Privacy Policy (Deputy Premier)

Overview

This Privacy Policy relates to The Deputy Premier James Merlino (Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Minister for Mental Health) and his office. The Deputy Premier and his staff value the privacy of every individual’s personal information. Protecting your privacy and personal information is important to us.It also explains how the Deputy Premier’s office works with the Department of Education and Training (DET), and the Department for Health (DH), and their agencies, in the responsible handling of personal information.

Scope

This policy sets out how the Deputy Premier and his 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.

The Deputy Premier and his staff are bound by privacy and other laws, including:

  • 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. However, it is important to note that information may only be dealt with in accordance with the law.

What types of information do we 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 applies.
  • 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.
  • Sensitive information means 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 practices, or criminal
    record, that is also personal information.

When do we collect and use your information?

The Deputy Premier and his staff, supported by DET and DH  undertake many functions to ensure the proper administration of his portfolios. The Deputy Premier and his staff collect, use, store and disclose a range of personal and health information for the purposes of providing services or to carry out his functions as Deputy Premier, Minister for
Education and Minister for Mental Health.

The Deputy Premier’s multiple roles as Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Minister for Mental Health mean that we may collect your personal and health information:

  • when you correspond directly with us including by email, mail, telephone, social media or where you submit an enquiry through the website http://www.jamesmerlino.com.au/contact/ministerial-office/
  • when you correspond with a department or agency for which the Deputy Premier bears responsibility, another minister, member of parliament, organisation or other third party where your correspondence relates to matters that fall within The Deputy Premier’s responsibility
  • when third parties correspond directly with The Deputy Premier or others about you in relation to his functions, for  example when solicitors write on your behalf. The Deputy Premier and his staff may also collect and use your personal and health information to:
    • plan, implement, fund, monitor, regulate and evaluate the office of the Deputy Premier’s services and functions
    • fulfil statutory and other legal responsibilities
    • comply with reporting requirements.

This website also uses web analytics tools to track and measure site visitors for statistical purposes. This may include:

  • your server address
  • your domain name
  • the date and time of your visit
  • the pages accessed and documents downloaded
  • the previous site visited
  • the type of browser and/or operating system used.

How do we use and disclose information?

The Deputy Premier and his staff use and may provide personal information to other people or organisations to provide services to Victorians and perform ministerial functions, for example, to respond to your query. The information you provide to us may be disclosed to other ministerial offices, departmental staff or other government bodies for the purpose it was collected or to resolve issues you raise with us. This is to ensure that responses are informed by the information and the people with the best knowledge to respond to you.

The Deputy Premier and his staff must only use or disclose personal or health information for the primary purpose for which it was collected, unless it falls within an exception to the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 or the Health Records Act 2001, including where use and disclosure is:

  • for a related secondary purpose that you would reasonably expect the Deputy
    Premier and his staff to use or disclose the information for or, in the case of sensitive
    information, directly related to the primary purpose of collection; or
  • with the consent of the individual; or
  • necessary for research, or the compilation of statistics, in the public interest; or
  • reasonably necessary to carry out a law enforcement function; or
  • otherwise required, permitted or authorised by law.
  • For further information about the exceptions to use and disclose personal information see the website of the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner at https://ovic.vic.gov.au.

For further information about the exceptions to use and disclose health information see the website of the Health Complaints Commissioner at https://hcc.vic.gov.au.

Storage and quality

All personal, sensitive and health information is stored securely. Once this information comes into our possession, we will take reasonable steps to protect it from misuse, loss and unauthorised access, modification and disclosure. Access to systems, applications, and the information that we collect is limited to authorised personnel only. We also take reasonable steps to ensure that the information we collect, use or disclose is accurate, complete, up to date and relevant to our functions and the services we provide.

Accessing, correction and complaints

You may request access to, or correction of, documents that contain your personal information which are in our possession. For information on how to make a request for access or correction, please contact us via the details below.
In some cases, requests for access or correction will be handled in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic). Should you wish to gain access to or correct your personal information that we hold or make
a privacy complaint, please contact:

Ministerial Office
Contact details: james.merlino@parliament.vic.gov.au or ph. (03) 9651 1222.

You may also make a privacy complaint to:

  • the Health Complaints Commissioner in relation to a complaint relating to health
    information: 1300 582 113
  • the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner in relation to a complaint
    relating to personal or sensitive information: 1300 006 842.

Unique identifiers

We limit our adoption and sharing of unique identifiers and will:

  • not assign unique identifiers to individuals unless the assignment is necessary to
    enable us to carry out our functions efficiently or is otherwise required by law
  • only adopt (as its own unique identifier of an individual), use or disclose a unique
    identifier assigned by another organisation in limited circumstances.

Can I remain anonymous?

The most common way we collect your personal information is if you provide it to us directly
through correspondence. However, we may also collect it when you provide it to a
department or agency related to the Deputy Premier’s portfolios, another minister, member
of parliament, organisation or third party and your query is directed to us.

When you contact us directly, the personal information you choose to provide is up to you.
For example, if you didn’t want to tell us your name, you could 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 Deputy Premier and his staff will only transfer your personal or health information
outside of Victoria where allowed by law including but not limited to circumstances where:

  • you consent to the transfer;
  • The Deputy Premier and his staff reasonably believe that the recipient of the
    information is subject to a law, binding scheme or contract which is very similar to the
    Victorian privacy law; or
  • reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that the transferred information will not
    be held, used or disclosed inconsistently with the Victorian privacy and health
    records law;
  • the transfer is for your benefit and it is impracticable to obtain the your consent
    (which would likely have been given).

Version (December 2021)