Privacy protection bill nsw public sector

Analysis

Privacy protection bill nsw public sector

The confidentiality and safeguarding of personal information that is collected, held and used by public sector agencies is the aim of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Bill 1998 (NSW).

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The confidentiality and safeguarding of personal information that is collected, held and used by public sector agencies is the aim of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Bill 1998 (NSW).

The Bill, introduced on 17 September 1998, establishes information protection principles which relate to such matters as the collection of personal information, the giving of information when personal information is obtained, the use, storage and security of personal information and access to and alteration of personal information.

The information protection principles will apply in most public sector agencies. Agencies will be able to develop their own privacy codes of practice which may modify the information protection principles that apply to them. Such Codes will come into effect when the Minister makes an order published in the Government Gazette.

The office of the Privacy Commissioner will be established to oversee compliance with the information protection principles. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner will also be responsible for initiating and recommending privacy codes of practice, conducting research into privacy matters, preparing and publishing privacy guidelines, receiving and investigating privacy related complaints and conducting inquiries into privacy related matters.

A person who is aggrieved by a public sector agency may apply for internal review of that conduct by the agency concerned. The Privacy Commissioner is to have a role in the internal review process. If the person who made the application is dissatisfied with the findings of the review or the action taken by the agency, the applicant may apply to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal for a review of the conduct. The Tribunal may make orders including an order requiring the agency to pay damages of up to $40,000 to the applicant. Damages will only be awarded where the Tribunal is satisfied that the conduct of the agency has contributed to financial loss or that the applicant has suffered harm.

 

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