Who we need
  • Youth
  • Seniors
  • Retirees
  • Not for Profit Organisations
  • Mentors
  • Anyone with Spare time
    to Share!

Information Privacy

Purpose and Scope

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the objectives of the Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic) are met by The Centre when handling personal information about clients and staff.

Specifically, these objectives are to:

  • balance the public interest in the free flow of information with the public interest in respecting privacy and protecting personal information in the public arena; and
  • promote the responsible and transparent handling of personal information in the public arena and promote awareness of these practices.

Policy

The Centre is committed to protecting the privacy of information about clients and staff at The Centre and to complying with the Information Privacy Act. The Centre will collect only that personal information (as defined in relevant State and Federal Acts) necessary to support operations and will, as far as practicable, be committed to protecting this information by complying with the relevant State and Federal Acts.

This policy is based upon the ten Information Privacy Principles specified in Schedule 1 of the Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic).


1 Collection of Personal Information

1.1 The Centre will not collect personal information unless the information is necessary for one or more of its functions or activities.

1.2 Collection of personal information will only be by lawful and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way.

1.3 At or before the time (or, if that is not practicable, as soon as practicable thereafter) The Centre collects personal information about an individual from the individual, The Centre will take reasonable steps to ensure that the individual is aware of:

  • the contact details for The Centre; and
  • the fact that he or she is able to gain access to the information; and
  • the purposes for which the information is collected; and
  • to whom (or the types of individuals or organisations to which) the organisation usually discloses information of that kind; and
  • any law that requires the particular information to be collected; and
  • the main consequences (if any) for the individual if all or part of the information is not provided.

1.4 If it is reasonable and practicable to do so, The Centre will only collect personal information about an individual from that individual.

1.5 When The Centre collects personal information about an individual from someone else, it will take reasonable steps to ensure that the individual is (or has been) made aware of the detail listed in section 1.3 (except in an emergency where doing that would pose a serious threat to the life or health of any individual).

2 Use and Disclosure of Personal Information

2.1 The Centre will not use or disclose personal information about an individual for a purpose (the secondary purpose) other than the primary purpose of collection unless:

  • the secondary purpose is related to the primary purpose of collection and the individual would reasonably expect the organisation to use or disclose the information for the secondary purpose; or
  • the information is necessary for one of itís functions; or
  • the individual has consented to the use or disclosure; or
  • the individual is aware of the purposes for which The Centre is collecting the information; and
  • the individual is aware of the organisations (or types of organisations) to which The Centre would normally disclose information of that kind; or
  • if the use or disclosure is necessary for research, or the compilation or analysis of statistics, in the public interest, other than for publication in a form that identifies any particular individual and it is impracticable for the organisation to seek the individual's consent before the use or disclosure; or
  • The Centre reasonably believes that the use or disclosure is necessary to
    • lessen or prevent a serious and imminent threat to an individual's life, health, safety or welfare; or
    • a serious threat to public health, public safety, or public welfare; or
    • The Centre has reason to suspect that unlawful activity has been, is being or may be engaged in, and uses or discloses the personal information as a necessary part of its investigation of the matter or in reporting its concerns to relevant persons or authorities;
  • the use or disclosure is required or authorised by or under law.

3 Information Quality

3.1 The Centre will take reasonable steps to make sure that the personal information it collects, uses, or discloses is accurate, complete and up to date.

4 Information Security

4.1 The Centre will take reasonable steps to protect the personal information it holds from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.

4.2 The Centre will take reasonable steps to destroy or permanently de-identify personal information if it is no longer needed for any purpose.

5 Openness

5.1 This document sets out The Centreís policy on Information Privacy and is to be made available to anyone upon request.

5.2 On request by any individual, The Centre will take reasonable steps to let the individual know, generally, what sort of personal information it holds, for what purposes, and how it collects, holds, uses and discloses that information (NB refer also section 6 below).

6 Information Access and Correction

6.1 The Centre will provide the individual with access to the information on request by the individual, except to the extent that:

  • providing access would pose a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of any individual; or
  • providing access would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of other individuals; or
  • the request for access is frivolous or vexatious; or
  • the information relates to existing legal proceedings between the organisation and the individual, and the information would not be accessible by the process of discovery or subpoena in those proceedings; or
  • providing access would reveal the intentions of the organisation in relation to negotiations with the individual in such a way as to prejudice those negotiations; or
  • if providing access would be unlawful; or
  • denying access is required or authorised by or under law; or
  • providing access would be likely to prejudice an investigation of possible unlawful activity.

6.2 The Centre will, if the individual is able to establish that the information is not accurate, complete and up to date, take reasonable steps to correct the information.

6.3 The Centre will provide reasons for denial of access or a refusal to correct personal information.

7 Unique Identifiers

7.1 Unique identifiers will not be assigned to individuals other than to enable The Centre to carry out any of its functions efficiently.

8 Anonymity

8.1 Wherever it is lawful and practicable, individuals will be provided the option of not identifying themselves when entering transactions with The Centre. However, the nature of the business carried on by The Centre means that, generally, it is not possible for The Centre to provide services to clients or staff members in an anonymous way.

9 Transborder Information Flow

9.1 Although unlikely, The Centre may transfer personal information outside of Victoria where it is necessary to do so. If The Centre transfers personal information outside Victoria, it will comply with the relevant requirements of those Privacy Laws that relate to transborder information flows outside Victoria.

9.2 This stipulates that the recipient of the information must protect privacy of personal information to a similar standard as the Victorian Information Privacy Principles.

10 Sensitive Information

10.1 The Centre will not collect sensitive information about an individual unless:

  • the individual has consented; or
  • the collection is required under law; or
  • the collection is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of any individual, where the individual whom the information concerns is physically or legally incapable of giving consent to the collection; or physically cannot communicate consent to the collection; or
  • the collection is necessary for research, or the compilation or analysis of statistics, relevant to government funded targeted welfare or educational services; or
  • the collection is of information relating to an individual's racial or ethnic origin and is collected for the purpose of providing government funded targeted welfare or educational services; and there is no reasonably practicable alternative to collecting the information for that purpose; and it is impracticable for The Centre to seek the individual's consent to the collection.

Definitions

individual A natural person who is usually either a client, staff member or volunteer
personal information Information or an opinion (including information or an opinion forming part of a database), that is recorded in any form and whether true or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion, but does not include information of a health related nature
primary purpose Is one for which the individual concerned would expect their information to be used. Using the information for this purpose would be within their reasonable expectations eg. client enrolment in a course or employment at The Centre as a staff member
privacy principles As defined in Schedule 1 of the Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic) and upon which this policy is based
sensitive information Typically refers to information that is health related or socio-economic of nature eg. racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of a professional or trade association, membership of a trade union, sexual preferences or practices, criminal record
secondary purpose May or may not be apparent to the individual concerned, or within their reasonable expectations. Collecting the information may be mandatory (because required by law) or optional. The main distinction is that the service could still be provided by The Centre even if the secondary purpose were not served

 


 

Operative Date This policy is operative from August 2003
Policy Authorisation Board of Governance
Policy Administrator Quality Manager
Policy Reference This policy has been developed with reference to the following Statutory Acts:
  • Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic)
  • Health Records Act 2001 (Vic)
  • Federal Privacy Act 1988 (Cwlth) as well as other laws which impose either directly or indirectly specific obligations in regard to handling information.
Related Policies Client Complaints and Appeals Policy  Client
Related Procedures Complaints and Appeals Procedure

         



Page Updated Thu Aug 28, 2014 (13:40)