Govt's digital rollout still on target, despite MSD security breach
"Key is right on this. However, he needs to progress bureaucratic rollback as well as digital rollout. Keep outsourcing government services to private enterprise."Featured comment
The government is not planning to back down from its wide-spread digital rollout despite the social development ministry’s security breach.
Internal Affairs’ Better Public Services document talks of the need for the government to do things differently and to improve access to digital services, including websites, self-service kiosks and smartphones.
“We will be considering how to ensure that people are able to access digital services at home and through community services, such as libraries and kiosks in government locations,” it says.
Prime Minister John Key does not want to back down from the digital rollout because of the social development ministry’s blunder, which saw whistle blower Ira Bailey access thousands of sensitive client files from a self-service kiosk at a Work and Income office.
The files included the names of candidates for adoption, lists of people who owe the ministry money, identifying details of children under CYFs care, including their medications, and the names of those suspected of benefit fraud.
“We’re working in a digital age, responding to New Zealanders wanting to use digital technology to access all sorts of government information. For most part they get it right," Mr Key says.
"It looks to me like this is a somewhat isolated case where they had some advice to fix the system and they failed to do so. But we can’t stop the digital roll out of government because one particular programme was written poorly.”
Social development minister Paula Bennett refuses to blame Mr Bailey and blogger Keith Ng, who leaked the blunder on Mr Bailey’s behalf.
She says she has no hard feelings towards them because at the end of the day it was not their fault there is a security flaw in the system.
Ms Bennett has ruled out anyone at the ministry leaking Mr Bailey’s name to the media and Mr Key is confident the leak did not come from his office.
Deloitte has been commissioned to conduct the independent review and KPMG, which is regularly contracted to carry out "penetration testing" of the ministry’s websites has now been asked to help with the security of the kiosks.
Ms Bennett says KPMG was never asked to attack the security of the kiosks initially.