Systems and Security Review Terms of Reference
19 May 2006
Review of DPMC Systems and Security of Sensitive Information
Maarten Wevers, Chief Executive of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has appointed David Henry, a former Commissioner of the Inland Revenue Department and former Chief Electoral Officer, to review all of the systems in DPMC that are designed to ensure that sensitive information is handled with the required confidentiality and discretion.
“Although the State Services Commissioner’s report on the disclosure of the Stocktake review paper to Telecom released on Tuesday this week stated that ‘the systems operated by DPMC were appropriate and followed properly’, I want the DPMC review to be wider than the recommendations of that report.
“The trust and confidence of the Prime Minister and Ministers is of the utmost importance to the effective operation of the department and the purpose of the review is to ensure all the department’s systems are robust and effective.”
David Henry has been asked to carry out the review.
“David has been a long time public servant who has had a distinguished career, and who has the experience, judgement and the independence to carry out this review in a most objective manner. I would expect him to report to me in early July and for his findings to be made public soon after.”
Terms of Reference are attached
Review of Issues DPMC systems and practices in relation to the handling and security of sensitive information
The State Services Commissioner’s report on the investigation of the disclosure of commercially sensitive documents to Telecom earlier this month has recommended that
1. “DPMC considers its policies in relation to practices around the physical collection for disposal of classified documentation in light of the findings of this report and with particular regard to the ‘need to know principle’; and
2. DPMC considers steps taken to create copies of classified documentation for media release in light of the findings of this report in order to determine whether any additional policy or communications with Ministers on that issue may be appropriate.”
The Chief Executive wants both these recommendations to be pursued as a matter of urgency. In addition he wants to review all of the systems in DPMC that are designed to ensure that sensitive information is handled with the confidentiality and discretion it requires.
The purpose of the review is to ensure all the department’s systems are robust and effective going forward in an environment where the trust and confidence of the Prime Minister and Ministers is of the utmost importance.
The review process will involve:
1. Review and identify any areas for improvement in the manner in which DPMC handles its recruitment, selection, induction and staff awareness training procedures.
2. Review and identify any areas for improvement with regard to DPMC's internal security clearance policies and procedures, and staff induction/training and awareness on confidentiality of information and conflict of interest issues.
3. Review and assess DPMC's policies and practices in relation to the secure disposal of classified material.
4. Review and assess whether classified Cabinet papers are being handled, accessed and stored in Ministers' offices, departments and other agencies handling Cabinet material, in accordance with current guidelines; and identify if any improvements to current policies, procedures and guidance are required. *
5. Review and assess whether the application of the current security classification system is adequate for the protection of highly sensitive Cabinet material (of a public policy nature) and identify if any improvements to the system are required.
Note:(Items 4 and 5 of the review respond to a Cabinet directive of 8 May 2006 for these matters to be addressed).
6. Review and assess the procedures for providing copies of classified Cabinet papers for public release, following a decision by Ministers to release the material, and consider whether additional policies or guidance should be provided.
7. Recommend any changes to policies and operating procedures as appropriate.
* This will require consultation with SSC, Treasury and MED and their respective Minister’s offices and a small sample –e.g. a large and a small department – of others. It will also involve some consultation with agencies that routinely deal with highly sensitive material.
The review shall be undertaken by David Henry and should be completed by 30 June 2006.