NSW Labor voices concerns about Service NSW privatisation in Yass

PRIVATISATION CONCERNS: Brendan Forde, president of the Goulburn State Electorate Council for the ALP, alongside Clayton Barr MP outside the Yass Motor Registry. Photo: Toby Vue.

PRIVATISATION CONCERNS: Brendan Forde, president of the Goulburn State Electorate Council for the ALP, alongside Clayton Barr MP outside the Yass Motor Registry. Photo: Toby Vue.

Yass residents are at risk of having their personal information sold off to private companies as a result of the Berejiklian Government’s privatisation of Service NSW.

That was the message of Clayton Barr – shadow minister for finance, services and property – who visited Yass on August 21 to protest the Government’s decision to appoint private providers to do the work of Service NSW.

Mr Barr said the Yass Motor Registry, which the Government has announced will transition to a Service NSW Centre, will be affected by the decision.

“This will threaten the security of people’s personal information. Service NSW holds everyone’s intimate details – where they were born, where they live and what health conditions they have,” he said.

Mr Barr said this information “will now be in the hands of private companies who can use it to their own advantage”.

The Berejiklian Government said the appointment of the international companies does not mean they will privatise Service NSW.

“I cannot understand why the Government would appoint seven private companies if they have no plan to outsource the work of Service NSW. It’s clear that this is a continuation of the Berejiklian Government’s rapid privatisation agenda,” he said.

In June, Mr Barr moved a disallowance motion in the NSW Parliament to prevent the Government from proceeding with their decision, but it was voted down.

“When Pru Goward was faced with the option of protecting her community or supporting private companies, she chose the latter.”

“The Member for Goulburn was excited to promote the re-badging of and re-branding of her Yass Motor Registry to a Service NSW Centre. What she forgot to mention was that the Government was secretly planning to provide personal information to the private sector,” Mr Barr said.

“I want to issue a challenge to the Member for Goulburn – come out publicly and promise the people of Yass that the Government won’t be privatising Service NSW,” he said.

Member for Goulburn rejects opposition protest

Ms Goward has completely rejected the claims, calling them “false, misleading and fear mongering.”  

“I strongly resent a member of the Opposition throwing unfounded allegations around, frightening staff and hoping people fall for it and he gets away with it. Service NSW remains a flagship agency of the government,” she said.

“There are no plans to privatise Service NSW or reduce jobs.”

She said it was recently announced that another 24 Service NSW Service Centres would be rolled out across rural and regional NSW over the next 18 months.

“Contrary to claims this is a new arrangement, Service NSW’s telephone service has been operating under this model since Service NSW opened in 2013, with Datacom Australia, an outsourced provider, assisting with after hours and overflow calls. It’s a solution that makes sense in terms of service delivery and value for the taxpayer,” she said. 

“This blended model arrangement is not new and allows Service NSW to scale up and down to suit customer and client demand.”

Ms Goward said the State Government takes the privacy and management of personal information seriously.

“Service NSW has introduced rigorous mechanisms to protect personal information held or accessed by Service NSW or its authorised representatives,” she said.

These measures include compliance with applicable legislation, operation of a Privacy Management Plan, adherence to best practices in digital information security management and alignment to the NSW Digital Information Security Policy.

“A provider can only access a customer’s information once the customer has provided their details while carrying out a transaction. External providers are contractually obliged to stick to rigorous privacy and information security standards and processes,” she said.

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