16 October 2012

The State Services Commissioner and Head of State Services, Iain Rennie, today officially tasked the Government Chief Information Office (GCIO), Colin McDonald, to undertake an urgent review of publicly-accessible systems operated by State Services.

“The Work and Income kiosk security failure has been a serious breach of the trust that New Zealanders place in their government.  It is imperative that government takes the lead to ensure the public and in repairing the damage that has been done to this trust,” Mr Rennie said.

As GCIO and Chief Executive of the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), Mr McDonald will be contacting government agencies in the first instance to seek assurances that their current systems are robust.

“In keeping with the increase in responsibility of his role, the GCIO will lead Public Service agencies in evaluating and strengthening their ICT security measures to ensure that there are no systemic faults that could cause additional security issues,” Mr Rennie said.

“Since the findings of the Privacy Commission report in August on the handling of private material held by ACC, the State Services Commission have been considering a wider role for the GCIO across the system.”

“The use of technology to further improve access to public services is essential but this needs to be delivered while ensuring personal information is protected,” Mr Rennie said.

Media enquiries:  Lisa-Marie Richan, Director, SSC Communications 021 244 1361