Use of information gathered under the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 10) 2021

New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties made this Official Information request to Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Currently waiting for a response from Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, they must respond promptly and normally no later than (details and exceptions).

From: New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties

Dear Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,
This is a request under the Official Information Act. A similar request has been made to the Ministry of Health, so for the avoidance of doubt we are seeking the information held by the Department that it can make decisions on, and does not need to transfer any part of this request to the Ministry of Health.
The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties is concerned that the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 10) 2021 (the Order) does not provide that information gathered from members of the public about their visits to workplaces under the provisions of the Order may only be used for the purpose of contact tracing. Without such protection, we are concerned that the Police or other organisations may use this information for law enforcement or other purposes. We are not satisfied by verbal assurances provided by Ministers and officials as we have seen similar assurances disregarded by the police in Singapore and some Australian states.
We are also concerned that the Order does not require workplaces to use ballot box style tools for people drop slips of paper with their contact details into, instead permitting the continued use of open registers.
We are also concerned that clause 11(2)(a) of the Order does not require destruction of the record after 60 days, only ‘disposal’.
We therefore request information held by the Department (including unrecorded information known to the relevant Department officials) about:
a) Consideration of, advice on, or responses to communications received from third parties about statutory limitations on the use of contact record information provided by members of the public to a workplace; and
b) Advice to Ministers or senior officials since 1 January 2021 about mandating the provision and collection of contact information from members of the public when they visit a workplace; and
c) Advice to Ministers or senior officials since 1 January 2021 on limitations on the use of contact record information provided by members of the public to a workplace; and
d) Advice to Ministers or senior officials since 1 March 2020 on privacy protection for contact record information provided by members of the public to a workplace; and
e) Advice to Ministers or senior officials since 1 March 2020 on police, intelligence and security agency, or public service department access to information provided by the public to organisations undertaking contact tracing for Covid-19 public health purposes; and
f) All advice on the retention and disposal of contact records by workplaces since 1 January 2021 that informed the drafting of clause 11(2) of the Order.
The Council believes the strong public interest in accountability for advice and internal discussion of issues pertaining to privacy and extraordinary state powers to record and trace information about the movement of people outweighs any grounds for withholding information under the section 9 withholding grounds.
If the Department decides to withhold any information in response to this request we further request, under section 19(a)(ii) of the OIA that the Department provide the specific reasons for citing each withholding ground.
Yours sincerely,

The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties

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From: Information [DPMC]
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Tēnā koe 

 

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From: Information [DPMC]
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


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[IN-CONFIDENCE]

 

Kia ora

 

Thank you for your request under the Official Information Act 1982 which
was received on 10 September 2021, copied below. A response will be
provided in accordance with the Act.

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) may publish the
response to your Official Information Act (OIA) request.

 

When you are provided with a response to this request, you will be
informed about whether the response to your OIA request will be published.
If DPMC does publish the response to your OIA request, personal
information, including your name and contact details, will be removed.
This publication process does not apply to extension letters or transfers.

 

Ngā mihi,

 

Ministerial Coordinator
Ministerial and Business Services
Strategy, Governance and Engagement
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
E    [1][DPMC request email]
 
[2]cid:image002.png@01D43609.296F69C0
 
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