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Privacy for agencies

Annual Report

Purpose: To enable MSD to confirm periods of residence in New Zealand or overseas to determine eligibility for any benefit.

Customs disclosure to MSD: Customs provides MSD access to its CusMod system for verification of departure and arrival dates.

Compliance: Compliant.

Technical information

Information matching provision Customs and Excise Act 1996, s.280B
Year authorised 2002
Year commenced 2002
Programme type Confirming eligibility
Unique identifiers Australian and NZ Social Welfare numbers
On-line transfers Yes

System description
This system enables MSD to confirm periods of residence when applicants are uncertain of these details at the time of application. New Zealand applications involving possible Australian entitlements are handled by MSD International Services. Enquiries on behalf of Australian applicants who may also be eligible for some New Zealand benefits are also received by MSD International Services from Centrelink.

Specially trained staff at MSD International Services have access via a secure web connection to the ‘CusMod’ Customs database of passenger movements to confirm departure and arrival dates. Individual access to the Customs database is recorded and statistics are kept in a privacy register to monitor compliance with procedures controlling access to the database.

Every two weeks an audit of this register is conducted to confirm that all access is logged and a sample is checked for appropriateness. 

Results are processed through the Centrelink/MSD Change in Circumstances Programme to generate notices of adverse action (s.103 notices) and any other necessary follow-up.

Recent activity

  2011/12  2012/13  2013/14  2014/15 2015/16
CusMod records accessed 194 127 144 96 86

In 2012/13 this match was Not Compliant with minor technical issues.  An audit on the operation of this programme found printouts were not being destroyed within a month of printing because the quality assurance review was scheduled to be done monthly and the printouts were retained until the review was completed.  These reviews are now done fortnightly.