The minister responsible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme has apologised for an “egregious breach” of privacy involving a woman and children who experienced domestic violence.
The agency responsible for the NDIS gave the private details of the woman and her children to a perpetrator who was recently released from jail for acts of violence against them.
He was given their location, schools, and names of professionals working with the children.
NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds said she unreservedly apologised for the privacy breach and had asked the agency for a full report.
“It should not have happened,” she told a Senate hearing on Friday.
“My first priority and the NDIA’s first priority is the safety and the privacy of the woman and the family concerned, and then also to work out how this happened and to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
NDIA boss Martin Hoffman also apologised and said he had asked for a “very rapid and thorough” review.
So far, he has established that proper alerts were placed on the child’s profile.
The father had also been removed from the child’s “representative” field, which drives the automated mailout of planning materials.
Mr Hoffman said the family’s exact street address was not shared, but the suburb had been included.
The agency was first made aware of the security breach earlier this week and Mr Hoffman was told on Wednesday.
His agency briefed the minister’s office on Thursday, but Senator Reynolds said she only became aware it when the story broke on Friday.
Confirmation of the privacy breach comes after it was revealed details of a child abuse survivor were uploaded to someone else’s myGov account.
Confidential information including the person’s address, phone number, bank details and Centrelink number were shared with a stranger.
Their application to the national redress scheme, outlining the sexual abuse they suffered, was also shared.
The man who received the person’s details was also a survivor and found the violation deeply distressing.
Social Services Minister Anne Ruston apologised on Thursday for the bureaucratic bungle and breach of trust.
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