PUTRAJAYA: The Central Database Hub (PADU) system was fully developed with civil servants’ expertise because getting external parties involved would pose a greater risk of data leakage, said Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli (pix).

He said the old model of appointing vendors or private companies to develop integrated applications for the government is also no longer suitable as it limits the government’s ability to control the system, including to swiftly resolve problems which arise.

Clarifying several arising issues on PADU, Rafizi said among the priorities of PADU was to use internal expertise in the form of civil servants to develop a solid system, taking advantage of the fact that they are bound by the Official Secrets Act 1972 (Act 88).

“If they breach the act (Act 88), they can be charged. But if it involves third parties, they are not bound by all this,” he told a press conference here today.

Rafizi said using civil servants to develop PADU would allow the system to be upgraded faster as private companies are tied by contracts with limited access.

Asked about consumer complaints like difficulty in accessing the system, Rafizi said it was normal for newly developed applications to face teething technical problems.

“...even Apple (iOs), Amazon, Netflix and Microsoft need updates because all products will always have room for improvement,” he said.

He said that before its launch, PADU was evaluated and audited by a team of experts to ensure the security and protection of data as recommended by the National Economic Action Council.

As of 4 pm today, 516,168 consumers have registered with PADU and of this number, 261,158 have completed the e-KYC (electronic Know-Your-Customer) process, with Selangor having the most sign-ups, he said.

“Among the problems encountered by consumers so far is the issue of user familiarity with the system like filling in data, camera not functioning and caches not being cleared,” he said.

He gave an assurance that this matter would continue to be addressed through the hotline and other channels to be opened later.

Rafizi said the authorities would focus on areas with a lower registration pattern in PADU, such as the rural areas and groups which are not digitally literate, to ensure the issue of subsidy leakages could be tackled.

Asked about human rights organisation Lawyers for Liberty’s (LFL) call for the government to postpone the PADU implementation until the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) 2010 is amended, Rafizi said the suggestion is not logical because data held by government agencies is still regulated by certain legislation.

“If we were to follow the comments of LFL, we would have to close the National Registration Department and Immigration Department because the data collected by PADU is not new. As we speak, our data is already in the government database,“ he added. -Bernama