INDEPENDENT NEWS

Report Welcomed by Social Service Organisations

Published: Thu 6 Apr 2017 10:06 AM
Media Release 6 April 2017
Privacy Commissioner’s Report Welcomed by Social Service Organisations
“ComVoices welcomes the Privacy Comissioner’s report on Individual Client Level Data and endorses the recommendations, particularly the preferred option that MSD should consider alternative methods for accomplishing its goals”, said Trevor McGlinchey, ComVoices Spokesperson. “These recommendations are directly in line with the advice provided by ComVoices members to MSD and to Minister Tolley”.
“It is very important the families and individuals seeking support from community service providers can trust that their rights to privacy will not be breached and that no harm or misuse could result in the use of their personal information. This encourages early access to support and allows vulnerable families to grow into independence rather than being forced to hide their problems for fear that this information will be used against them or publicly shared”.
“Earlier, more direct engagement with providers of social services could have prevented the current situation arising. We have repeatedly offered to support MSD to develop alternative data gathering systems so they could better understand the high value of social services organisations and how these make a real difference for vulnerable people and communities”.
“The reported breakdown of the system proposed by MSD to collect the private information of social service clients illustrates the need for a more effective and better protected data system. It is evident that good governance and principles need to be developed across the public sector to support a coherent approach to the collection and analysis of relevant data. Community and iwi social services providers want to demonstrate the value and effectiveness of their services to all stakeholders, but not to the detriment of their clients. We welcome the support shown by the Privacy Commissioner for the expertise of Statistics NZ, which protects individual data within both legislative and ethical frameworks whilst delivering valuable data for analytics and research”.
“The establishment of the Ministry of Vulnerable Children Oranga Tamariki means a large proportion of government funded community services move to this new Ministry, however many services stay with MSD and Work and Income . The new Ministry is committed to working in partnership with community social service providers, we see this as an opportunity for a fresh start. Social services want to work collaboratively with government to support them to understand the huge value of the services they receive for their $330million a year investment”.
“ComVoices looks forward to engaging with the Minister of Children, social sector government ministries, the office of the Privacy Commission and the Government Chief Information Officer to develop ethical, high trust systems that respect an individual’s choice in sharing their personal data and can report on the effectiveness of social services”.
ends

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