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Privacy for agencies

Annual Report

: To detect people who are receiving income support payments while imprisoned, and to assist MSD in the recovery of outstanding debts.

Corrections disclosure to MSD: Each day, Corrections sends MSD details about all prisoners who are received, on muster or released from prison. Details disclosed include the full name (including aliases), date of birth, prisoner unique identifier and prison location, along with incarceration, parole eligibility date and statutory release date.

Compliance: Compliant.

Technical information

Information matching provision Corrections Act 2004, s.180
Year authorised 1991
Year commenced 1995
Programme type Confirming eligibility
Detecting illegal behaviour
Locating people
Online transfer Yes

System description

Each day, Corrections extracts from their Corrections Analysis and Reporting System (CARS) details of all prisoners who are received, on muster, or released from prison  and send this information by secure online transfer to a ‘post box’ held by a third party service provider.  Prisoner details disclosed include the full name (including aliases), date of birth, prisoner unique identifier, prison location, along with incarceration, parole eligibility, and statutory release dates. 

MSD accesses the Corrections file held at the service provider web services location and import it into their systems using a secure communication channel. The MSD matching process uses name and date of birth information to determine a match. Each positive match receives a rating ranging from match level one where the surname, first name, second name, and date of birth all agree, to match level 13 where there is a less exact match. 

MSD immediately suspends benefit and student payments rather than sending a notice of adverse action and waiting five working days before taking the action. Notices (following the suspension action) are still sent to beneficiaries at their home addresses with a duplicate addressed to the prison.

Recent activity 

  2011/12  2012/13  2013/14  2014/15 2015/16
New match runs started in the reporting period          
Match runs 359 357 350 345 354
Records compared 17,201,022 17,043,622 16,195,916 16,444,841 17,759,986
Client cases 13,687 13,210 10,749 9,837 11,240
All match runs active in the reporting period          
Legitimate cases 4,904 4,380 3,080 1,889 2,382
Notices of adverse action 8,768 8,910 7,632 7,982 8,858
Overpayments established (number) 2,754 1,980 1,657 2,353 2,762
Overpayments established $380,960 $212,469 $203,144 $299,821 $386,145
Challenges 9 8 5 3 6
Successful challenges 5 7 4 2 6

Debt recovery notification results

In 2011/12, MSD started reporting on its use of Corrections data to recover debts from former clients. The notifications enable MSD to re-establish contact with debtors, or to maintain accurate contact information.







Notifications received






Notices of adverse action












Debtors under arrangement to pay






Balance owed under arrangement






Total recovered