As a public sector agency, the Department of Family and Community Services is covered by NSW privacy laws. Privacy laws regulate the way Ageing, Disability and Home Care, Department of Family and Community Services (ADHC) collects, stores, uses and discloses personal and health information.
The Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 sets out our basic obligations to protect the information we collect about you. The Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 covers health information including information about disabilities. These laws have privacy principles that tell us:
- what information we can collect and how we collect it
- how we store and protect personal and health information
- how you can find out what information we hold and correct it if it is wrong
- how we can use and disclose your information including special protection for health and other sensitive information
- how you can complain about breaches of your privacy
Ageing, Disability and Home Care, Community Services, the Aboriginal Housing Office and Housing NSW are divisions of the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. The Department complies with NSW privacy legislation when it collects and manages personal and health information. The information we collect from you or from an authorised third party will be held in the division that collects it, or by NSW Businesslink, the Government owned company that provides corporate support to the Department. It will be used to assist you to choose the services you need, to deliver services and to meet our legal responsibilities. We may also use your information within the Department as a whole to plan, coordinate and improve the way we provide services.
How privacy laws apply to ADHC
ADHC needs to collect and record a large amount of personal information to provide the best services to our clients and other members of the public. The information protection principles in the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 control the way we handle personal information. The Act also has a framework for enforcing the principles and specifies some circumstances where the principles do not apply.
A lot of the information we collect about peoples’ disabilities and the services we provide to people with disabilities is classified as health information and covered separately by Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002. In some circumstances a carer or guardian can exercise rights over health information for a child or other person who lacks capacity to make their own decisions.
Privacy codes of practice made under both Acts make special provisions for the way ADHC handles some kinds of information. The Privacy Code of Practice (General) 2003 allows us to depart from some privacy principles where an individual lacks capacity. Together with the Health Records and Information Privacy Code of Practice 2005 it also allows us to share information with other service providers in limited circumstances.
A number of public interest directions made by the Privacy Commissioner permit us to depart from the privacy principles for special kinds of information processing.
Browsing ADHC's website
This Privacy Statement applies to all the publicly accessible pages on the Ageing, Disability and Home Care’s website located at www.adhc.nsw.gov.au
ADHC collects IP addresses of web users, including time of access and pages viewed for security purposes and to track website use. This information is retained for a limited period.
Information identifying individual users is only collected where users complete a form to register a request, receive a service or conduct business with ADHC.
Users of the website are entitled to expect that any information we collect as a result of that use will be treated within the terms of the Department of Family and Community Services' privacy responsibilities and obligations.
Ageing, Disability and Home Care does not have any responsibility for the privacy policies or practices of third party sites linked to this site.
Questions concerning the application of this Statement or other ADHC privacy policies or requesting access to personal or health information should be directed to the ADHC Privacy Contact Officer (see below).
Making a privacy complaint or inquiry
Ask the ADHC staff you regularly deal with if you have any privacy concerns about your information or the information of a person where you are the carer. This includes your right to access or correct your personal or health information.
ADHC's privacy contact officer can help you with any inquiries or complaints you cannot resolve at a local level.
The Privacy Contact Officer
Law and Justice Directorate
Ageing, Disability and Home Care
Level 5, 83 Clarence Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9377 6000 or (02) 9377 6167
You can apply for an internal review of conduct by ADHC that you believe breaches the principles under either the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act or the Health Records and Information Privacy Act.
You can either complete the Privacy Internal Review Application Form (PDF) or if making your request in writing please:
- specify the public sector agency concerned (Ageing, Disability and Home Care)
- give a return address in Australia
- post the application to the Privacy Contact Officer or hand it in to an ADHC office within 6 months of becoming aware of the conduct complained about.
You should also outline how you believe ADHC has breached your privacy. ADHC can choose whether to conduct an internal review if you delay your application by more than six months.
ADHC's privacy management plan
Under section 33 of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act public sector agencies are to prepare and publish privacy management plans to describe
- our policies and practices to ensure compliance with the requirements of both privacy laws
- the way we communicate these policies and practices to staff and other workers
- our procedures for conducting internal reviews
- any other matters relevant to privacy and the protection of personal information.
More about your privacy rights
Privacy NSW is the office of the NSW Privacy Commissioner.
You can go to their website or contact them to:
- answer your privacy questions;
- find more information on privacy laws;
- give you more information about applying for an internal review from a NSW public sector agency or health provider; or
- investigate some complaints that do not involve a breach of privacy principles.
The Privacy Commissioner (Australian Government) investigates privacy complaints about Commonwealth Government agencies, and private sector organisations.