Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 No 133
Division 3 Complaints relating to privacy
45 Making of privacy related complaints
(1) A complaint may be made to (or by) the Privacy Commissioner about the alleged violation of, or interference with, the privacy of an individual.(2) The subject-matter of a complaint may relate to conduct to which Part 5 applies (unless it is conduct that is alleged to have occurred before the commencement of that Part).Note.Section 21 of the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 provides that certain conduct under that Act by public sector agencies is conduct to which Part 5 of this Act applies.(2A) A complaint about a matter referred to in section 42 of the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 is not to be dealt with under this Division but is to be dealt with by the Privacy Commissioner as a complaint under Part 6 of that Act.Note.Section 42 of that Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 provides that a complaint may be made to the Privacy Commissioner about the alleged contravention by a private sector person of a Health Privacy Principle, a provision of Part 4 (Provisions for private sector persons) of that Act or a health privacy code of practice.(3) A complaint may be in writing or verbal, but the Privacy Commissioner may require a verbal complaint to be put in writing.(4) The Privacy Commissioner may require information about a complaint to be provided by the complainant in a particular manner or form, and may require a complaint to be verified by statutory declaration.(5) A complaint must be made within 6 months (or such later time as the Privacy Commissioner may allow) from the time the complainant first became aware of the conduct or matter the subject of the complaint.(6) A complainant may amend or withdraw a complaint.
46 Preliminary assessment of privacy related complaints
(1) The Privacy Commissioner may conduct a preliminary assessment of a complaint made under this Division for the purpose of deciding whether to deal with the complaint.(2) If the subject-matter of the complaint relates to conduct to which Part 5 applies, the Privacy Commissioner must inform the complainant of the review process under that Part and the remedial action that may be available if the complainant decides to make an application under section 53 in respect of that conduct.(3) The Privacy Commissioner may decide not to deal with a complaint if the Privacy Commissioner is satisfied that:(a) the complaint is frivolous, vexatious or lacking in substance, or is not in good faith, or(b) the subject-matter of the complaint is trivial, or(c) the subject-matter of the complaint relates to a matter permitted or required by or under any law, or(d) there is available to the complainant an alternative, satisfactory and readily available means of redress, or(e) it would be more appropriate for the complainant to make an application under section 53.
47 Referring privacy related complaints to other authorities
(1) The Privacy Commissioner may refer a complaint made under this Division for investigation or other action to any person or body () considered by the Privacy Commissioner to be appropriate in the circumstances.(2) The Privacy Commissioner may communicate to the relevant authority any information that the Privacy Commissioner has obtained in relation to the complaint.(3) The Privacy Commissioner may only refer a complaint to a relevant authority after appropriate consultation with the complainant and the relevant authority, and after taking their views into consideration.
48 Dealing with privacy related complaints
(1) If the Privacy Commissioner decides to deal with a complaint made under this Division, the Privacy Commissioner may:(a) deal with the complaint, and(b) make such inquiries and investigations in relation to the complaint as the Privacy Commissioner thinks appropriate.(2) If the Privacy Commissioner declines to deal with a complaint, the Privacy Commissioner must advise the complainant of the reasons for declining to deal with the complaint.
49 Resolution of privacy related complaints by conciliation
(1) In dealing with a complaint made under this Division, the Privacy Commissioner must endeavour to resolve the complaint by conciliation.(2) The Privacy Commissioner may by written notice request the complainant, and the person or body against whom the complaint is made (the respondent), to appear before the Privacy Commissioner in conciliation proceedings.(3) If a respondent that is a public sector agency receives any such notice, the agency must comply with the terms of the notice.Maximum penalty (subsection (3)): 50 penalty units.(4) The parties to any such conciliation proceedings before the Privacy Commissioner are not entitled to be represented by any other person except by leave of the Privacy Commissioner.(5) The procedures for conciliation are to be determined by the Privacy Commissioner.
50 Reports and recommendations of Privacy Commissioner
(1) The Privacy Commissioner may make a written report as to any findings or recommendations by the Privacy Commissioner in relation to a complaint dealt with by the Commissioner under this Division.(2) The Privacy Commissioner may give a copy of any such report to the complainant, and to such other persons or bodies as appear to be materially involved in matters concerning the complaint.
51 Effect of dealing with privacy related complaints under this Division
Even though the Privacy Commissioner declines to deal with a complaint under this Division, or decides to refer the complaint to a relevant authority, the Privacy Commissioner may conduct an inquiry or investigation into any general issues or matters raised in connection with the complaint.