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Audrey Young

Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

Inquiry into ACC privacy breach

Dr Smith's involvement in the case is not part of the newly announced inquiry. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Dr Smith's involvement in the case is not part of the newly announced inquiry. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner and the ACC Board have jointly commissioned an inquiry into the privacy breach in which information about more than 6000 claims was emailed to ACC claimant Bronwyn Pullar.

KPMG and Integrity Solutions Pty Ltd (IIS) led by former Australian Federal Privacy Commissioner Malcolm Crompton have been commissioned to conduct the inquiry.

New Zealand Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff said the inquiry would look into the circumstances surrounding the particular incident.

"The inquiry will also look more widely at whether systemic or organisations weaknesses exist in the way personal information is handled by ACC."

The privacy breach occurred in August last year.

Bronwyn Pullar and her advocate Michelle Boag, a former National Party president, met with ACC senior manager Philip Murch in December last year to discuss it and the breach was publicised last week.

Former ACC minister Nick Smith resigned from cabinet this week after the Herald revealed he had written a reference for Ms Pullar last year and personally handled a complaint about her case in 2010.

Dr Smith's involvement in the case is not part of the newly announced inquiry.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has been involved in finalising the terms of reference and suggesting Mr Crompton for the role as an expert independent reviewer.

Individual privacy complaint about the data breach will be handled as usual by the Privacy Commissioner complaints investigation process, Mrs Shroff said.

The inquiry will commence on march 28 and is estimated to take three months.

The review team will report its findings to the ACC Board and the Privacy Commissioner and its findings will be made public.

ACC has also referred the matter to the police.

Mrs Shroff issued her statement at the same time as the ACC issued its statement on the inquiry.

- NZ Herald

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