Internal Affairs seeks input on personal info sharing plan

Plan would replace existing information sharing agreements with a small number of Approved Information Sharing Agreements

The Department of Internal Affairs has launched public consultation on its plans for Kiwis to share their personal information with nominated government agencies.

DIA holds a wide range of personal information about New Zealanders including birth, death, marriage and civil union registers, the citizenship registers and records about travel documents such as passports. It says its proposed Customer Nominated Services Approved Information Sharing Agreement (AISA) would make it easier for people to access public services by allowing them to give their consent to share their life and identity data more easily and seamlessly.

The chief executive of the Service Delivery and Operations Branch of DIA, Maria Robertson, said people applying for services from government agencies were often asked to provide certificates and other documents from DIA their identity and their eligibility to receive the service, and the proposal was another step towards putting customers and their whānau at the centre of government services.

“The proposed AISA will help DIA to improve our services, but even more so it will help other government agencies to improve the services they provide to their customers too,” she said.

“We want to make it possible for a customer to give that agency permission to look at the relevant part of their DIA record, and for the agency to be able to do that with the right legal authorisation.

According to DIA’s website, the plan would be implemented by replacing existing information sharing agreements with a small number of Approved Information Sharing Agreements (AISAs, which are described as “a newer type of agreement that is based on legislation (Order in Council),” and that it says are much more flexible – one AISA can cover multiple agencies, multiple purposes and multiple information shares).

DIS says AISAs will be published on its website and that of the Privacy Commissioner, making it easier for people to see how their information is being used.

“A Customer Nominated Services AISA would enable more efficient and effective public services and an improved experience for customers accessing these services,” DIA says.

“It would reduce multiple requests for the same information, remove the need to provide physical copies of information, and reduce time delays in the provision of services to the public. It would also improve the quality and consistency of information that agencies hold about an individual and make it easier to detect issues such as identity fraud.”

The parties to the proposed agreement are:

•    Accident Compensation Corporation

•    Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, including Immigration New Zealand

•    Ministry of Education

•    Ministry of Social Development

•    New Zealand Transport Agency

•    the Department of Internal Affairs

•    the Registrar of Motor Vehicles

•    the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages

•    the Road User Charges Collector.

The consultation document has been published on the DIA website. It is seeking input by 1 August. DIA has also made available a draft Authorised Information Sharing Agreement and a draft Privacy Impact Assessment.