Magazine article Public Sector

Privacy - Part of Our DNA

Magazine article Public Sector

Privacy - Part of Our DNA

Article excerpt

Good information management and privacy should be part of the DNA of the public servant, says Russell Burnard, Government Chief Privacy Officer. He was speaking at an IPANZ event on 30 April.

"Privacy and its management is all about public value. The public expects information to be secure and private but Ministers and senior public servants want that information to be used for better, more efficient, customer-centred services, including appropriate sharing of data between departments," Burnard says.

The role of the GCPO, part of the Department of Internal Affairs, was established last July. It followed a series of lapses of privacy from government agencies and a need to deal with privacy and information better than before.

"My office helps departments manage their privacy issues. Privacy is not a goal of itself; it's an enabler not an impediment."

Burnard acknowledged other players in the privacy area, including the Government Chief Information Officer Colin MacDonald, the policy section of the Ministry of Justice, the Privacy Commissioner John Edwards and the intelligence community.

Privacy strategies

The 42 government agencies under the GCPO jurisdiction (to be expanded to include DHBs from 1 July) must take responsibility for establishing privacy strategies, inventories of their information and must develop processes and policies to mitigate risk.

"I'm not telling CEs how to 'get out of jail free'; I'm hot on encouraging agencies to do risk assessments, not compliance tick boxes. …

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