The private data of thousands of NSW’s public servants could be exposed by the state government, as it pushes on with its unpopular offshoring efforts.
The Public Service Association says the NSW government is moving to further outsource jobs, with a push to offshore the payroll and finance functions of the Revenue NSW division of the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation.
The move will see the government sack 19 people in Paramatta by the end of the year, while control of the personal payroll data of some 1800 NSW public servants will be handed over to Govconnect, which is run by overseas companies Infosys and Unisys.
The PSA understands Indian call centres will have access to sensitive data including workers’ compensation, bank account details, medical information, work history and family details.
“Our members are seriously worried that their private data is at risk. The NSW government isn’t just sacrificing 19 jobs in Paramatta, it’s putting the personal data of thousands of workers at risk by sending the work offshore,” said Stewart Little, PSA General Secretary.
“The department has a legal obligation to ensure the privacy of its staff details – the PSA is not convinced offshoring the vital payroll system meets those obligations,” Mr Little said.
“I call on the NSW government to reassure these public servants that it’s not storing sensitive personal details offshore and to guarantee the security and privacy of their data.”
A PSA survey found that members reported a myriad of troubles with Govconnect, including the wrong amounts being paid and leave records being misreported.
“Our members tell us that the outsourced system in other NSW Department of Finance units have incorrectly recorded leave and paid the wrong amount. Every time they want to fix it Govconnect clips the ticket. The taxpayer is paying for the mistake of the outsourced business,” Mr Little said.
“This government can’t help itself but send jobs offshore. We saw it earlier this month with the $100 million IT tender, which required a third of jobs be overseas. That’s 300 NSW public sector workers, mums and dads, who would see their jobs leave the state.”
In 2016, the NSW Audit office raised concerns about the transition to GovConnect. The 2016 report found GovConnect’s independent audior couldn’t confirm it had “internal controls over transactions or the security of data” and that the transition to the private operator had “significant breakdowns”.