility for reporting to Parliament on the accountability of the public service and the Executive, we take these matters very seriously.�
Issued by: House of Representatives Liaison & Projects Office, Wednesday 10 September 2003
It's always embarrassing when you get mainframes stolen from your airport security centre. It's even more embarrassing when you forget to tell the parliamentary inquiry into avaiation security about the theft. I wonder if anyone's mentioned this to Messrs Bush and Hu?