The Department of Parliamentary Services is bound by the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) in the Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act), which regulates how agencies collect, use, disclose and store personal information, including sensitive information, and how individuals may access and correct records containing their personal information.
The Department respects the right to privacy under the Privacy Act and complies with Privacy Act requirements in relation to the collection and management of personal information.
Collection of personal information
The Department collects personal information that is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, its functions and activities. The Department will only use and disclose personal information for the purpose it was collected and in accordance with the Privacy Act.
The Department may collect personal information in ways including, but not limited to, directly from individuals when they:
- access and use our website and web based channels;
- have conversations with our representatives via telephone and in person; and
- complete an application.
From time to time, we may also collect personal information from third parties or a private source however this will only be carried out by the Department if:
- the individual consents;
- the Department is required or authorised to collect the information under an Australian law, or a court/tribunal order; or
- if it is reasonable or practicable for us to collect information in this way instead of collecting the information directly from the individual.
In limited circumstances, the Department may receive ‘unsolicited personal information’ about third parties from individuals who contact us or provide us with documentation. In these circumstances the Department will consider whether it could have collected the information if it had been solicited and, if so, it will handle the information in accordance with the Privacy Act.
We understand that from time to time an individual may not want to provide the Department with personal information. That is fine, however, it may mean that we are not able to provide that individual with the products and services they require, or a high level of service. Accordingly, the Department will ordinarily request that an individual identify themselves for the Department to appropriately carry out its functions and activities.
Dealing with personal information
The Department only uses and discloses personal information for the purposes for which it was provided to us, being purposes which are directly related to one of our functions or activities, unless the use and disclosure is otherwise authorised by the Privacy Act (for example, where the secondary purpose is related to the primary purpose or where an individual consents to the use or disclosure).
Personal information may be disclosed to third parties, including third party suppliers and service providers located overseas, for purposes related to the Department’s functions or activities. Where necessary the Department will take reasonable steps to ensure that overseas recipients do not breach privacy obligations relating to personal information under the Privacy Act. However, in some circumstances personal information may be subject to local legislation instead of the Privacy Act.
Integrity of personal information
Once the Department receives personal information, the information is maintained in a secure environment. Personal information will not be released by the Department unless in accordance with the Privacy Act or where consent is provided.
We take all reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we hold is protected from misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. We may hold personal information in either electronic or hard copy form. Personal information is destroyed or de-identified when no longer required in accordance with the requirements of the Archives Act 1983 (Cth).
We also take all reasonable steps to ensure that personal information collected by us is accurate, up to date, complete and relevant. These measures include updating and maintaining personal information when we are advised by individuals that information is incorrect or has changed.
Access to, and correction of, personal information
Individuals may request access to any personal information we hold about them by contacting us. In addition, where individuals believe that personal information we hold about them is incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate, then they may request to have it amended.
We will consider whether the personal information requested can be assessed or requires amendment. Where we hold information that an individual is entitled to access, we will provide a suitable means of accessing it. We will not charge for providing the information, or for costs of making any corrections to personal information.
In the unlikely event that access to, or correction of, personal information is not granted, for example, where access is refused under Commonwealth legislation or the Department does not agree that personal information requires amendment, we will provide written reasons.
In addition to web server logs, we use Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google Inc. ("Google"). Reports obtained from Google Analytics are used to help improve the efficiency and usability of this website.
Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of our website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf.