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Privacy for agencies

Annual Report

Purpose: To identify individuals receiving a benefit and working at the same time.

MSD disclosure to IR: Each record provided to IR includes the surname, first initial, date of birth, IRD number, MSD client number, and benefit date information.

IR disclosure to MSD: For the matched records, IR returns the employee's full name, date of birth, monthly gross income details, trading as name(s), MSD client number, IRD number, employer's name, address, email and phone contact details, and employment commencement and cessation dates.

Compliance: Compliant.

Technical information

Information matching provision Tax Administration Act 1994, s.82
Year authorised 1991
Year commenced 1993
Programme type Confirming eligibility
Detecting illegal behaviour
Detecting processing errors
Unique identifiers Tax File Number
Social Welfare Number
Online transfers Yes

System description
Each month, MSD sends IR, by secure online transfer, details about a selection of MSD clients. Each record provided to IR includes the surname, first initial, date of birth, IRD number and MSD client number, and benefit date information.

IR matches the MSD information in a two-stage process. The first stage, called ‘Individual Validation’, identifies whether IR holds information about the individual. To do this, IR firstly confirms the existence and validity of the IRD number provided by MSD. IR then matches against the date of birth or surname and first initial provided by MSD. The Individual Validation process must be successful for the information comparison process to take place.

The second stage, ‘Information Comparison’, checks if there is an overlap between the period the individual was in receipt of benefit payments and any periods during which the individual was in receipt of other gross income. 

For the matched records,IR returns to MSD the employee’s full name, date of birth, MSD and IRD identifiers, employer’s name, address, email and phone contact details, employment commencement and cessation dates and monthly gross income amount. 

MSD checks its records to determine whether there is an explanation for the apparent discrepancy. If there is not, the individual is sent a notice of adverse action (s.103 notice).

Recent activity 

  2011/12  2012/13   2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
New match runs started in the reporting period          
Match runs 12 12 12 12 12
Records compared 147,795 27,663 158 1,435 1,449
Number of client cases 24,012 1,203 133 1,285 1,299
All match runs active in the reporting period          
Legitimate cases 13,647 499 133 1,285 1,299
Notices of adverse action 8,681 606 0 0 0
Overpayments established (number) 4,280 2,192 1 2 0
Overpayments established $31,012,155 $18,880,590 $18,485 $31,476 0
Challenges 121 23 0 0 0
Successful challenges 25 15 0 0 0

From November 2010, information received from IR was enhanced to include monthly gross income details and ‘trading as' information. The enhanced information enables MSD to make more informed decisions about which records to investigate.

Since 2013, the operation of this programme has been scaled back.  Instead, MSD have an information sharing agreement under section 81BA of the Tax Administration Act that enables MSD to check that clients are receiving their correct entitlements.  Reporting on that activity is provided for in the MSD Annual Report.