Unpaid bill shuts down parliament expense system in January

An invoice for 2FA service was missed by the Department of Finance.
22 February 2024
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A hearing of the Senate Public Finance and Administration Committee revealed the outage of the Parliamentary Expense Management System (PEMS) was due to an unpaid invoice.

The Department of Finance’s first assistant secretary for business enabling services Tracey Carroll revealed the issue in response to questions from Liberal senator Jane Hume.

Carroll admitted to Hume an unpaid invoice was the cause: the 2FA software the department uses for PEMS is billed in advance rather than in arrears, so when it wasn’t paid, the unnamed provider cut off access to the software.

The 15 hour outage occurred on January 23.

At the hearing last week, Carroll told the committee there had been a change in the provider’s billing arrangements, which contributed to the outage.

“We had identified there was a billing issue, that we hadn’t been charged appropriately,” she said, which was being “worked through” when access to the 2FA software was cut off.

The billing arrangement has now been changed: “We’ve got arrangements in place so that we are billed in arrears in future," Carroll said.

- CyberBeat


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