Privacy and Health Records Council Policy

Privacy and Health Records Council Policy Approval Date: 24 September 2019
Approved By: Council
Review Date: 08 October 2021
Responsible Officer: Director of Governance, Strategy & Performance
Authorising Officer: Chief Executive Officer

Introduction

Purpose

To meet the requirements of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and the Health Records Act 2001 in regards to the management and handling of personal information.

The object of this policy is to ensure that an individual’s personal information is collected it is stored appropriately and  that we are maintaining the individuals privacy to the standard as required by the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and the Health Records Act 2001.


Scope

The scope of this policy includes personal information of people both internal and external to the City.

The policy applies to both the City as an organisation, and elected Councillors in their capacity as a person holding office. This means that the policy applies to all employees of the City, as well as individual Councillors representing their constituents.

External contractors that have been engaged to provide a service or function on behalf of the City will have the same obligations as the City under this policy.


Definitions

City - The City of Greater Geelong organisation, led by the CEO.

Consent - Consent means express consent or implied consent. Implied consent is consent that can only be inferred by the actions  of the person from whom the consent is sought. 

Health information -  Health information means personal information that contains information or an opinion about:

  1. the physical, mental or psychological health (at any time) of an individual or
  2. a disability (at any time) of an individual or
  3. an individual's expressed wishes about the future provision of health services to him or her or
  4. a health service provided, or to be provided, to an individual

Health service - Health service has the same meaning as given in the Health Records Act 2001

Health service provider - Health service provider has the same meaning as given in the Health Records Act 2001

Identifier - Identifier has the same meaning as given in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014

Part 4 - Part 4 refers to a section of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 which provides for the development of a protective data security framework and standard.

Personal information - Personal information means 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.

Public register - Public register has the same meaning as given in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014

Public sector data - Public sector data has the same meaning as given in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014

Public sector data system - Public sector data system has the same meaning as given in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014

Sensitive information:

  • racial or ethnic origin or
  • political opinions or 
  • membership of a political association or
  • religious beliefs or affiliation; or
  • philosophical beliefs or
  • membership of a professional trade association or
  • membership of a trade union or
  • sexual preferences or practices or
  • criminal record.

Policy

The City values the privacy of every individual and is committed to handling personal information in accordance with the privacy principles contained in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and the Health Records Act 2001.

The City is bound by the 10 Information Privacy Principles and 11 Health Privacy Principles (principles) that outline how we manage an individual’s personal and health information in regards to their interactions with the City. Protecting the privacy of individuals by handling their personal information in accordance with the principles is an important aspect of  the City’s activities. How the City will comply with each of these privacy principles is explained below.


Information privacy principles and health privacy principles

Principle 1 - Collecting information(IPP1/HPP1)

Collection notice

When collecting personal or health information, the City will take reasonable steps to advise the individual of what information is being sought, for what purpose, whether any law requires the collection of the information and the main consequences, if any, of not providing the information. The notice will be provided in a form similar to below:

The City of Greater Geelong values the privacy of all individuals. We consider that the responsible handling of personal information is a key aspect of democratic governance. We will handle your personal information in accordance with the Information Privacy Principles set out in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014. Our privacy policy is available on our website. If you wish to alter any of the personal information, you have supplied to the City of Greater Geelong, please contact us by sending an email to privacy@geelongcity.vic.gov.au.

Information collected

The City will only collect personal information that is necessary for carrying out its functions or activities.

The City will endeavour to ensure that it only collects personal and health information that is necessary and relevant to the statutory functions, duties, powers and administration of the City and the municipality under the Local Government Act 1989 and other Acts.

If it is reasonable and practicable to do so, personal information will be collected directly from an individual. However there are situations where the City may need to collect an individual’s information from someone else.

Photographs

Photographs are at times taken on the City’s premises and in public places. The photographs may be used by the City for publicity or for enforcement purposes.

Where practicable consent will be obtained through a photo release and permission form. When photographs are taken in a public space (for example: during a community event) and obtaining the individual consent via the forms is not practicable, the City will use other methods to inform you that photographs are being taken and how they will be used. The other methods could include signs or a public announcement. These methods will inform the individual that the photo may be taken and the individual has the opportunity to approach and advise City staff or the photographer that they do not want the photos to be used.

Website surveys

The City uses various applications (such as SurveryGizmo and OurSay) to conduct online surveys. The various applications may store data collected on servers located in another country (such as USA, EU). To be informed on how the individuals personal information will be stored from the survey please read the privacy policy of the applications used which will be accessible via the online survey page.

Individuals can visit the City’s website anonymously because the site does not collect or record personal information other than information individuals choose to provide by email or internet forms.


Principle 2 - Using and disclosing information (IPP2/HPP2)

Using information

City staff are only provided with the information necessary for them to carry out the functions, duties, powers and activities of the City. Staff members are required to handle all personal and health information with discretion and to comply with the provisions of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.

Disclosing information

We will not use or disclose the individuals personal information other than for the primary purpose for which it was collected and unless one of the following apply:

  • For a secondary purpose that you would reasonably expect
  • Where we have the individuals consent
  • Law enforcement purposes and to protect safety

The City will only allow information that is required to be made available under an Act to be available for inspection as required by the relevant law. The method of disclosure will only be in such a form as required by an Act or an associated guideline or practice note.

This includes disclosing information to the City’s contracted service providers who perform various services for and on behalf of the City.

The City also discloses personal information to external agencies in the course of investigating and defending legal claims against Council.
Information provided to contracted service providers is limited to contact details provided by individuals.

Personal information in applications for employment with the City will be supplied to agencies such as Victoria Police, as part of a background check. Such checks will only be carried out with the individual’s written authorisation and the results will not be disclosed to third parties unless authorised by law.

Personal information may also be contained in Public Registers. Under the Local Government Act 1989, any person is entitled to inspect Council’s Public Registers, or make a copy of them. This may incur a fee.


Principle 3 - Keeping information accurate (IPP3/HPP3)

The City takes reasonable steps to ensure the information it holds is accurate, complete and up-to-date. Where practicable the City will check the accuracy of personal or health information with the individual before it is used.


Principle 4 - Keeping information secure (IPP4/HPP4)

The City uses a number of procedural, physical, software and hardware safeguards. Together with access controls, secure methods of communication, back up and disaster recovery systems to protect information from misuse and loss, unauthorised access, modification and disclosure


Principle 5 - Openness (IPP5/HPP5)

This principle requires organisations to have a Privacy Policy. The policy details the City’s management of personal and health information.


Principle 6 - Accessing and correcting information (IPP6/HPP6)

The City of Greater Geelong is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) (FOI Act). Access of the individuals personal affairs information is managed under this legislation.

Under the FOI Act the individual is also entitled to seek correction or amendment of a document containing  their  personal affairs information, where the individual believe the information is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or would give a misleading impression.

Requests for amendment must be made in writing and addressed to privacy@geelongcity.vic.gov.au. The request for amendment must:

  • Specify an address or email address to which a decision notice can be sent
  • Specify matters in which the person making the request believes personal information is incomplete, misleading or inaccurate
  • Specify the amendments to be made

There is no application fee for amendments to personal information


Principle 7 - Unique identifiers(IPP7/HPP7)

A unique identifier is defined in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 as number assigned by an organisation to an individual uniquely to identify that individual. The City will only assign identifiers to records if it is necessary to enable the City to carry out a function efficiently.


Principle 8 - Anonymity(IPP8/HPP8)

Where it is considered lawful and practicable, the City will offer the individual the option of remaining anonymous as part of the individuals interactions with the City.

It is important to consider the implications of remaining anonymous in dealings with the City as it may limit the City’s ability to process complaint or service requested. If the individual chooses to remain anonymous and the information is necessary for the City to perform its functions the City reserves the right to take no further action on the matter.


Principle 9 - Transborder Data Flows (IPP9/HPP9)

If the individuals personal information travels outside of Victoria, the protection of the individuals privacy should travel with it.

The City will only transfer the individuals personal information outside of Victoria under limited circumstances, these include:

  • if the disclosure is authorised by law
  • if we have the individuals consent
  • if the recipient receiving the information is subject to a law binding scheme or contract similar to the principles of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014

Disclosure of personal information overseas

This principle does not prohibit the transfer of personal information outside of Victoria but it does place restrictions on when it can occur. This is because the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 is a Victorian law and therefore the principles will not apply to organisations in a different state, territory or country.

The City will only transfer personal information outside of Victoria in accordance with the provisions outlined in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.


Principle 10 - Sensitive information (IPP10/HPP10)

The City will not collect sensitive information about the individual except in circumstances outlined in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014

If the practice or business of a health provider is sold or transferred or if the provider is deceased steps must be taken to notify individuals who have received health services from the provider.


Health privacy principal 11- Making information available to another service provider (HPP11)

You can request a health service provider to make health information relating to the individual held by the provider available to another health service provider.

How to make a complaint or enqyiry concerning privacy

The individual has a right to make a complaint if the individual believes the City has breached privacy or if the individual has any concerns about the way the City has applied the Act.

A privacy complaint can be made using our online form.

Alternatively you can mail your complaint to:

Designated Complaints Officer
City of Greater Geelong
PO Box 104 Geelong 3220

Complaints through Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner

Under the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014, if the individual is not satisfied with how the City has handled the complaint the individual is entitled to make a complaint to the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner.

The contact details for the Office are as follows:

Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner
PO Box 24274
MELBOURNE VIC 3001
Email: enquiries@ovic.vic.gov.au

Additional information is available on the Commissioner’s website.


Implementation of this Policy

Monitoring and reporting

The Governance Unit is responsible for the implementation of this policy.

Reporting to the Audit and Risk Committee will take place annually or when a privacy breach occurs.


Advice and assistance

The Responsible Officer for this policy manages the provision of advice to the organisation regarding this policy.

A person who is uncertain how to comply with this policy should seek advice from this person or from their Manager.


Records

The City must retain records associated with this policy and its implementation for at least the period shown below. Refer Retention and Disposal Authority for Records of Common Administrative Functions PROS 07/01 VAR 4.

Record Retention/Disposal Responsibility Retention Period Location
Records associated with requests made in relation to access to or correction of personal information held Director Governance, Strategy & Performance Temporary
Destroy after administrative use has concluded.
Document Management System
The records associated with complaints made concerning breaches of the Information Privacy Act 2000 that are not resolved internally and have been referred to the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner. Director Governance, Strategy & Performance Temporary
Destroy 15 years after action concluded.
Document Management System
The records associated with complaints made concerning breaches to the Privacy & Data Protection Act 2014 that are resolved internally by an agency. Director Governance, Strategy & Performance Temporary
Destroy 7 years after action concluded.
Document Management System
Records relating to the physical security arrangements for records management systems. Manager Digital Information & Technology Temporary
Destroy 5 years after action concluded.
Document Management System
Records associated with establishing and assigning security levels and caveats within records management
systems.
Manager Digital Information & Technology Temporary
Destroy 5 years after action concluded.
Document Management System
Records relating to the use of on-site storage areas Manager Digital Information & Technology Temporary
Destroy 2 years after action concluded.
Document Management System
Records relating to the selection and use of off-site storage areas. Manager Digital Information & Technology Temporary
Destroy 7 years after administrative use has concluded.
Document Management System
Records relating to security arrangements for records storage areas. Manager Digital Information & Technology Temporary
Destroy 2 years after action concluded.
Document Management System
Records relating to the retrieval of records held by PROV and secondary storage providers including both
physical and online retrieval.
Manager Digital Information & Technology Temporary
Destroy after administrative use has concluded
Document Management System


Review

The City should review and, if necessary, amend this policy within four years of the approval date. This policy must also be reviewed any time relevant legislation is amended.


References

  • Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014
  • Freedom of Information Act 1982
  • Health Records Act 2001
  • Privacy Act 1988
  • Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
  • Local Government Act 1993




Page last updated: Tuesday, 22 October 2019

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