19 Apr 2016

Agency information sharing not a risk - English

12:52 pm on 19 April 2016

A data-sharing scheme to help government agencies and social groups protect people would not risk privacy or security, Finance Minister Bill English says.

Bill English during caucus run 1.03.16

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Mr English outlined the plan to increase data sharing between agencies and NGOs at Parliament today at the third in a series of data hui.

He said increasing access to data would not be at the expense of security or risk people's privacy.

As an example, Mr English said Children's Teams, a service which uses staff from various agencies, had battled to get information about vulnerable children.

"Working out what information the policeman can share with the nurse and what they can share with the social worker, and whether the teacher is allowed to know any of it ... when you see these bad cases where there's been terrible things happen to kids, often people knew the story in bits, but no one could see the whole story, and if they could've, they could have saved that child."

Until now, government departments had been reluctant to share information, he said, and better guidelines were needed.