The Minister and the Department of Energy Environment and Climate Action (DEECA), the department that provides administrative support to the Minister, value the privacy of every individual’s personal information. Protecting your privacy and personal information is important to us.
The Minister and DEECA are subject to privacy and other laws related to handling information which include:
- Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014
- Health Records Act 2001
- Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
- Freedom of Information Act 1982.
Using and disclosing information is a legitimate and necessary part of providing services to Victorians.
This policy sets out how the Minister and ministerial staff collect, hold, manage, use, disclose or transfer personal and health information in accordance with the Information and Health Privacy Principles contained within the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) respectively.
What types of information does the Minister collect?
- Personal information means information or an opinion that is recorded in any form, whether true or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained from that information or opinion, but does not include information of a kind to which the Health Records Act 2001
- Sensitive information is a subset of personal information that relates to information or an opinion about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of a professional or trade association, membership of a trade union, sexual orientation, or criminal record (that is also personal information).
- Health information means information or an opinion about an individual’s physical, mental or psychological health, including any disability, a health service an individual has received or will be receiving, that is also personal information or other personal information collected to provide a health service. For further details about the meaning of ‘health information’, see section 3(1) of the Health Records Act 2001.
The Minister’s role in the administration of government business means that the ministerial office may collect your personal and health information:
- when you correspond directly with the Minister’s office including email, mail, telephone or where you submit an enquiry through the website; or
- when you correspond with DEECA, another Minister, Member of Parliament, organisation or other third party where your correspondence relates to matters that fall within the Minister’s responsibility.
- when third parties correspond directly with the Minister or others on your behalf in relation to the Minister’s functions, for example when solicitors write on your behalf.
How does the Minister’s Office use and disclose information?
The Minister and ministerial staff use and may provide personal information to other Ministerial Offices, people or organisations for the primary purpose it was collected. For example, to respond to your query.
The Minister and ministerial staff must only use or disclose personal or health information for the purpose it was collected or, where required/permitted by law. There are some exceptions* to this, for example, where use and disclosure is:
- related to primary purpose for which the information was collected and, in the case of sensitive information, directly related to the primary purpose of collection and where the person the information relates to would reasonably expect it; or
- with the consent of the individual; or
- where it’s necessary for research, or the compilation of statistics, in the public interest (and identifying data will not be published); or
- reasonably necessary to carry out a law enforcement function; or
- otherwise required/permitted or authorised by another law.
Storage and disposal
All personal, and health information collected by the Minister’s Office is secured against misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification and disclosure. Access to systems, applications, and the personally identifying information is limited to authorised personnel only.
Personal information is kept until it is no longer necessary for any purpose, at which time it is de-identified or securely destroyed in accordance with the Public Records Act 1973 and the relevant Retention and Disposal Authorities.
Access, correction and complaints
You may request access to, or correction of, documents that contain your personal information which are in the possession of the Minister’s Office by contacting email@example.com. If you would like to make a complaint please contact the FOI and Privacy Unit at DEECA: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I remain anonymous?
The most common way the Minister’s Office collects your personal information is if you provide it directly through correspondence. However, it may also be collected when you provide it to DEECA, another Minister, Member of Parliament, or other third party and your query is directed to us.
When you contact the Minister’s Office directly, the personal information you choose to provide is up to you. For example, if you don’t want to disclose your name, you can remain anonymous by writing an unsigned letter or using a pseudonym. However, if you would like a response, we will need to be provided with some means to contact you.
Does my information leave Victoria?
The Minister will only transfer personal or health information outside of Victoria where allowed by law including but not limited to circumstances where the Minister’s office:
- reasonably believes that the recipient of the information is subject to a law, binding scheme or contract which is very similar to the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014; or
- reasonably believes steps have been taken to ensure that the transferred information will not be held, used or disclosed inconsistently with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and Health Records Act 2001;
- has obtained the consent of the individual the information relates to; or
- considers the transfer is for the individual’s benefit and it is impracticable to obtain the individual’s consent (which would likely have been given).
If you would like more information on how the Minister collects, holds, manages, uses, discloses or transfers personal or health information please email: email@example.com.