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ACC Minister printed leaked email

14:57 Wed Mar 28 2012
AAP
ACC Minister Judith Collins is refusing to confirm she printed a copy of a sensitive email later leaked to media - but her office says she did (Getty)
ACC Minister Judith Collins is refusing to confirm she printed a copy of a sensitive email later leaked to media - but her office says she did (Getty)

The fallout over a major ACC privacy breach is continuing, with new revelations that ACC Minister Judith Collins printed out an email that was later leaked to media.

It comes as a Privacy Commission investigation into the breach is widened to look at how the email, sent to Ms Collins by National Party insider Michelle Boag, became public.

The email detailed Ms Boag's recollection of a meeting with ACC, where she supported her friend Bronwyn Pullar.

Ms Pullar had battled ACC for years for entitlements, and was accidentally sent private information about thousands of ACC clients.

Ms Collins has twice given assurances to Prime Minister John Key that neither she, nor a staff member who also received Ms Boag's email, leaked it to media.

The staff member forwarded the email to ACC's chairman John Judge and chief executive Ralph Stewart, who both denied being behind the leak.

However, on Wednesday, Ms Collins' office revealed to Radio Live that she had printed a copy of the email.

It was not clear whether that copy was passed to media.

Asked repeatedly on Wednesday to confirm whether she printed the email, Ms Collins refused to answer questions, saying: "Look, I've made it very clear that there was no leak from my office on this matter.

"There has been an email, the email was copied in my office when we came back into the office because we were in recess when it [was received]," she said.

Ms Collins would not elaborate on what she meant by "copied".

She said the Privacy Commission inquiry, to be carried out by former Australian Federal Privacy Commissioner Malcolm Crompton, may involve the forensic examination of computers.

The inquiry was sparked earlier this month after Ms Pullar passed the sensitive ACC data she had erroneously received to the media.

ACC has since laid a complaint with police, alleging Ms Pullar attempted to blackmail staff into guaranteeing her a benefit in exchange for returning the information.

The debacle cost former ACC Minister Nick Smith his cabinet portfolios.

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