Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bennett in trouble

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is now officially being investigated by the Privacy Commissioner for her release of private information on two beneficiaries who had criticised the government. And she's likely to be in trouble. Last month, the Privacy Commissioner outlined the key issues to the Herald:

Considering a complaint she would look at "whether the person involved had authorised a minister to talk about their case publicly, or whether their authorisation can be inferred from their statements in going public with their case".

Another consideration was whether disclosing the information directly related to the purposes for which the information was obtained.

Harm is also a factor - but given the level of public vilification of the two women, that should be easy to show.

In short, Bennett is in trouble, and is likely to be held to account for her abuse of her Ministerial position. Which raises the question: shouldn't the Prime Ministerbe doing that...?