Next steps on individual client level data

  • Amy Adams
  • Anne Tolley
Social Investment Children

The Government will be advising social service providers that their new contracts will not require the collection of individual client level data until a new data protection and use policy is in place, say Social Investment Minister Amy Adams and Minister for Children Anne Tolley.

“Our Social Investment approach is about intervening earlier to help change lives for the better. We want to be working alongside providers on ways data sources can help ensure our most vulnerable New Zealanders are getting access to the services that they need,” Ms Adams says.

“To help us deliver the best results for New Zealanders, better analysing the effectiveness of services is critical, this means working with providers on how we gather data about individual clients and the appropriate purposes for which that data can be used.

“The Social Investment Agency will lead a Working Group with Statistics New Zealand and NGOs to agree on an approach to increasing the availability of data in a way that is scalable, and builds and maintains trust and confidence.”

“It makes sense for the Social Investment Agency to lead this work as the data we need to collect and analyse will be used by the wider social sector,” Mrs Tolley says.

“Extensive engagement in this process is important. The Working Group will also include representatives from Iwi and Pasifika. Separate to the Working Group, there will also be opportunities for interviews, workshops and an online forum for key partners.

“An advisory group will provide oversight and lead the work to identify, evaluate and recommend a robust approach. It will bring together a number of agencies, as well as the Government Chief Information Officer, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, and independent data consultants.

“The Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki will be writing to providers to advise them their 1 July 2017 contracts will not require the collection of data until the approach has been agreed and suitable IT systems are available. We then intend to write to providers to agree a contract variation by the end of the current financial year.”

The Working Group will provide advice on the collection and use of data from a client and provider perspective, including privacy issues, as well as how providers can access data and use the results to improve their services. It will also look at what support and training the sector will need, and it will oversee ongoing engagement.

The advisory group will ensure that appropriate security and privacy assessments are completed. It will also identify and approve risk mitigation, and develop and oversee engagement with key partners.