Headlines: June 6th, 2002

There’s been a warning that the Inland Revenue’s forced suspension of its online tax filing system may be the first of many such episodes in the rush to get public services online.The Inland Revenue had to suspend its online tax filing system last week after a possible security lapse. Users reported seeing snippets of information about other taxpayers.

The online service will remain out of use until technical staff have completed an investigation.

Integralis, leaders in content security for networks, says one reason for the system’s problems might be inadequate prior testing of the system to ensure tight security.

It says that to avoid such problems government departments should apply full systems auditing before they are allowed to operate live. It acknowledges this is a major undertaking and will increase timescales to get new e-government services on line.

However, it says this may be a better alternative than the repair work required on customer faith, once a system has suffered a glitch.