New Zealand Law Society - SSC announces inquiry into unauthorised Budget material access

SSC announces inquiry into unauthorised Budget material access

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The State Services Commission says it will undertake an inquiry into how Budget material was accessed at the Treasury.

It says Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf has asked the State Services Commissioner to inquire into the adequacy of Treasury policies, systems and processes for managing Budget security.

“Unauthorised access to confidential budget material is a very serious matter,” says State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes. 

“Mr Makhlouf has asked me to investigate and I am considering my options. This is a matter of considerable public interest and I will have more to say as soon as I am in a position do so.” 

The SSC says while there is no evidence of a system-wide issue, Mr Hughes has asked Andrew Hampton, the Government Chief Information Security Officer, to work with the Government Chief Digital Officer, Paul James, to provide assurance that information security across the Public Service is sound.

"This is an important issue because it goes to trust and confidence in the Public Service and in the security of government information,” Mr Hughes says. 

“The inquiry will seek to understand exactly what has happened so that it doesn’t happen again.” 

Mr Hughes says he will not be saying anything more until he announces details for the inquiry.

The SSC has advised that the Commissioner's jurisdiction is confined to State servants and this will be reflected in the inquiry's Terms of Reference.