POLICY AND PROCEDURE
|Person Responsible||Executive Management|
|Date Last Updated||26 June 2020|
1.0 PURPOSE AND SCOPE
To ensure that management of personal information for clients meets all relevant legislative and regulatory requirements.
This policy and procedure applies to current and potential clients, their carers and family members.
Because people with disabilities are more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse than others in the community, workers with access to client information automatically occupy risk-assessed roles under the NDIS Commission.
The primary risk to privacy and confidentiality arises from the collection, storage and sharing of client information. Access by non-authorised persons may expose clients to risk. Safe storage and access policy protects clients from abuse and exploitation. This policy addresses these issues.
There is a risk that information will be shared inadvertently and without the intention to do harm. Information may be unintentionally disclosed by careless use of tablet- or phone-based software, shared with a client’s supporters against the client’s wishes, or disclosed to peers on the assumption that the information is publically known. Cultural assumptions around sharing information are diverse and change rapidly. Social media platforms may allow clients to be identified. This risk may be minimised by:
- raising staff awareness of privacy and confidentiality
- ensuring consent is obtained before gathering data (including audio and photographic data)
- ensuring that consent is specific to the use of data, and that consent is current
- encouraging clients to provide feedback and complaints about the use of their information.
These issues are addressed in this policy.
Personal information may include:
- date of birth,
- current and previous addresses,
- residency status,
- telephone numbers and e-mail addresses,
- bank account details,
- tax file number,
- driver’s licence number,
- Centrelink information,
- race or ethnicity, and
- medical history or information provided by a health service.
In collecting personal information, Sunrise2Sunrise will inform the client:
- that information is being collected;
- the purposes for collection;
- who will have access to the information;
- the right to seek access to, and/or correct, the information; and
- the right to make complaint or appeal decisions about the handling of their information.
Client information is used to:
- assess and provide services;
- administer and manage those services;
- evaluate and improve those services;
- contribute to research;
- contact family, carers, or other third parties if required; and
- meet our obligations under the NDIS.
- To ensure that client information is accurate, complete, current, relevant and not misleading, Sunrise2Sunrise checks personal details and updates client files accordingly:
- whenever reviewing a client’s service; and / or
- upon being informed of changes or inaccuracies by clients or other stakeholders
- There will be no charge for any correction of personal information.
- Where Sunrise2Sunrise has previously disclosed client personal information to other parties, should the client request us to notify these parties of any change to their details, we must take reasonable steps to do so.
- Sunrise2Sunrise collects information:
- directly from clients orally or in writing;
- from third parties, such as medical practitioners, government agencies, client representatives, carer/s, and other health service providers;
- from client referrals; and
- from publicly available sources of information.
- Sunrise2Sunrise will collect sensitive information:
- only with client consent, unless an exemption applies: e.g. the collection is required by law, court/tribunal order or is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to life or health;
- fairly, lawfully, and non-intrusively;
- directly from client, if doing so is reasonable and practicable;
- only where deemed necessary to support:
- service delivery to clients;
- staff activities and functions; and
- giving the client the option of interacting anonymity, if lawful and practicable.
- Clients are to be provided with the Client Consent Form at the time of commencing service with Sunrise2Sunrise. This form is to be
- signed and placed in the client’s file;
- held securely with access limited to staff members in the performance of their role.
- Sunrise2Sunrise takes all reasonable steps to protect personal information against loss, interference, misuse, unauthorised access, modification, or disclosure. Sunrise2Sunrise will destroy, or permanently de-identify personal information that is
- no longer needed;
- unsolicited and could not have been obtained directly; or
- not required to be retained by, or under, an Australian law or a court/tribunal order.
- Sunrise2Sunrise has appropriate security measures in place to protect stored electronic and hard-copy materials. Sunrise2Sunrise has an archiving process for client files which ensures files are securely and confidentially stored and destroyed in due course.
- Sunrise2Sunrise respects the right to privacy and confidentiality, and will not disclose personal information except:
- where disclosure would protect the client and / or others;
- where necessary for best service practice; or
- where obligated by law.
- For these purposes, Sunrise2Sunrise may disclose clients’ personal information to other people, organisations or service providers, including:
- medical and allied health service providers who assist with the services we provide to clients;
- a ‘person responsible’ if the client is unable to give or communicate consent e.g. next of kin, carer, or guardian;
- the client’s authorised representative/s e.g. legal adviser;
- our professional advisers, e.g. lawyers, accountants, auditors;
- government and regulatory authorities, e.g. Centrelink, government departments, and the Australian Taxation Office;
- organisations undertaking research where information is relevant to public health or public safety; and
- when required or authorised by law.
- Any information released for evaluation or research purposes will be de-identified.
- Clients can request and be granted access to their personal information, subject to exceptions allowed by law.
- Requests to access personal information must state:
- the information to be accessed
- the preferred means of accessing the information,
and should be forwarded to the Executive Management Team either verbally, or in writing to:
5/43 Treloar Ln, Pakenham VIC 3810
- The Executive Management Team will assess the request to access information, taking into consideration current issues that may exist with the client, and whether these issues relate to any lawful exceptions to granting access to personal information.
- Should the Executive Management Team decide that access to personal information will be denied, they must, within 30 days of receipt of the request, inform the client in writing of:
- the reasons for denying access and
- the mechanisms available to complain or appeal.
- Should access be granted, the Executive Management Team will contact the client within 30 days of receipt of the request to arrange access to their personal information.
- Should Sunrise2Sunrise be unable to provide the information in the means requested, the Executive Management Team will discuss with the client alternative means of accessing their personal information.
- Reasonable charges and fees, incurred by Sunrise2Sunrise in providing the data as requested, may be passed on to the client.
- Questions or concerns about Sunrise2Sunrise’s privacy practices should be brought, in the first instance, to the Executive Management Team’s attention.
- Clients may directly email the Executive Management Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
- In investigating the complaint Sunrise2Sunrise may, where necessary, contact the client making the complaint to obtain more information.
- The client will be advised either in writing, or in a face to face meeting, of the outcomes and actions arising from the investigation.
- If concerns cannot be resolved and clients wish to formally complain about how their personal information is managed, or if they believe Sunrise2Sunrise has breached an APP and/or IPP, they may send their concerns in writing to:
Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner
Phone: 1300 666 444
or through the online form available at
- Sunrise2Sunrise are required to disclose a data breach to the Office of Australian Information Commissioner if the data contains personal information that is likely to result in “serious harm”, which includes any of the following: physical, psychological, financial or reputational harm. Personal information is information about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable.
- Should a breach in privacy occur, potentially exposing client information (e.g. computer system hacked, laptop stolen etc.) the Executive Management Team will immediately act to rectify the breach in accordance with organisational policy and processes.
- Any staff who identify a potential breach must immediately inform their line manager, who must report to the Executive Management Team for further action.