Once again, Australia is in the privacy news. This time, it is the Australian Tax Office, which has recently disciplined two dozen employees over inappropriate perusal of tax records.
Australian IT - Tax office sacks 'spies' (Ben Woodhead, AUGUST 29, 2006):
A SECOND government agency has been forced to sack staff for spying on client records, with the Australian Taxation Office taking action against 27 workers for breaches of privacy.
The tax office took action against 24 employees over inappropriate access to taxpayer files last financial year, with another three cases detected this year.
ATO first assistant commissioner for people and place, Anne Ellison, said 12 of the staff caught spying last year resigned on the spot. Four were sacked, two were fined and six had their salaries reduced or were demoted.
Two were ultimately prosecuted for breaches of the Tax Administration Act, with one sentenced to community service and the other fined.
The revelations come a week after multi-millionaire former actor and producer John Cornell - who is facing allegations that he and Paul Hogan held $40 million in Swiss-administered trusts and offshore companies without declaring it to the ATO - accused the tax office of a campaign of media leaks....
Thanks to Open and Shut for the link: Open and Shut: This time it's the Tax Office named in privacy breach.