Work and Income NZ (WINZ) refuses to name the external contractor, on the grounds of commercial sensitivity, whose upgrade of the student services system caused the wrong institution name to be printed on loan correspondence to 22,000 students. WINZ issued a public apology to the students affected.
But the company which did the upgrade has no problems about being named. It’s Synergy International, which designed and implemented the loans system.
Wellington general manager Garth Hamilton says the software upgrade, for printing, included some software that was not intended for release. “There was no issue with the data,” he says. “The forms all had the name of one institution on them.” The problem has been fixed.