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Data matching

Annual report

Purpose
: To identify overseas based borrowers in serious default of their student loan repayment obligations who leave for or return from overseas so that IR can take steps to recover the outstanding debt.

IR disclosure to Customs: IR provides Customs with the full name, date of birth, and IRD number of borrowers in serious default of their student loan obligations. 

Customs disclosure to IR: Customs provides IR with the person’s arrival card information. This includes the full name, date of birth, and date, time and direction of travel including New Zealand port and prime overseas port (last port of call for arrivals and first port of call for departures).

Compliance: Compliant.

Technical information

Information matching provision

Customs and Excise Act 1996,s.280H

Student Loan Scheme Act 2011, s.208

Year authorised

2013

Year commenced 

2013

Programme type

Locating people

Unique identifiers

Tax File Number

Online transfers

Yes

System description

This programme involves a two-way exchange of information between IR and Customs using near real-time business to business (B2B) encrypted communications. 

IR sends the full name, date of birth, and IRD number of individuals who are in serious default of their student loan obligations to Customs for storage in an Alert (ALS) list. Selection for the ALS list is determined by criteria set by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue. 

The matching process for the ALS list uses the Customs standard matching process that converts names into an alpha-numeric code. An ALS list alert is generated for “A” level match results which require a 91-100% match outcome based on a weighting system. 

When an ALS list alert occurs, Customs supplies IR their full name, date of birth, and IRD number, along with the date, time and direction of travel, including New Zealand port and prime overseas port (last port of call for arrivals and first port of call for departures). In addition to the electronic alert information provided for ALS matches, Customs fax a copy of the front side of the arrival card.

All ALS alert results provided by Customs are sent to a holding file to await verification by a Student Loan Officer before the information is updated into IR’s administrative records. Action taken as a result of the information received from Customs is governed by IR policy. All avenues available to Student Loan Officers are used in an attempt to make contact and obtain payment. 

Section 103 (1c) of the Privacy Act allows IR to initiate adverse action without sending a notice of adverse action. The rationale to forego sending a notice is that were a notice be provided to a student loan borrower, this may enable them to leave New Zealand earlier than originally planned, making enforcement action against the defaulter more difficult.

Recent activity

  2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
Possible matches identified 10,189 10,478 11,145
Arrival cards received 3,420 3,312 3,639
Cards unusable or did not meet matching criteria 85 85 66
Contact attempted with borrower without using arrival card 350 222 73
Remaining cards - contact attempted 2,985 3,005 3,521
Contact details updated 840 859 1,148