Privacy

 

In accordance with the principles of the Privacy Act 2000, all personal information collected and held by Interchange Inner East will only be used for the primary purpose for which it is collected; for example, non-identifiable data for statistical purposes. You may withdraw your consent at any time.

 

Policy statement:

Consistent with Victorian Government policy and legislation, Interchange Inner East endorses fair information handling practices and uses of information in compliance with it’s obligations under the Information Privacy ACT 2000 (Vic) and the Health Records ACT 2001 (Vic), and in accordance with the Standards and Quality Framework for Disability Services 2007.

Any information provided, including identification of, will be used only for the purpose/intended and where the intention includes confidentiality, information will be treated as such unless otherwise required by law.

We collect and handle a range of personal information for the purposes of providing services or to carry out our statutory functions.

We also collect some personal information for planning, funding, monitoring and evaluating our services and functions, but where practicable we remove identifying details from information used for these purposes.

We recognise that the nature of these services means that much of the information we handle is particularly sensitive.

We recognise that privacy principles protect personal information both as a matter of individual right, and to support the public interest in ensuring Government can collect information necessary for its services.

We recognise the essential right of individuals to have their information handled in ways which they would reasonably expect – protected on the one hand, and made accessible to them on the other.

We have adopted the respective Privacy Principles contained in the Victorian privacy laws as minimum standards in relation to handling personal information.

In broad terms this means that we:

  • collect only information which we need for a specified primary purpose;
  • ensure that the person knows why we collect it and how we will handle it;
  • use and disclose it only for the primary or a directly related purpose, or for another purpose with the person’s consent (unless otherwise authorised by law);
  • store it securely, protecting it from unauthorised access; and
  • retain it for the period authorised by the Public Records Act 1973;
  • provide the person with access to their own information, and the right to seek its correction.
  • For information in our possession, this right is available through the Freedom of Information Act 1982*. For information in the possession of our service partners, this right is available through privacy legislation**.

This policy is complemented by high-level Departmental Guidelines intended to assist the Department and its funded service partners to put the Policy and law into practice. These Guidelines are available on the freedom of information page on the Department of Human Services website.

* For information about Freedom of Information requests, tel. 9616 9910, email dhsfoi@dhs.vic.gov.au or visit the Department’s Freedom of Information website.
** For information about making a request under privacy legislation, contact the relevant funded service.

Explanatory notes

(a) The Health Records Act applies to health information, which is broadly defined to include information and opinion relating to physical and mental health, disability and aged care services. Much of the Department’s functions, and those of our service partners, requires us to handle information, which is covered by this legislation.

(b) The Information Privacy Act’s Information Privacy Principles apply to all other types of personal information.

(c) The full set of Principles in the respective privacy laws are published on the Victorian Government website (2000 Acts include the Information Privacy Act, 2001 Acts include the Health Records Act); copies can be purchased from Information Victoria telephone 1300 366 356.

Procedure:

  1. Staff will only collect information that is necessary for the performance of a function or activity of the programs and with the consent of the individual.
  2. Staff will provide all clients with the Privacy Policy prior to an application form for services is completed.
  3. Staff will notify the clients that the information they provide us will be kept safely in locked filing cabinets at the agency.
  4. Clients will be required to notify staff of any changes to their information they have provided us with.
  5. Clients will be provided with the Privacy Policy on request.
  6. All clients have a right to view their file and will be required to complete a request form prior to this occurring.

References:

Victorian Information Privacy ACT 2000
Health Records ACT 2001

Download a copy of the Privacy Confidentiality Agreement form here