Social Development Minister Paula Bennett expects the independent investigation into Work and Income computer systems to give the public assurances that security is robust and private information is safe.
“I’m deeply disappointed information which should have been secure has been accessed, the public has a right to expect more of a government agency,” says Mrs Bennett.
“I’ve demanded answers as to how a journalist managed to gain access to files and I am appalled that it was possible, even with a level of skill.”
Experts have been working since last night on computer kiosks to find the problem, which they have now done but the kiosks will not reopen until the system can be guaranteed as secure.
“It is unacceptable for information of this nature to be accessible and it is absolutely vital the Ministry of Social Development fix this issue in the first instance and ensure there aren’t any other possible security gaps elsewhere.”
“An independent investigation will look into all aspects of security, reaching back to when the kiosks used by the public were installed. This investigation will get underway immediately,” says Mrs Bennett.
“I have spoken to the Chief Executive of MSD and sought an assurance that systems are secure and I expect him to work hard to restore the public’s confidence in the Department’s management of information.”