Australia: NSW Government Bulletin - 1 December 2015

Last Updated: 21 December 2015
Article by Ananya Roy and Lyn Nicholson

In this edition we look at the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Amendment (Exemptions Consolidation) Bill 2015, which has passed through both houses of Parliament.

How will the changes affect you?

The Bill does not introduce any significant policy changes, but rather incorporates into the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) (Act) a number of public interest directions made by the NSW Privacy Commissioner under section 41 of the Act, which have been renewed on a rolling basis over a long period of time.

What are the changes?

The Bill will make the following changes to the Act:

  • allow public sector agencies to disclose personal information to interstate persons/bodies or Commonwealth agencies for certain purposes
  • clarify that that law enforcement exemption contained in section 23 extends to law enforcement and related matters of another State or Territory or the Commonwealth
  • extend the meaning of investigative agency to include certain additional public sector agencies with investigative functions or that conduct investigations on behalf of other public sector agencies with investigative functions
  • incorporate a number of exemptions to the information protection principles (IPPs) based on current public interest directions of the Privacy Commissioner.

What are the additional exemptions?

  • an exemption to allow certain public sector agencies to share information with certain credit agencies about whether a person is or was a debtor under a default judgment (see the Direction relating to the Disclosure of Information to Credit Reporting Agencies as renewed by the Privacy Commissioner on 19 June 2015 for the period 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015)
  • an exemption to allow public sector agencies to exchange information to allow them to deal with correspondence from Ministers and members of Parliament or other inquiries or for auditing or law enforcement purposes (see the Direction on Information Transfers between Public Sector Agencies as renewed by the Privacy Commissioner on 19 June 2015 for the period 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015)
  • an exemption to allow an investigative agency to use personal information for the purpose of exercising its complaint handling functions or other investigative functions or to disclose such information to a complainant for certain purposes (see the Direction on Processing of Personal Information by Public Sector Agencies in relation to their Investigative Functions as renewed by the Privacy Commissioner on 19 June 2015 for the period 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015)
  • an exemption to allow public sector agencies to collect, use and disclose personal information or certain research purposes based upon existing exemptions to health information under the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (see the Direction on Disclosures of Information by Public Sector Agencies for Research Purposes as renewed by the Privacy Commissioner on 19 June 2015 for the period 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015)
  • an exemption to allow certain public sector agencies to disclose information to which a victim of crime or family victim is entitled under the Charter of Victim's Rights or to disclose information reasonably necessary to inform about the general location of a serious offender of whom they were the victim (see the Direction on the Disclosures of Information to Victims of Crime as renewed by the Privacy Commissioner on 19 June 2015 for the period 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015)
  • an exemption to allow the Attorney General to enter into information-sharing arrangements with certain kinds of persons or bodies responsible for the creation or maintenance of databases under which specified NSW coronial information can be provided and included in the databases (see the Direction on Disclosures of Information by the New South Wales Public Sector to the National Coronial Information System as renewed by the Privacy Commissioner on 19 June 2015 for the period 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015)
  • an exemption to allow human services agencies to collect personal information about individuals other than clients if reasonably necessary to enable the provision of services (see Direction for the Department of Families and Community Services and Associated Agencies and Direction on the Collection of Personal Information about Third parties by NSW Public Sector (Human Services) Agencies from their clients, both as renewed by the Privacy Commissioner on 19 June 2015 for the period 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015).

Save the Date - 23 February 2016
Government Lawyers half day conference
Holding Redlich and the ACC invite you to attend an intensive half day conference. Registration is open to those employed in the public sector.

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Please take part in our anonymous two minutesurvey. This is the best way to get the most out of the conference – by helping us design session content which is relevant to you. Alternativelyemailus with your thoughts/comments/input.

To start a conversation about Government Bulletin or issues of interest to NSW government lawyers, join the LinkedIn group NSW Government Lawyers by clicking on this link. Membership is open to lawyers employed in the public sector.

In the media

New ADVOs to help reduce domestic violence
For the first time in NSW, Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs) will be written in plain English so defendants have no excuses for not understanding the orders (27 November 2015). New ADVOs to help reduce domestic violence

Sydney hospital asked to explain the sacking of a whistleblower
A Sydney hospital is under pressure to explain why it sacked a whistleblower who had reported the alleged indecent assault of a sedated patient within an acute mental health unit (27 November 2015). Sydney hospital asked to explain the sacking of a whistleblower

New Chairperson for Law Reform Commission
NSW Attorney General Gabrielle Upton has announced the appointment of Alan Cameron AO as chairperson of the NSW Law Reform Commission (LRC) (26 November 2015). New Chairperson for Law Reform Commission

New law enforcement watchdog for NSW
A new watchdog (the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) ) will streamline and strengthen oversight of the NSW Police Force and NSW Crime Commission, with the NSW Government adopting recommendations from a review into police oversight by former Shadow Attorney General Andrew Tink (26 November 2015). New law enforcement watchdog for NSW

State Insurance Regulatory Authority Board members appointed
The inaugural Board of the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) has been appointed by NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello (20 November 2015). More...

ICAC head defends commission amid legal challenges
The head of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption defends the body's role amid legal challenges from people against whom it has made corruption findings (19 November 2015). ICAC head defends commission amid legal challenges

NSW government to block WestConnex scrutiny When the government transferred control of the toll-road to the Sydney Motorway Corporation, it also ensured information held by that agency could not be captured by freedom of information laws. A Labor's roads spokeswoman has moved a motion in parliament that she would introduce a bill bringing the Sydney Motorway Corporation under the Government Information (Public Access) Act (19 November 2015). More...

In practice and courts

NSW Parliament: This month in committees

Inquiries receiving submissions
Inquiry into Sexualisation of children and young people, closes 5 February.
Inquiry into elder abuse in New South Wales, closes 12 February.
Inquiry into Legislative Council committee system, closes 6 March.

Reports
Inquiry into the Regulation of Brothels (report published) (Tue 10).

NSW JUDCOM - Civil Trials Bench Book: Update 29
Update 29 contains amendments to a number of chapters (27 November 2015). More...

NSW IPC Case Notes
Section 110 restraint orders Pittwater Council v Walker [2015] NSWCATAD 34 and Palerang Council, Queanbeyan City Council & Goulburn Mulwaree Council v Powell [2015] NSWCATAD 44
In certain circumstances, public interest considerations favour orders restraining persistent and unmeritorious applications requiring an unreasonable and substantial diversion of resources by an agency.

Legal Aid NSW Annual Report 2014-2015
The Legal Aid NSW Annual Report 2014-2015 (October 2015). shows that Legal Aid NSW assisted 570 people every day with free advice with their legal issues Further information from Legal Aid NSW

Attorney General's media release (17 November 2015)

NCAT Annual Report 2014-2015
The NSW NCAT Annual Report 2014-2015 (undated) summarises NCAT's performance and outcomes achieved during the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015. According to NCAT, 71,449 applications were lodged during the reporting period, with 55.3% of these lodged online (17 November 2015). NCAT's media release

New South Wales Court Appointments

Appointment of District Court Judge
Attorney General Gabrielle Upton has announced the appointment of Magistrate Mark Buscome as a new District Court Judge Attorney General's media release. (20 November 2015)

Appointment of Two Magistrates
Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton has announced the appointment of Paul Hayes and Ross Hudson as Magistrates Attorney-General's media release. (20 November 2015)

Cases

Mino v Legal Aid NSW [2015] NSWCATAD 245
Administrative review - government information - public access - adequacy of search - a copy of the information previously provided – whether jurisdiction to review decision not to include information in disclosure log - Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW); Administrative Decisions Review Act 1997 (NSW) More...

Wilson v Commissioner of Police, New South Wales Police Force [2015] NSWCATAP 248
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – refusal of application for licence under Firearms Act 1996 (NSW) - whether any evidence to support a finding of fact – whether inference can be drawn that it is not in the public interest for applicant to be given a firearms licence on the basis of remaining findings – notice of contention – whether appropriate to raise by contention matters already ventilated at first instance – More...

Peters v The University of Sydney [2015] NSWCATAD 238
Administrative Law – Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NSW) – Administrative and Equal Opportunity Division – discrimination – on grounds of race – education – direct discrimination – comparator – differential treatment – same circumstances or circumstances which are not materially different - causation – indirect discrimination – requirement or condition – s 54(1)(a) Anti-Discrimination Act - exception – mandatory and specific requirements More...

Paphos Providores Pty Ltd v Constable Ladha [2015] NSWCA 353
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW – judicial review – constitutional validity of legislation – whether conferral of power on magistrate under s 3ZQZB of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) in a personal capacity was an invalid conferral of the judicial power of the Commonwealth – whether the destruction of property in s 3ZQZB(4)(d) of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) involved an acquisition of property other than on just terms, contrary to s 51(xxxi) of the Constitution More...

Legislation

NSW

Proclamations commencing Acts
Court Security Amendment Act 2011 No 15 (2015-716) — published LW 27 November 2015 Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Bills assented to
Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (No 2) 2015 No 58 — Assented to 24 November 2015 Data Sharing (Government Sector) Act 2015 No 60 — Assented to 24 November 2015
Crimes Amendment (Off-road Fatal Accidents) Act 2015 No 61 — Assented to 24 November 2015
Courts and Other Justice Portfolio Legislation Amendment Act 2015 No 67 — Assented to 24 November 2015
Privacy and Personal Information Protection Amendment (Exemptions Consolidation) Act 2015 No 69 — Assented to 24 November 2015
Gaming Machines Amendment (Centralised Monitoring System) Act 2015 No 70 — Assented to 24 November 2015
For the full text of Bills, and details on the passage of Bills, see Bills.

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures (Adjustable Amounts) Further Amendment Notice (No 2) 2015 (2015-712) — published LW 20 November 2015

Bills revised following amendment in Committee – 20 November 2015
Courts and Other Justice Portfolio Legislation Amendment Bill 2015
Gaming Machines Amendment (Centralised Monitoring System) Bill 2015
Privacy and Personal Information Protection Amendment (Exemptions Consolidation) Bill 2015

Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament – 20 November 2015
Courts and Other Justice Portfolio Legislation Amendment Bill 2015
Data Sharing (Government Sector) Bill 2015
Gaming Machines Amendment (Centralised Monitoring System) Bill 2015
Privacy and Personal Information Protection Amendment (Exemptions Consolidation) Bill 2015
Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill (No 2) 2015

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

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Authors
Lyn Nicholson
 
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