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Confidential Destruction Issues in the Media

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Shredding Company Under Fire

By Kay Dibben A COMPANY has been asked to show cause why it should keep a confidential document disposal contract after claims that secret files were not shredded. State Public Works Minister Rob Schwarten, who overseas QBuild, the body responsible for paper waste disposal, said the Government was investigating serious claims that files were being dumped instead of shredded.

Colin Mctaggart, a driver with Sita Environmental Solutions, complained this month to Premier Peter Beattie about sensitive government files being left in the open and read by workers at paper collection depots. Sita has a contract with the Government to securely collect and dispose of confidential documents. The police service is now considering shredding files from all police premises on-site. A Sunday Mail investigation in November revealed confidential documents were regularly dumped unshredded.

As a result, sensitive documents from the executive building in Brisbane's George St and police headquarters in Roma St were shredded on-site. Mr Mctaggart said that in the weeks he worked as a collection offsider this year, picking up bins from police, ministerial and government offices, he saw workers reading confidential material. He saw police informant details, hospital records, crime scene photos and judicial pay slips mixed with non-confidential waste and not shredded.

Another driver, responsible for collecting the bins for Sita for the past 20 months has told The Sunday Mail he had to sign confidential paper destruction certificates without seeing the files being shredded. I was only doing what I was instructed to do, the driver said. Mr Schwarten said the Government demanded the highest level of security for people's records and there was no place for companies cutting corners.

We expect those companies that want to do business with the state to uphold those high standards, he said. Sita Queensland general manager Brian Cohalan denied confidential documents were not destroyed properly. But he said the company was working with QBuild to ensure procedures were a bit more robust and looking at other options for document destruction. Sunday Mail (QLD) Edition 2 - State - Main CountrySUN 25 SEP 2005, Page 021

Bank Statements Fall From Truck 

February 14, 2006, Seven Network News, Sydney, Australia BANK statements, including customers' private details, were left on the side of a busy Sydney road after the documents fell off the back of a truck. The confidential account information and credit card statements of thousands of Commonwealth Bank customers were left lying on the Hume Highway at Warwick Farm, in Sydney's south-west, the Seven Network reported tonight.

The bank has apologized to customers for the security breach. Statements from St George Bank and Optus, which employ the company Salmat to print and mail out monthly accounts, were also among the papers littering the highway. It appeared that another company lost the documents while they were being taken away in a truck to be destroyed, Seven reported. "This is the first incident of which I know that statements such as these have become public through falling off the back of a truck," Commonwealth Bank spokesman Brian Fitzgerald told the network.

"It doesn't happen very often. We pride ourselves on the security of our customers' information." One customer, Frederick Chapman, said he was "stunned" to hear account details had been left lying on the roadside. "It's not good," said another, Francis Newbery. Customers who notice irregularities in their statements have been urged to contact their bank.

* Nothing within this document constitutes a business performance guarantee by AXO Shredders, or an offer by AXO Shredders, or part of any other contract with AXO Shredders. This document is based on assumptions that may or may not apply in your market, and we encourage you to perform your own investigations and obtain your own independent financial advice.
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