Tuesday, October 19, 2010

ICS on the line, the Australian public port to plug losses

Recently, the focus of the global information industry one of the Customs, the Australian Customs latest "integration of cargo clearance system" (Integrated Cargo System, ICS) has just started running a lot of problems that occurred. According to Australian media reports, the new system resulted in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and other port cargo backlog of serious - including toys, clothing, medicines and even the much-needed plasma of patients included a variety of goods can not be accumulated in the port customs clearance time, which makes Australia daily loss of more than 2 million Australian dollars, the total losses estimated at more than 250 million Australian dollars (new information system itself cost 200 million Australian dollars).


It is understood that the original Australian Customs clearance system has been put into use up to 20 years. To improve security, this year October 12, ICS replace the original four systems --- "EXIT system", "air cargo automation system", "sea cargo automation system" and "COMPILE system." According to the plan, launched after the new system, shippers and brokers can be accessed worldwide Australian Customs related websites for import and export cargoes customs clearance procedures, but it also the same window Fangwen number of government departments web site (single sign); for Customs and other relevant departments, the integration of new systems to improve tracking of goods and dangerous goods, the ability to identify potentially dangerous goods for the recognition system designed to give a higher priority. ICS is the Australian Customs "cargo management system, process reengineering" (CMR) part. Known as Australia's largest e-government project to date CMR system, it has been building for 10 years. The ICS was founded in 2003, is the last and largest CMR in a module. ICS initial budget of 25 million Australian dollars, but the system has been spent for the construction of 200 million Australian dollars.

Australian Customs CMR with the Australian Quarantine Bureau, Bureau of Statistics and other 12 government departments linked to the exchange of information. Whole system is based on IBM's z series mainframes, from IOCORE companies and design applications, NCR, IBM offers professional services, Cybertrust offers PKI software, Novell provides identity management and directory management software, VeriSign company GateKeeper modules, EDS, is the Customs outsourcing partner.

ICS is very complex, with 23,000 function points, use ZOS operating system running on, CICS environment on OS390 mainframe database using DB2 system. Integrated Cargo Clearance System has up to 19,000 of the design documents, user interface 800 interfaces, 16 000 business rules, 70 types of complex business messages, 850 database tables, 3700 executable module, 1800 CICS transaction type, 55 a batch task, the 90 statements and 35 system interface (according to data released by the end of 2004).

CMR and the user interface system called Customs Connect Facility, the prototype system for the IBM e-business application J2EE, WS-Security (SAML), XML, UN / EDIFACT D99B and the recommended structure of LDAP technology. In 2001, Australia CMR system through legislation to determine the safety and security agencies using PKI system.

Information disclosure, the process delay

Although more than two years elaborate design, but after running ICS or to expose a series of information security issues --- the owner and the broker can see some of the information submitted by other companies, some of which information should be public. In the media coverage of this incident, the Australian Customs claims quickly fix this vulnerability. But Australia's "Computer World" magazine got the news they showed ICS include the price of goods, including disclosure of sensitive information are still in the state. Among the data the user entered into the system, in certain circumstances even be mistakenly sent to other companies, resulting in information disclosure. Interestingly, according to the relevant provisions of Australia, the system has been put into use before the adoption of information security assessment of the relevant institutions.

In addition to information disclosure issue is more serious is the user's online customs procedures to be seriously delayed, and some online brokers in the basic customs formalities had to spend 5 hours long. General cargo, general manager of Australia complained that the new system to run the company since their ability to lower cargo handling by 19.6%, he thought the Web-based ICS for large freight company is not suitable, because its speed can not meet the large companies needs.

Australia and many agents complained that the owner: The new systems use cumbersome procedures, operational speed and the speed of electronic data interchange are unusually slow. Air Cargo Centre, Melbourne, Australia, full of goods, part of the goods along the roads and more forced. Led to the Australian Customs and the Australian Federation of International Freight Forwarding agent (Australian Federation of International Forwarders), Australia Freight Forwarders Association held an emergency meeting at the end of October to discuss countermeasures.


Consulting business: a new system for the performance of the Australian Customs, Gartner, a research pointed out that for many large information systems, the greatest challenge is not technical issues, but put to use the occasion to allow users to fully prepared and accepted the system.

Involving different users are all kinds of large-scale information systems, the Australian Customs for this system of project management in a problem is inadequate attention to user training, only a few days time for brokers familiar with the system, resulting in inefficient use of the future really. Also causes a significant delay: a new system to improve the accuracy of that for the data requirements of the data is not all meet the requirements of the request will be refused treatment, 杩欎竴 changes now that the Henduo users within a short time is difficult to Shi Ying - Haiguanyuanyou the Compile System requirements for data accuracy is not so strict.

Brokers Association: 3.3 million Australian Customs declarations per year, 95% of broker applications. The ICS is running, the broker associations have long suspected the maturity of the new system. However, in September 2005, Customs head Lionel Woodward in reply to Australia Freight Forwarders Association challenged the system said: "The system has undergone functional testing, stress testing, on October 12 on the line no problem." Freight Forwarders Association of Australia head Steve Morris believes that the incident was the association since its inception in 1904, 100 years of the most serious crisis.

Ports and shipping companies: New South Wales port officials announced: two of Australia's most important port cargo capacity has been reduced to the standard capacity of 30%, of which Port Botany backlog of goods estimated to Christmas can not resolve. It is understood that the port in the normal state of daily value of goods by more than 100 million Australian dollars. The importer of the goods stored in the port backlog cost 150 Australian dollars per container per day. Australian Customs will compensate the owner for the charges, but the indirect loss of business opportunities for delay and loss for the owner is no compensation scheme.

Port that the ICS's on-line time is out of date. Australia general manager of shipping company once so that the reason for Christmas every year by the end of September, October, November is the busiest Australian Customs during this time to introduce the new system is not appropriate.

Australian Customs: Australian Customs head Lionel Woodward said: "We expect the new system will be problems, but did not anticipate the extent (so serious). We did not expect that the number of user input error message to plug the system." Customs More than 200 people have been dispatched to ensure 24-hour system used for the user to answer the question. Integrated cargo clearance system clogging, the Australian Customs information department was busy repairing the system, and has postponed the construction of several other information systems, including the personnel system (originally scheduled for August 2005 tender), the electronic file system ( scheduled for bidding in September 2005) and network storage systems. Early November, the Australian Government announced the outgoing head of the Customs incumbent, led by the Australian tax authorities have been successful information technology executives take over the tax department.


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