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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 November 2021) . . Page.. 3876 ..

As someone who worked on health privacy issues at the Consumers Health Forum many, many years ago, I take these matters around health privacy and the privacy of health records very, very seriously. Indeed, I take the matter of privacy of the information of public servants, including workers compensation information, whether or not it is a health record, very, very seriously.

Mrs Jones obviously had not had an opportunity to read the letter that Mr Steel tabled before she gave her pre-written speech. So I think it is useful to note to the Assembly that that letter that has gone to the Australian Information Commissioner from Procurement ACT does provide a time line of events and does indicate that the original request for tender indicated that this type of information, the claims data, would only be provided to tenderers that had signed and returned a confidentiality agreement.

Investigations to date indicate that there appears to have been an internal breakdown in communications within the procurement team when some further information, more historical information, was requested by the tenderers so that they could better understand their potential liabilities if they took on this role and that that claim data was unfortunately made available to all registered users of Tenders ACT, rather than being restricted to those who had signed the deed of confidentiality. That does seem to be an area that absolutely warrants investigation and further consideration as to how that occurred and what checks and balances were in place.

It is then advised that the Tenders ACT platform was upgraded in late February 2020 and at that point that information was then reloaded on the Tenders ACT website and became available for people to access. This does indicate that eight unique users of Tenders ACT downloaded the claims data a total of 16 times between 6 September and 24 November 2021.

I hope that Ms Lee will be able to address part (4) of Mr Steel’s amendment, calling on all members of the ACT Legislative Assembly to declare whether they or their officers accessed the spreadsheet in question before Wednesday, 24 November and whether they provided copies of this, or web links to it, to any third party external to their offices on or before that date. I think this is particularly important in light of the stress and anxiety that this matter has caused to many ACT public servants and former public servants who have had workers compensation claims.

From the way that this has been talked about by the opposition and, indeed, reported in some sections of the media, one would think that the ACT government had uploaded sensitive personal information on a front-facing website and pointed everybody to it. I am not making light of this situation in any way—it is a very serious situation that is being investigated—but the reality of this data is that it was buried in a closed tender. It was found by someone but it was buried in information about a closed tender that related to the ACT government taking responsibility for workers compensation and becoming a self-insurer under the workers compensation scheme.

A lot of the stress and anxiety that has resulted from this is in the way that, among others, Ms Lee has talked about this as if it has been broadcast by the ACT

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