Section 33 of the the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act, 1998 (PPIPA) requires all public sector agencies to prepare a Privacy Management Plan (the 'Plan') to deal with:
- The devising of policies and practices to ensure compliance by the agency with the requirements of the PPIPA.
- The dissemination of those policies and practices to persons within the agency.
- The procedures that the agency proposes for internal review of privacy complaints.
- Such other matters as are considered relevant by the agency in relation to privacy and the protection of personal information held by it.
The Plan has been prepared for the purpose of section 33 of the PPIPA. It is a model plan which was developed for NSW councils by the Office of Local Government, in consultation with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and Local Government NSW. The Plan identifies how Wingecarribee Shire Council (Council) complies with the Information Privacy Protection Principles in both the PPIPA and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (HRIPA).
These Acts provide for the protection of personal information and for the protection of the privacy of individuals generally. ‘Personal information’ is defined in section 4 of the PPIPA as:
Information or an opinion (including information or an opinion forming part of a database and whether or not recorded in a material form) about an individual whose identity is apparent or can reasonably be ascertained from the information or opinion. This definition encompasses not only traditional data storage, such as paper files, but also such diverse media as electronic records, video recordings and photographs. It also includes biometric information such as fingerprints and even records of genetic material.
Although the definition of personal information is very broad, the PPIPA excludes certain types of information. The most significant exemptions are;
- Information contained in publicly available publications.
- Information about a person’s suitability for public sector employment.
- Information about people who have been deceased for more than 30 years.
- A number of exemptions relating to law enforcement investigations.
- Matters arising out of a Royal Commission or Special Commission of Inquiry.
- Matters contained in Cabinet documents.
Council considers the following to be publicly available publications:
- An advertisement containing personal information in a local, city or national newspaper.
- Personal information on the Internet.
- Books or magazines that are printed and distributed broadly to the general public.
- Council Business papers, or part thereof that is available to the general public.
- Personal information that may be a part of a public display on view to the general public.