Where am I now? Lawlink > Office of the Privacy Commissioner > About Us
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner's aim is to protect and promote privacy rights in NSW.
What we do
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner NSW protects privacy in the following ways:
- by advising individuals, government agencies, business and other organisations on what steps they should take to ensure that the right to privacy is protected
- by researching significant developments in policy, law and technology which may have an impact on privacy and by making reports and recommendations to relevant authorities
- by answering enquiries and educating the community about privacy issues
- by advising people of possible remedies for breaches of their privacy
- by receiving, investigating and conciliating complaints about breaches of privacy
- by overseeing the procedural aspects of the conduct of internal reviews by agencies (but not the results or "substantive aspects").
- by appearing in the Administrative Decisions Tribunal in the review of privacy cases.
Policies and protocols
The following documents are used by Office of the Privacy Commissioner NSW to guide its practices and procedures:
- How we assess draft codes
This protocol sets out how the Office of the Privacy Commissioner NSW will assess requests for codes of practice lodged under the PPIP Act or the HRIP Act
- Our Privacy Management Plan
This Privacy Management Plan sets out how the Office of the Privacy Commissioner NSW complies with the principles of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1988 (the PPIP Act) and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (the HRIP Act)
- Information Sharing and Complaint Referral Arrangements
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner NSW has entered into an Information Sharing Arrangement and a Complaint Referral Arrangement with the NSW Ombudsman, the Health Care Complaints Commissioner, the Anti-Discrimination Board and the Legal Services Commissioner. These Arrangements enable the signatory agencies to refer a complaint to another agency if that agency has the powers to deal with it
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner NSW is a state government funded, independent, statutory officer with oversight of the two principal pieces of privacy legislation in New South Wales, namely the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (the PPIP Act) and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (the HRIP Act). The legislation provides for privacy protection in relation to the handling of personal and health information. The position of the NSW Privacy Commissioner is established under the PPIP Act. An important part of the Privacy Commissioner's role is to resolve, or assist in the resolution of, complaints that involve breaches of the privacy principles enshrined in NSW Privacy legislation.
The functions of the Privacy Commissioner
The Privacy Commissioner's functions are to promote the adoption and monitor compliance of the Information Protection Principles and the Health Privacy Principles, to prepare guidelines in respect of privacy matters and promote their adoption, to provide advice and conduct research on the protection of personal information and the privacy of individuals, to assist agencies in complying with privacy legislation, and data protection guidelines, to publish reports and make recommendations about privacy matters which concern legislative or administrative proposals, to receive and investigate and conciliate complaints about privacy related matters, and to inquire into and investigate privacy related matters as the Commissioner determines appropriate.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner aims to develop, maintain and strenghten relationships with a diverse range of community groups. Our Community Liaison Officer, Gabe Morahan is available to attend community events and can assist with booking targeted and culturally appropriate education and information sessions.
Community engagement events attended in 2011
Education sessions and presentations to community groups will be delivered free to groups with 10 or more participants. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.