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Review into MSD tech failure ordered

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/04/2017

An independent expert will review the Ministry of Social Development's IT system after a fault could have resulted in people's private information being shared.

Last week there was a glitch in the department's client-level data system, which includes a portal where service providers can upload private information.

The glitch meant one provider was able to view another provider's folder. The folder was empty but the system was shut down to prevent a repeat.

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says the independent review is due to report back later this month.

"It's important clients and providers have confidence that their information is protected and that the government has a robust IT system," she said.

The review will also look at management of the portal project and security steps taken.

The Public Service Association has welcomed the review but national organiser Glenn Barclay remains unconvinced the gains of non-government organisations providing MSD with sensitive data about vulnerable families outweigh the risks.

"Regardless of the findings of the review, we hope this gives the minister pause to reflect on whether this system should exist at all," he said.

Labour's social development spokeswoman Carmel Sepuloni said the review should have been done first.

"The minister is going about this data collection backwards," she said.

"Her independent review comes after budgeting services have already had data sharing requirements written into their contracts, and were already compelled to upload sensitive information onto a faulty data sharing system," she said.

Former Deloitte NZ consultant, Murray Jack, and two IT and privacy specialists from Deloitte and PwC will carry out the review.

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