Council believes that the responsible handling of personal information is a key aspect of democratic governance, and is strongly committed to protecting an individual's right to privacy. Accordingly, Council is committed to full compliance with its obligations under the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) (Act). In particular, Council will comply with the Information Privacy Principles contained in the Act.
This Policy applies to personal information held by Council. Personal information means information or an opinion about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion, other than certain health or generally available information.
For example, Council holds personal information on its ratepayers (eg names and addresses) in order to carry out its functions (eg planning, valuation and property services). It may also request personal information in order to provide education, welfare and other community services (eg child care services). In some instances, personal information may be contained on a public register (register of building permits, food premises and animal registration details).
Council may also hold sensitive information. Sensitive information includes information or an opinion about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, trade union membership, philosophical or religious beliefs, sexual preferences or criminal record.
Council will only collect personal information that is necessary for its functions and activities. In some instances, Council is required by law to collect personal information. Council will only collect sensitive information where a person has consented or as permitted under the Act.
If it is reasonable and practicable to do so, Council will collect personal information about a person directly from that person. When doing so, it will inform persons of the matters set out in the Act, including the purpose/s for which the information is collected, and will use lawful and fair means. If Council collects personal informational about a person from someone else, it will take reasonable steps to make you aware of these matters.
Use and Disclosure
Council will only use personal information within Council, or disclose it outside Council, for the purpose for which it was collected or in accordance with the Act (eg where you have consented or where you would reasonably expect this to occur).
Council will endeavour to maintain a secure system for storing personal information. Technological and operational policies and procedures are in place to protect personal information from misuse and loss and from unauthorised modification or disclosure. Council will dispose of personal information where it is no longer necessary to fulfil the purposes for which the information was collected or as required by law.
Access and Correction
People can access their personal information by contacting Council's Privacy Officer. Access will be provided except in the circumstances outlined in the Act, for example, where the information relates to legal proceedings or where the Freedom of Information Act 1982 applies.
If people think that their personal information is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date, they may request Council to correct the information. Each request will be dealt with in accordance with the Act.
Where lawful and practicable, Council will give people the option of not identifying themselves when supplying information or entering into transactions with it.
While personal information is usually handled by Council staff, Council may outsource some of its functions to third parties. This may require the contractor to collect, use or disclose certain personal information (eg garbage collection). It is Council’s intention to require contractors to comply with the Act in all respects.
If you a person feels aggrieved by Council's handling of personal information, they may make a complaint to Council’s Privacy Officer. The complaint will be investigated as soon as possible (but no later than 5 business days) and the person will be provided with a written response. Alternatively, people may make a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner (although the Commissioner may decline to hear the complaint if they have not first made a complaint to Council).