The Government chief information officer is tendering for more suppliers to join a professional security services panel to help agencies manage privacy and security issues.

Set up in October last year, the open panel of 21 New Zealand and global companies is accredited to supply a range of security services to government agencies, which select the services they require.

"Agencies can use the panel to obtain external expertise and advice on the strength and suitability of their ICT security processes, or to test the security of their ICT systems," says Government chief technology officer Tim Occleshaw.

The open panel is being re-tendered regularly to give companies on the panel the opportunity to meet the criteria for more services, and to allow other companies to join the panel.

Services available include risk management (including privacy risk management advice), privacy impact assessments, security consulting and review, network and application testing, and certification and assurance.

The panel is mandatory for public and non-public service departments and is available to other State services. So far, nine agencies are using the panel and 11 more have committed to do so.