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Individual blame game over privacy breaches disappointing

2 November 2012
Individual blame game over privacy breaches disappointing - PSA

The Public Service Association says it would be disappointing if systemic failures at the Ministry of Social Development are to be blamed on just four individuals.

The Ministry has said four employment investigations have been launched following the report into major privacy breaches at Work and Income public kiosks.

“It’s hard to believe that with a large IT project such as this, that any problems can boil down to just four people,” says PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott.

“At this stage we don’t have any information on who or where the investigation is targeted but responsibility for these projects would naturally lie at a number of levels.”

The PSA is pleased a second report will be looking into the broader issues around the security of the Ministry’s information systems and the culture within the organisation.
Brenda Pilott says the context in which these privacy breaches are occurring is important.

“In the haste to meet the government’s public service priorities – one of which is to make greater use of public access to technology - government departments are being put under enormous pressure to rollout new IT and information-sharing systems within very tight timeframes, and in the face of staffing and funding cutbacks.”

“We hope this second inquiry will take a wider look at whether issues such as timeframes or resourcing, contributed in any way to the Work and Income security breach, rather than simply playing a blame game with individual staff.”

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