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Dunne: software corruption issue behind IRD email issue

Hon Peter Dunne

Minister of Revenue

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Dunne: software corruption issue behind IRD email issue

Revenue Minister Peter Dunne today said he was very disappointed that a software corruption issue has forced Inland Revenue to suspend all inbound and outbound email, but the department was correctly putting the privacy and secrecy of taxpayer information as its top priority.

The software corruption issue led to the incorrect release of 182 emails to 47 recipients, when ‘to and from’ fields in emails were automatically changed at 1.19pm. It is not known at this stage if any of the misdirected emails contained confidential taxpayer information.

“The department is investigating this at the same time as it is working around the clock on getting to the bottom of what went wrong with the software and fixing it,” Mr Dunne said.

He said that neither Inland Revenue’s FIRST computer system nor human error were involved in any form.

“While this kind of issue is most unfortunate, Inland Revenue has responded quickly and well, and has informed the Government Chief Information Officer, the Privacy Commissioner and will be making contact with all parties affected,” he said.

“The department’s primary concern and mine as Minister is the integrity of our tax system, and above all, the security of tax payer information.”

Mr Dunne said there was never a good time for something like this to occur, but the fact that it was on a Friday afternoon is allowing the department to work on fixing it over the weekend.

“We cannot put a timeline on when this will be resolved, but ideally the system will be fixed and up again by the time the business week resumes on Monday.


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