Complaints and disclosure of personal information

Definitions:

  • Complainant – the person making the complaint
  • Respondent – the person the complaint is about and who Council is investigating
  • Disclosure – providing or releasing personal information to a third party

What is personal information?

Under the Information Privacy Act 2009 (IP Act), personal information is ‘information or an opinion … about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion’.

If you have made a complaint or you have had a complaint made about you the following will assist if you are now applying to access documents about that complaint.

Council collects personal information as part of its statutory responsibilities and standard business practices including in order to investigate and assess complaints. Information is collected in accordance with the IP Act and privacy principles and personal information will not be disclosed unless you gave consent or the disclosure is required or authorised by law.

Disclosing another person’s personal information or information that can establish that person’s identity has been found in some cases to be contrary to the public interest. It is unlikely you will be given access to all documents, only documents that contain your personal information and procedural documents.

Information regarding the progress of an investigation by Council

Often a complainant will want to be kept informed of the progress of the investigation by Council, however, providing information about the investigation can involve disclosure of personal information.

At the start of an investigation, the investigating officer may advise the respondent that it is Council’s usual practice to disclose information about the progress of the investigation, and its outcome, to the complainant.

The respondent is encouraged to contact the investigating officer if they have any concerns about the information likely to be disclosed.

Related links

External websites