This policy document applies to all Interact Australia employees who may have access to private and/or confidential information.
Interact Australia believes that privacy is an important individual right that should be extended to all stakeholders. Therefore Interact Australia is committed to both maintaining an individual’s right to privacy and meeting the organisation’s obligations of protecting personal information. Interact Australia will take all reasonable steps in order to comply with privacy principles and protect the privacy of personal information held.
Interact Australia recognises that individuals have the right to privacy and confidentiality. Interact Australia’s policy is to protect an individual’s privacy and personal information that it may collect.
Interact Australia complies where required, with provisions of the following Acts where each is applicable with Interact Australia’s operation in its treatment of personal information regarding employees, clients, participants and other stakeholders:
- Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
- Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth)
- Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld)
- Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic)
- Disability Services Act 2006 (Qld)
- Disability Act 2006 (Vic)
- Health Records Act 2001 (Vic)
- National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act)
Interact Australia also complies with the 13 Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). For further information on the 13 Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) click here.
Personal information is collected by Interact Australia for the primary purposes of appropriate quality service provision in a safe and healthy environment to meet individual requirements, to meet duty of care obligations, and initiate appropriate referrals.
Due to the nature of operations, the organisation is unable to provide participant anonymity; however, at all times participant privacy and confidentiality is respected.
Interact Australia collects and maintains personal information that includes:
- Guardian / Financial Administrator
- Relationship Networks
- Safety and Behaviours
- Abilities and Daily Living Skills
- Health and Medication
- Services Received
- Interests and Goals
Participant and Carer
- Date of Birth
- Contact Details
- Religion, Culture, and Language
- Living Arrangements
- Source of Income
4.2 Withdrawing consent
A person may withdraw or change the consent for release of information, at any time, by emailing Interact Australia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4.3 How information is kept current
Under legislation, it is necessary for Interact Australia to ensure that the personal information collected, used, or disclosed is accurate, complete, and up-to-date.
Where an individual believes information is not up-to-date, accurate and complete, they may ask to have it amended. Amendments will be attached to the record noting the correct information, rather than permanently erasing details. An organisational review of personal information is undertaken annually, as a minimum.
As information changes or becomes obsolete, it is the participant/carer/advocate/guardian/residential employee’s responsibility to contact Interact Australia immediately. To ensure the information is communicated accurately, it is best to inform Interact Australia of all changes in writing.
4.4 What if you do not provide the personal information required?
You are not obliged to give Interact Australia your personal information. However, failure to provide and maintain current information sought by Interact Australia, for the purposes detailed, will not enable Interact Australia to complete the assessment process or enable Interact Australia to provide services to you.
Both electronic and a hard copy file containing a person’s application and individual details are retained in a secure location in accordance with legislation.
To prevent any unauthorised access to participant information, Interact Australia has installed computer and network security, including password protection processes. Hard copies of any information are
stored in locked cabinets/offices.
Personal information will only be used or disclosed by Interact Australia as allowed by legislation. To facilitate Interact Australia delivering appropriate services and benefits to participants, personal information collected may be shared with members of the team on a ‘need to know basis’, and other people or agencies with informed consent. Personal information is not transferred or shared with organisations outside of Australia.
Interact Australia is required to report to Government funding bodies. Information provided is non-identifiable, and relates to the types of services and support hours provided, age, disability, language, and nationality. The reports assist in determining community needs and planning for the future. Your consent is obtained to share information for this purpose.
Information may be disclosed as required by law, for example, reporting of assault, abuse, neglect, or where a court order is issued. Where an individual is incapable of giving or communicating consent, disclosure may occur if it is necessary for the provision of appropriate care or treatment to the individual; or for compassionate reasons. The information disclosed is limited to the information that is reasonable and necessary to achieve either of these two purposes. Disclosure would not occur if it were contrary to an individual’s wishes expressed before that individual lost the capacity to give or communicate consent.
Employees, clients, participants, contractors, visitors, carers, advocates, guardians and authorised others may seek access to personal information by contacting Interact Australia via email at email@example.com. The person receiving the request is to verify the person seeking the information has the relevant powers to do so.
An acknowledgement of the request will be forwarded within 14 days of receipt. The acknowledgement letter will include an indication of any costs involved in processing the request. If requested information is cleared for access, the information will be provided within 30 days.
4.7.1 Access will be denied where
As outlined in legislation, may include for example:
- The release of such information would pose a threat to life or health of any individual
- An individual’s record contains information about another person where to release such information would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of that other person
- The request is considered frivolous or vexatious
- Legal proceedings are underway, or where it is anticipated, there will be future legal proceedings, information may be withheld if it is considered that it not be discoverable in those proceedings, For example, documents subject to legal professional privilege
- Negotiations are under way between the organisation and the individual, and access information may prejudice negotiations
- Providing access would be unlawful
- Denying access is required or authorised by or under law
- Providing access would be likely to prejudice an investigation of possible unlawful activity
For any purpose associated with privacy matters including the lodgement of a complaint, you may contact Interact Australia’s Privacy Contact Officer. Complaints will be managed as per Interact Australia’s Complaints Management policy.
4.9 Privacy Contact Officer
For privacy enquiries concerning privacy related matters Interact Australia’s Privacy Contact Officer can be contacted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
5.1 Compliance with this policy
All people referred to in the scope are required to comply with this policy. If this policy is not complied with, disciplinary action may be taken.
For further information refer to the Disciplinary Action Procedure.
Confidentiality: is the assurance that written or spoken information is secure from unauthorised disclosure.
Dignity: is treating someone with respect, positively influencing their self esteem and confidence.
Health Information: is a particular kind of personal information and attracts additional privacy protection because of its greater sensitivity. Health information includes information about a person’s health, disability, use of health services, or other personal information collected from someone when delivering a health service.
Personal Information (defined in section 12 of the IP Act): Personal information is information or an opinion, including information or an opinion forming part of a database, whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can easily be ascertained, from the information or opinion.
Complaints Management Policy
Approver’s Delegate: National Manager Community Services
Reviewer/s: Quality & Compliance Manager
Drafter: People & Culture Manager
Next Review Date: 26/09/2018