Information Commissioner’s Statement on Impact of Government’s Cybersecurity Incident

Information Commissioner Gutierrez issued a statement on 25 September 2023 concerning the impact of the cyber security incident on the management and accessibility of public records. In her statement, Commissioner Gutierrez reminded public officers that regardless of the platform or device, records such as emails and WhatsApp messages used to conduct public business were public records subject to retrieval and processing under the PATI Act. She provided good practice tips for government departments on transitioning to alternative electronic systems pending the resolution of the cyber security incident. Similar to her statement during the COVID pandemic, Access to Information During a National Crisis, Commissioner Gutierrez emphasised the importance of preserving public records so that, once the incident has passed, the public may seek full transparency and accountability of any decisions taken during this time, which will allow for critical engagement between the public and Government.

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