A stolen briefcase containing the private information of 500
research staff from tertiary institutions, including more
than 140 staff from the University of Otago, will likely
never be recovered, the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC)
The briefcase, which contained evidence portfolios submitted
by academic staff as part of the Performance-based Research
Fund (PBRF) health round, was stolen from a coffee shop on
the AUT University campus in Auckland last month. The
briefcase also contained information about 24 Otago
The briefcase was owned by a panellist on the TEC-convened
panel to assess research portfolios submitted in
health-related subject areas. TEC deputy chief executive Dr
Colin Webb said the briefcase would most likely never be
''There are no new developments in the investigation into the
stolen bag. The police and AUT security have investigated the
theft, including reviewing CCTV footage from the area where
the bag was stolen.
''At this time, neither the bag nor its contents have been
recovered, and there are no leads on potential suspects.
However, there is no evidence that the information stolen has
become publicly available,'' Dr Webb said.
Since the theft the TEC had kept affected researchers
informed and also changed security protocols to reduce the
chances of loss or theft of sensitive information happening
A review into the incident would also be carried out.vaughan.