Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Bills to improve and safeguard information sharing passed


Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Justice

21 February 2013 Media Statement
Bills to improve and safeguard information sharing passed

Legislation to improve information sharing between agencies that deliver public services has passed its final reading in Parliament today.

Justice Minister Judith Collins says the new laws will clarify and improve the rules around how government agencies share personal information, while ensuring safeguards are in place to protect individual’s privacy.

“These changes pave the way for better services for all New Zealanders, from improving our ability to protect vulnerable children, to reducing duplication and information handling costs.

“The new laws give greater flexibility and certainty about when and how public services providers can share information, and reinforces their obligations to safeguard people’s privacy,” Ms Collins says.

The Privacy Act will be amended to allow new information sharing agreements between government agencies, and between government agencies and non-government organisations that deliver public services.

The changes also ensure that agencies (such as medical professionals, social workers, Police, Civil Defence and others) can share personal information to address serious threats to public health or safety, or when a person’s life or health is threatened. Previously a threat had to be both “serious and imminent”.

“In some cases, serious threats to lives, safety or health are not going to eventuate immediately, but waiting until the last minute risks leaving too much to chance and putting people in harm’s way. It does not make sense to keep information about a serious threat secret, just because that threat is not about to happen,” Ms Collins says.

In earlier stages of the Parliamentary process, the legislation was known as the Privacy (Information Sharing) Bill, but it was split into the three bills during the recent Committee of the Whole House stage. The three bills are the Privacy Amendment Bill, the Tax Administration Amendment Bill, and the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Amendment Bill.

The two latter Bills clear the way for the Inland Revenue Department and the Department of Internal Affairs to use approved information sharing agreements. Without the new Bills, existing legislation would restrict their ability to use such agreements.

The Bills are part of the Government’s wider reform of privacy legislation, including the Privacy Act 1993. The Government has previously announced it will repeal and re-enact the Privacy Act, once it finishes considering recommendations from the Law Commission’s recent review.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Midwives On Pay Equity: Historic Bill Of Rights Case For High Court

“We have been left with no choice.” That from Karen Guilliland, the Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives, as the organisation prepares to file a pay parity discrimination case on the basis of gender under the NZ Bill of Rights Act in the High Court. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Children’s Commission Report On CYF

Accusing the overworked and underfunded staff at Child, Youth and Family of a “dump and run culture of neglect” is the kind of luxury that a Children’s Commissioner can afford to indulge in from his own comfy perch in the bureaucracy. More>>

ALSO:

Mt Eden Prison: Serco Inquiry Extended

A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. More>>

ALSO:

Health And Safety: Late Addition Of National Security Provisions A Concern

The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its significant concerns at the last-minute addition to the Health and Safety Reform Bill of provisions for a closed material procedure for court proceedings where national security is involved. More>>

ALSO:

Rugby And Beer: World Cup Alcohol Bill Passes

ACT MP David Seymour’s Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Extended licensing hours during Rugby World Cup) Bill completed its third reading by 99 to 21... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news