NSW Sentencing Council

​Privacy and information management policy

1.1 This policy applies to information collected in relation to the NSW Sentencing Council's functions under the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW). We collect information related to the conduct of references under the Act and for the effective operation of the NSW Sentencing Council.

1.2 This policy does not apply to information collected and kept by the Department of Justice in its role as providing administrative support to the Council (eg in relation to staffing, resourcing, or day-to-day administrative matters). This is covered by the Department's policies.

1.3 We are subject to the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA), and the Privacy and Protection of Personal Information Act 1998 (PIPPA). Information is collected and held in accordance with those Acts.

Submissions

1.4  Written submissions, including the identity of the submitter (but not personal addresses, phone numbers or other personal details), will be published on our website and referred to in our publications.

1.5 When calling for submissions it is our policy to say: "Submissions will normally be published unless a request for confidentiality of all or part of the document is made, see our privacy and information management policy for details".

1.6 A submitter may request confidentiality of all or part of the submission. Subject to 1.7 below, confidential submissions will not be published. The material they contain may be quoted or referred to in our publications, but only if that does not reveal identifying details of the submitter.

1.7 We will endeavour to respect a request for confidentiality, but the law provides some cases where we are required or authorised to disclose information. In particular we may be required to disclose information under the GIPA. In other words, we will do our best to keep information confidential but sometimes the law or the public interest says we must disclose information to someone else.

1.8 It is our general policy to publish submissions online.  However, we do not promise to do so. For example, submissions that contain offensive, defamatory or other material we consider inappropriate to publish will not be published or may be redacted.

Consultation meetings

1.9 Consultation meetings will generally be treated as confidential, noting that GIPA may require disclosure in relation to a particular request on a case by case basis. Our policy in relation to consultation meetings is:

  • Consultation meetings are intended to promote the open exchange of views.
  • We will take notes (to assist our memories and inform members of the Council not at the meeting).
  • We will note a person's and organisation's involvement in a meeting in a publication.  We may refer generally to the views expressed at the meeting without attribution.
  • However, we will not quote what any individual says at this meeting or attribute a view or position to an individual or organisation unless we first ask permission (or it reflects a written public submission).
  • Information held by us is subject to the GIPA. This means we cannot promise to withhold information in response to a specific request in all cases. However, generally speaking, the Act allows us to withhold information to protect confidences.

Other information

1.10  Information may also be collected for other purposes connected with fulfilling our statutory functions.

1.11 Where information is collected for developing mailing lists, or other current awareness it will be used for this purpose and not shared.

Information security, disclose and use

1.12  The NSW Sentencing Council complies with the proactive disclosure requirements of the GIPA and seeks to make information publicly available where possible. The Council also understands the need to respect privacy and confidentiality.

1.13 All forms used to collect personal information will say, on the form or in the request to fill out the form, how that information will be used, whether the information will be kept and where it will be stored, and to whom the information will be disclosed.

1.14 Information that is subject to confidentiality or privacy requirements will be held in a way that is accessible only to staff of the Council and others specifically authorised by the Executive Director of the NSW Law Reform Commission. Such authorisation may be given where it is required or authorised by law or where the Director is satisfied that any confidentiality or privacy requirements will be respected.

1.15 Information will generally be collected by NSW Sentencing Council staff and held on the secure computer systems provided by the Department of Justice.

1.16 Third party services may be used for the purposes of collecting or holding information. The NSW Sentencing Council will use reputable services with adequate privacy policies.  Providers of information will be clearly told when a third party service is used. Beyond this, the NSW Sentencing Council cannot take responsibility for information security on third party servers.