default logo

The Information Commissioner

The Information Act enables the appointment of an Information Commissioner.

Under the Act, the Information Commissioner is able to accept complaints in relation to public sector organisations refusing requests for a review of a decision relating to an application to access information and alleged privacy interference. This includes complaints from third parties whose personal information may have been provided to another person without permission.

The Information Commissioner will be able to investigate, mediate and conduct hearings into complaints. This means that complaints and dispute resolution can be dealt with quickly and inexpensively, with the focus being on informality and mediation rather than on litigation.

However, review of decisions and complaints to the Information Commissioner will not be possible for the first 12 months of operation of the Act.

The Information Commissioner will also be able to conduct audits of public sector agency records to determine compliance with the privacy provisions of the Act.

In addition, the Information Commissioner can award damages (not exceeding $60 000) where actual loss or damage has been suffered by a complainant as a result of a privacy interference

RECORD KEEPING

Requirements in relation to records and archives management are under Part 9 of the Act.

Under the Act, the Vice-Chancellor has a duty to ensure that the Institute complies with the records and archives management requirements. The Act also identifies Institute  obligations concerning the protection, management, transferring and form of records.

The NT Archive Service can prepare and review standards for the management of records. The standards must have the Vice-Chancellor’s approval in order to take effect.

The Act provides for the management of archives, including requirements for the transfer of records to archives, the determination of open access periods (ordinarily 30 years unless in the public interest to remain closed), and accessing and correcting archives not publicly available.

In addition, it is an offence (in certain circumstances) under the Act to mishandle information and penalties may apply.