The Ministry of Social Development held an "Integrity Week", providing staff with "scenario cards" to highlight risks around information security in March, almost a year after it failed to act on a reported security flaw which saw sensitive information accessed by a member of the public, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.
"So, we have a ministry, overseen by a minister who was found to have breached a client’s privacy - and who says she wouldn’t rule out doing so again - and which has just today been implicated in yet more breaches, holding an ‘Integrity Week’. I hope the irony is not lost on Paula Bennett, and that she takes recent breaches seriously.
"And it is serious. Already this year there has been at least 10 reported incidents involving information leaks and security breaches, and that’s not including the issue with the self-service kiosks.
"Just today - the same day it is being reported that paperwork listing beneficiaries' names and the type of benefit they receive was handed to a Masterton Work and Income client - I have been informed of another person being given a list of jobs by a case manager, only to find when they returned home that the papers included a document with the personal details of another client. I am told that Work and Income identified that the page was missing, called the client, and drove to their home to retrieve the document.
"Mistakes happen, but there is also a tipping point where mistakes become so regular that they start to undermine public confidence.
"Rather than simply looking to blame individuals Ms Bennett should broaden her investigation into what is looking more and more like a systemic problem," Jacinda Ardern said.
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