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Thursday, August 20, 2009

NSWLRC calls for input on personal information issues

Had some experience, on either side of the desk, regarding access applications for information under the NSW Freedom of Information Act, that raised issues about personal information of someone other than the applicant, and have a view about the law, policies and procedures that were applied in handling the matter? The NSW Law Reform Commission is interested in hearing from you on its blog, in connection with an additional reference from the Attorney General that forms part of its broader privacy law inquiry.

I'm not sure what prompted the reference -
the Attorney asked the Commission to look at the matter at the time Parliament was debating the Government Information (Public Access) Act in June, after the Ombudsman spent a year looking at the Freedom of Information Act, including investigation of the practices of 18 agencies, and this was followed by further work by the Department of Premier and Cabinet before the legislation was introduced into Parliament. In all this it seems, some issues concerning access to personal information were or may have been missed, although the Commission's Points for Discussion seems to be searching for problems rather than laying them out. In any event the Commission would welcome before the end of the month any input on past experience or the likely effect of the new legislation on applications for this type of information.

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