SYDNEY May 13 The Australian Bureau of
Statistics (ABS) said it was engaging an external reviewer to
ensure it is best placed to maintain data security, just days
after a staff member was arrested for disclosing
market-sensitive embargoed information.
"The review will assess what was leaked and the extent to
which the staff member's access to information was consistent
with his duties," the ABS said in a statement published on
ABS staff can access sensitive data on a need-to-know basis
and are only provided with the minimum amount of information to
enable them to perform their job, it said.
"The review will ensure that the ABS is best positioned to
maintain the security of the information that it holds."
Last Friday, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) arrested an
ABS employee and a National Australia Bank employee for
insider trading offences that authorities said netted them A$7
million ($6.5 million) on the foreign exchange derivatives
Tens of billions of dollars change hands in the wake of
major Australian data releases, from foreign exchange to bonds
and interest rate futures. Fortunes can be made or lost in
milliseconds, particularly if the numbers show a change outside
of market expectations.
The ABS said the arrest of a staff member for leaking data
was the first in the history of the bureau spanning over 100
years and it was quick to assure that no other staff were
involved in the case.
The ABS also said there was nothing to suggest that the
unauthorised disclosure included details about an individual
person or business.
"We can reassure the public that they can participate in ABS
surveys with confidence and the information collected and stored
by the ABS is secure and strictly confidential," it said.
(Reporting by Ian Chua; Editing by Kim Coghill)