5 Dec 2012

Corrections admits more privacy breaches

10:53 pm on 5 December 2012

The head of Corrections has admitted to two more privacy breaches in which his staff faxed sensitive files to the wrong place, but denies his department is struggling with information handling.

Radio New Zealand has revealed that the government department accidentally faxed a man's entire criminal record to a small west Auckland removal business.

The Labour Party obtained the confidential five-page document which was sent from the Henderson probation office and lists convictions dating back to 1999.

Corrections intended the criminal record to go to an addiction help programme, but it ended up with the removal business.

The department's chief executive told the Law and Order Select Committee on Wednesday the latest mistake is regrettable and follows two other cases this year involving records being sent to the wrong place by fax.

Ray Smith says he is not sure of the details in the two cases, but in both instances the wrong button was pushed and the information was retrieved within an hour or so.

He says Corrections doesn't have a problem with information handling, but because it has a large workforce, from time to time things will be sent to the wrong place.

But the Labour Party says that is simply not good enough and it is looking for a far less cavalier approach from Mr Smith.

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says she plans to ask officials whether information can be shared in a more secure way.