ACC's accident? | The Jackal

14 Mar 2012

ACC's accident?

Yesterday, Radio New Zealand reported:

It has confirmed details of more than 9000 ACC claims, covering about 6000 people, were accidentally emailed to one of its clients last August.

Chief executive Ralph Stewart has apologised for what he calls a regretful and shocking accident, saying clearly the corporation's processes were not strong enough to avoid the mistake and must be reviewed.

He told Checkpoint the names of 137 people making sensitive claims were released. ACC's sensitive claims unit deals with sexual abuse and rape victims.

Mr Stewart says an Auckland staff member accidentally emailed a spreadsheet containing the personal information to a client. He says she is distraught but at this stage her job is not at stake.

How can this be an accident? Attaching a spreadsheet to an email takes premeditation and is not as simple as clicking the wrong button.

And why has it taken eight months since the breach of privacy occurred before people were informed? Perhaps it's another case of hold off until after the election.

What would people think if the private information had been released to somebody like Cameron Slater I wonder? Clearly an independent inquiry is required.