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Public Access to Legislation - Supplementary Info

1 April 2005
Public Access to Legislation (PAL) Project
Supplementary information

This release provides further information on the financial aspects of the resumption of the PAL Project, as announced in the PCO/Unisys media statement of 16 March 2005.

What will the project cost to complete?

The original Government approval of the project in 2000 was based on an estimated cost of $5.19 million (GST inclusive) to complete the project, and ongoing operating costs estimated at $0.782 million (GST inclusive). Cabinet approval of the project required the project to be reviewed and resubmitted to the Government if it became apparent that the overall cost of the project would exceed the approved funding, or that the PCO was unable to acquire an electronic database of New Zealand legislation on acceptable terms.

The PCO selected Unisys New Zealand Limited as its implementation partner for the project. The project was to be undertaken in 2 stages. Stage 1 of the project, completed at the end of 2001, involved the development of user requirements and functional specifications, the evaluation and selection of the key technology components of the new system, and the selection of an electronic database of New Zealand legislation for purchase by the New Zealand Government.

The PCO paid Unisys $0.697 million (GST inclusive) for Stage 1. The price for Stage 2 was to be agreed at the end of Stage 1, based on the results of the evaluation and selection of the technology to be implemented in Stage 2, and the cost of acquiring the database of legislation.

As a result of the work undertaken in Stage 1, the original cost estimates for the project were revised. The total cost of implementation was identified at $8.174 million (GST inclusive), and the ongoing operational costs at $1.13 million (GST inclusive). In February 2002, the Government approved additional funding of $2.983 million (GST inclusive) for the completion of the project, and additional ongoing funding of $0.348 million (GST inclusive). The PCO agreed to pay Unisys $5.65 million (GST inclusive) for the completion of Stage 2.

Under the commercial settlement between the PCO and Unisys that has enabled the project to resume, the PCO and Unisys will share the additional costs of completing the project. The PCO will pay Unisys an additional $3.037 million (GST inclusive) to complete the PAL Project to agreed time and quality criteria. When the PAL Project is completed, Unisys will house and maintain the new PAL system on behalf of the PCO at its Kapiti Data Centre.

The Cabinet has approved extra funding for the PCO to cover the additional payment to Unisys, the project management, independent quality assurance, and other costs of completing the project, and to cover the estimated ongoing costs of operating the new PAL system. This funding consists of a total capital contribution of $6.181 million for the 2005/06 and 2006/07 financial years, and a total of $9.104 million (GST inclusive) of operational expenditure for the 2004/05, 2005/06, and 2006/07 financial years. The operational expenditure includes an amount to cover the cost of continuing the current arrangement with Legislation Direct for the provision of prepublication services, and the current arrangement with Brookers for the provision of the Interim Website of New Zealand Legislation, during the 2004/05 financial year and subsequent financial years until the PAL Project is completed. The amount of the additional funding for operating the PAL system after the project is completed is not being disclosed at this time, as a number of the components that make up the total costs are commercially sensitive.

What has been the overall cost of the delay to the project?

The overall costs incurred by the PCO as a result of the delay in the PAL Project are approximately $7.371 million (GST inclusive) for the period 1 March 2003 to 17 March 2005.

Reviews of the PAL Project

The PCO costs associated with the reviews of the project total $216,059. This includes the 2 reviews undertaken by InQuirion Pty Ltd: the Technical Review at a total cost to PCO of $172,253 and the Review of Alternative Print Rendering Engines at a cost of $43,806. A review of a revised project plan was undertaken by HeXaD Consulting and paid for by the State Services Commission.

Interim arrangements

Interim arrangements entered into as a consequence of the delay have cost the PCO approximately $6.27 million (GST inclusive). This includes the provision of the Interim Website of New Zealand Legislation by Brookers Ltd, and the provision of pre-publication services by Legislation Direct. Part of the additional operational funding referred to above is to cover the costs of these arrangements for the part of the 2004/05 financial year during which the project was delayed.

Other costs

Other costs that contribute to the overall costs incurred by the PCO as a result of the delay in the PAL Project and not included in the above categories total approximately $0.881 million (GST inclusive). These include project management services, legal services, independent quality assurance services and technical advice, and the cost of hosting arrangements for the proposed new PAL website.


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