Concerns and public meeting on NGOs and provision of individual client level data

Mon 13 Mar 2017

A range of groups and individuals have spoken publically about concerns at the Ministry of Social Development's (MSD) plan to require individual ...

A range of groups and individuals have spoken publically about concerns at the Ministry of Social Development's (MSD) plan to require individual client level data from non-government social services.

Rape Crisis has said it will not accept contracts from the Ministry of Social Development if it is required to provide clients' data. National Collective of Rape Crisis and Related Groups Aotearoa spokesperson Andrea Black said,

"People [are] coming to us and saying 'I would not have come to your service if I had known this was going to be likely to happen, that my children's names would be given to government.'"

A public meeting is being held outside Parliament this Thursday 16 March at 1pm. The meeting is to raise issues and discuss concerns and is open to all social services, communities and individuals. Speakers have been invited, including cross party representatives. The meeting is being hosted by Wellington Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Help Wellington.

ComVoices has sent a second letter and an Issues Paper to Ministers. The paper, A Proposal to Build a Robust, Evidence-Based Learning system for Social Investment (4 pages) sets out concerns and unresolved issues and includes a proposal for an alternative way forward. In a media release, ComVoices Chair Brenda Pilott said,

"We think that the Ministry for Social Development (MSD) is on the wrong track and our members are worried that the Ministry is pressing ahead with this work when so many issues are unresolved. We have written to the Prime Minister and other Ministers asking them to stop the current work, and work with community organisations to develop an information system that delivers the big picture information being sought, respects individual privacy and is sustainable for providers who will have to gather the information."

The follows an earlier ComVoices Issues Paper released in November 2016.

Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon programme has interviewed:

Other public comment by a range of people is in the media coverage below.

Background information

See these previous NZFVC news stories:

Privacy Commissioner surveying NGOs on requirement for individual client level data

ComVoices paper highlights issues with govt requiring individual client level data

MSD to require individual client level data from community agencies

Related information

Government continues work on integrated data and "social investment"

Research project investigates people’s views of data linkage


Data collection raises concern on child safety, Otago Daily Times, 16.03.2017

Sexual Violence Concerns around Data Sharing, Press release: TOAH-NNEST, Scoop, 09.03.2017

Privacy Commissioner due to report back on MSD 'data-for-funding', 09.03.2017

National Government Making It Impossible for Rape Crisis, Press Release: New Zealand First Party, Scoop, 08.03.2017

Rape Crisis will risk funding to keep data private, Radio NZ, 07.03.2017

New government policy a 'lose-lose situation' for Women's Refuge, staff say, The Timaru Herald, 06.03.2017

Privacy matters for everyone – here’s why, Green Party Blog, 05.03.2017

Budget advisory refuses to send client information to government, The Press, 04.03.2017

MSD’s client data collection is a breach of privacy, Press Release: New Zealand Association of Counsellors, Scoop, 03.03.2017

Govt on shaky ground over data-for-funding contracts, lawyers say, Radio NZ, 03.03.2017

Privacy Commission investigates data-for-funding proposal, Radio NZ, 02.03.2017

Government demands non-profit clients' personal data before releasing funds, Stuff, 02.03.2017

Image: Pixabay