Thursday, 29 May 2014

Clarence Valley Privacy Management Plan to be placed on public exhibition

The Daily Examiner 23 May 2014:

CLARENCE Valley Council is asking for public help to review its Privacy Management Plan.
On February 18 the council unanimously approved a plan based on the January 2013 Model Plan from the Division of Local Government.
But after debating a notice of motion from councillor Karen Toms on Tuesday, it has voted to put its Privacy Management Plan on public exhibition for 28 days to gather submissions.
Backgrounding her move, Cr Toms said she found a sentence in the final paragraph of Principle (6) in Section 10, the information protection section of the code, which worried her.
Principle (6) covers how the council should control and grant access to personal information it holds.
She said the words "council is exempt from complying with this principle in situations where compliance is reasonably likely to detrimentally affect council's conduct of an investigation" were at odds with the language in the model plan.
Cr Toms obtained legal advice, which said the clause was beyond the power of the council to deliver.
The advice from solicitor Stephen Nazarian concluded the clause had the potential to contravene the council's obligation to provide procedural fairness to councillors and staff.
"The risk is that the terms of the plan may be relied upon to deny councillors and staff their right to a fair hearing under the code," the advice read.
The council has countered with its own legal advice, which said Mr Nazarian failed to consider a direction from the Privacy Commissioner on December 23, 2013, under section 41(1) of Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act.
The direction gives a relevant agency exemption from compliance under a number of sections, including Section 10….

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