Bennett accused of leaking Bailey's name
Wed, 17 Oct 2012 5:58a.m.
By RadioLIVE / 3 News online staff
Opposition MPs claims Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is at it again – releasing private details about WINZ claimants to journalists.
Ms Bennett is refuting allegations she tipped off a newspaper reporter about the identity of privacy whistleblower, Ira Bailey, after he exposed flaws in Work and Income(WINZ) IT systems.
But Ms Bennett has done a similar thing in the past, releasing the weekly benefit details of a solo mother who challenged a National Party policy.
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei wants a forensic investigation of the computers in Ms Bennett's office.
"The minister has unapologetically breached the Privacy Act and released private information about beneficiaries in the past," says Ms Turei.
"She has set the culture that you don't have to protect privacy in the Ministry of Social Development on WINZ."
Ms Bennett denies the accusations and that, to the best of her knowledge, the leak didn't come from her office. Mr Bailey effectively outed himself as the whistleblower after getting calls from a journalist.
Ms Bennett was rapped over the knuckles by the Human Rights Commission earlier this year for releasing the benefit details of a WINZ client in 2009.
She however refused to apologise.
Ms Turei doesn't think the minister can be trusted.
"The breaches, in this case from her office, really raise questions about her leadership. She has clearly shown leadership to her ministry officials and staff that they don't need to care for, respect or protect privacy."
Consultancy firm Deloitte will be conducting an investigation into the WINZ computer system.
The problems were first detected early last year by IT company Dimension Data. The ministry was informed at the time, but nothing was done.
"Dimension Data raised issues with MSD, MSD paid them $10,000 to do that and then did nothing to follow up the problems they identified,” says Labour social development spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern.
Beneficiary advocates say they also told the ministry about the problems last year, but were ignored.
3 News / RadioLIVE
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17/10/2012 12:53:08 p.m.
@Andrew: So you would be quite happy if people were looking through your private information, would you? Seeing what you have claimed and who you are involved with and what you have been doing and goodness knows what else? This is not muck raking, this is serious. If anyone could get hold of this info, just imagine the opportunities for blackmail, and worse. It is incredible and unforgivable, but IT SUMS UP THIS CORRUPT GOVT - slapdash and uncaring.
17/10/2012 12:46:55 p.m.
Bennett is one of the best ministers we have. takes no crap. I say knight her. Most of you are too PC and life in a dream world.
17/10/2012 12:20:06 p.m.
More muck raking by a desperate opposition !! Why don't they just get on and do a good decent days work to earn their pay !!
17/10/2012 12:14:40 p.m.
There would appear to be multiple flaws in the online security system that the government is set to roll out within various agencies, that along with the insistence that we use Hauwei as the provider of our ultra-fast broadband as the provider company of choice should have all New Zealander's fearful of the long-term repercussions for online security of all our ISP networks. After all this government will not be around long enough to be accountable in the future. Paula Bennett should should find the culprit/s and sack them immediately, or resign her position as minister as she too has breached the privacy rights of those that are on the WINZ system which seems a little too easy for case workers, team leaders of WINZ to do the same and for a while any dogs body that wanted to.
17/10/2012 11:55:32 a.m.
Bennett must go NOW and the MSD senior management team must resign. This security breach could have endangered thousands of people. It is unforgivable. Dole queue for Bennett.
17/10/2012 11:44:51 a.m.
National Day of Protest? Maybe Labour and the Greens can organise and fund some buses to decend on parliment from around the country. @ Chargone - you are right the polls are wrong - last election 3 polls had National consistently at 51% to 53% +/- 3% Actual result was 47% which was outside the margin of error.If people knew it was that close many more would have voted I'm sure.
17/10/2012 11:35:13 a.m.
common-sense loses wrote:
so let me get this straight people are upset that she might have outed the activist who outer Winz computers another waste of time and effort that could be focused towards computer security keeping in mind that people can hack into the Pentagon and other such high-security departments how will we ever stop it if the crooks are that keen to break in especially when its all a political game by the Greens and Labour and so on. Your telling me that nothing dodgey happened in nine years of Labour memories are short move on and focus on making NZ great
17/10/2012 11:14:30 a.m.
Meteria Turei doesn't let the truth get in the way of a good story. I don't believe Paula Bennet would make that mistake twice.
They hired a so called reputable company to give the system a thorough check for any faults and they approved it, the minister can't be blamed for that. Anyone could have a hundred reasons for blowing the whistle.
17/10/2012 10:51:12 a.m.
Get rid of her she is an absolute disgrace to NZ. This National government is destroying NZ. We need a vote of no confidence THEY MUST GO.
17/10/2012 10:42:03 a.m.
By trying to show up the messenger just shows how useless Bennett is. Its clear she cant do the job. More stuff ups by national. GET OUT
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