NSW Gov’t Calms Concerns About Union Data Risk

There have been recent issues and complaints regarding the new payroll outsourcing service that the NSW government contracted to handle financial and payroll functions for the government. Some have voiced concerns that the private data of thousands of public servants and government employees might be put at risk, but the NSW government has fired back, quelling fears regarding security matters.

The Public Service Association, late in August, said that its members had concerns that their data was being put at risk as a result of the state government’s plan to turn to a payroll outsourcing service overseas to handle some of the payroll and finance matters for the NSW government.

Some of the payroll and finance functions for Revenue NSW will be outsource to GovConnect, effective come October. The company is a cooperatively run firm by the American tech giant Unisys, alongside the Indian tech company Infosys. GovConnect already provides several shared services for several departments in the NSW government.

In a statement, PSA General Secretary Stewart Little says that the department has a legal obligation to ensure that the details of its staff remain private, and the PSA believe that offshoring the NSW government’s vital payroll system doesn’t really help with that matter.

But the NSW government’s finance, service and innovation department says that it has secure systems in place in order to ensure that the data of employees is protected, and that there are strict guidelines set that GovConnect must follow in order to access any information regarding public servants, which they say doesn’t include details regarding workers’ compensation or medical information.

The spokesperson says that the majority of DFSI employee data is processed in NSW, not offshore, and is safely stored in NSW, on the state-owned and operated HR/payroll system within the country.

NSW started using GovConnect sometime in the latter half of 2015.

Unisys told news late in August that 90% of its 128 staff members that support GovConnect with its interactions with the NSW government are located in and operate in NSW itself, and that Unisys doesn’t actually provide the payroll system that’ll be in use.