Council believes that the responsible handling of personal information and health information is a key aspect of democratic governance, and is strongly committed to protecting an individual's right to privacy. Accordingly, Council is committed to full compliance with its obligations under the Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic) and Health Records Act 2001 (the Acts). In particular, Council will comply with the Information Privacy Principles and Health Privacy Principles and how they may apply to you.
Information Privacy Complaints Handling Procedure (26KB)
This Policy applies to personal information held by Council. Personal information means information or an opinion about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion.
For example, Council holds personal information on its ratepayers (eg names and addresses) in order to carry out its functions (eg planning, valuation and property services). It may also request personal information in order to provide education, welfare and other community services (eg child care services). In some instances, personal information may be contained on a public register (register of building permits, food premises and animal registration details).
Council may also hold sensitive information. Sensitive information includes information or an opinion about an individual's racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, trade union membership, philosophical or religious beliefs, sexual preferences or criminal record.
This Policy also applies to Council's handling of health information. Health information includes information about the physical, mental or psychological health, or disability or an individual. It also includes information collected to provide a health service to an individual (such as a disability or aged care service, immunisation service or maternal health care service), including and individual's expressed wishes about the future provision of health services.
Council will only collect personal, sensitive and health information that is necessary for its functions and activities. In some instances, Council is required by law to collect this information. Council will only collect sensitive information and health information where you have consented or as permitted under the Act.
If it is reasonable and practicable to do so, Council will collect personal, sensitive and health information about you directly from you. When doing so, it will inform you of the matters set out in the Acts, including the purpose/s for which the information is collected, and will use lawful and fair means. If Council collects this information about you from someone else, it will take reasonable steps to make your aware of these matters.
Use and Disclosure
Council will only use personal, sensitive or health information within Council, or disclose it outside Council, for the purpose for which it was collected or in accordance with the Act (eg where you have consented or where you would reasonably expect this to occur).
Council will endeavour to maintain a secure system for storing personal, sensitive and health information. Technological and operational policies and procedures are in place to protect this information from misuse and loss and from unauthorised modification or disclosure.
Council will dispose of this information in accordance with the Principles.
Access and Correction
Should you wish to access your personal information (including health information), please contact Council's Privacy Officer on 1300 322 322. Access will be provided except in circumstances outlined in the Act, for example, where the information relates to legal proceedings, where the Freedom of Information Act 1982 applies or where, in relation to health information, granting access would pose a threat to life or health, or where the information was given in confidence by another person.
Where lawful and practicable, Council will give you the option of not identifying yourself when supplying information or entering into transactions with it.
Obligations as a Health Service Provider
Where Council is providing health services, it will meet its obligations in relation to making information available to other health service providers, and notifying the public of any closure of transfer of its practices.
While personal, sensitive and health information is usually handled by Council staff, Council may outsource some of its functions to third parties. This may require the contractor to collect, use or disclose certain information (eg garbage collection). It is Council's intention to require contractors to comply with the Acts in all respects.
If you feel aggrieved by Council's handling of your personal, sensitive or health information, you may make a complaint to Council's Privacy Officer on 9784 1822. Your complaint will be investigated as soon as possible (but no later than five (5) business days) and you will be provided with a written response. Alternatively, you may make a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner (in respect of health information) (although the Commissioners may decline to hear the complaint if you have not first made a complaint to Council).
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