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New Zealand Legislation@Your.Service

New Zealand Legislation@Your.Service: Government Signs Contract With Unisys

The Parliamentary Counsel Office has signed a contract with Unisys New Zealand Ltd as its implementation partner for the project to improve public access to legislation, the Attorney-General, Margaret Wilson, announced today.

With the signing of the contract, the PCO and Unisys can now begin work on designing the systems and processes that will make authoritative, accurate, and up-to-date versions of New Zealand legislation available without charge, through the internet.

Stage 1 of the project is expected to be completed by late November this year. That stage involves an analysis of the structure of New Zealand legislation, and the development of user requirements and functional specifications for a new drafting system, an electronic database of legislation, and electronic and hard copy legislation access systems. It will also involve the development of selection criteria for the acquisition of an electronic database of New Zealand legislation.

Unisys will be assisted in that work by Media Technology Limited, an Australian company specialising in publishing technology analysis, and which has done similar work for the New South Wales Parliamentary Counsel’s Office. In addition, four New Zealand legal publishers (Brookers, Butterworths/Status, CCH, and Legislation Direct) will provide technical assistance and advice.

Stage 2, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2002, involves the acquisition of an electronic database of New Zealand legislation, and the implementation of the systems needed to make that database available over the internet as well as a new drafting tool for law drafters.

“This project will significantly improve public access to legislation”, said Margaret Wilson.

"The right of the public to access legislation is a fundamental democratic right, and the State has a duty to facilitate that access.

"This project also shows how the objectives outlined in the Government’s E-Government strategy - to harness technology to provide the public with a better, more cost-effective, and efficient service - can be achieved by public service innovation".

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