Correction of Personal Information

People who access the Parliamentary Workplace Support Service (PWSS) can request the correction of their personal information held by the PWSS if it is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant, or misleading.

This factsheet sets out the PWSS’s approach to handling requests to correct personal information held by the PWSS.

Requests to correct personal information

A person who wishes to correct personal information that relates to them (the applicant) should direct the request to privacy@pwss.gov.au.

The request will be actioned by the PWSS Privacy Officer.

In making the decision to correct personal information, the Privacy Officer will consider:

  • Does the requested personal information relate to applicant?
  • Does the PWSS hold the personal information?
  • Is the personal information inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading?
  • Is the personal information correct, having regard to the purpose(s) for which it is held?

Where possible, your request to correct personal information held by the PWSS should:

  • Be in writing.
  • Include the reason why you consider the personal information is incorrect (for example, why the personal information is inaccurate, out-of-date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading).
  • Include a description of the personal information that you consider is correct.

The Australian Privacy Principles (APP) require that the request is responded to within 30 days. If correction is refused, written reasons for the refusal will be provided.

If you need assistance formulating your request, you should speak with your case coordinator.

Verification of identity

The Privacy Officer is required to satisfy themselves of the identity of the applicant prior to correcting personal information.

To verify your identity, the Privacy Officer may ask for one or more of the following:

  • Copy of your driver’s licence;
  • Verification of your case reference number or anonymous report receipt number; or
  • Verification of your date of birth.

Timeframes

The Privacy Officer will acknowledge receipt of your request within two business days of receiving it. The response will set out the timeframes and next steps for managing your request.

Consistent with the requirements, the PWSS will process your request for correction to personal information within 30 days.

If the PWSS is not be able to process your request within 30 days, the PWSS will communicate with you as soon as possible to agree an alternate timeframe. This will only occur in exceptional circumstances.

If correction is granted

If your request to correct personal information is granted, we will take reasonable steps to annotate our records to reflect the personal information is incorrect (and the reasons why it is incorrect). In that annotation we may include the correct personal information or a reference to where the correct information is held. In accordance with our record keeping obligations, the PWSS will also retain the original record.

There is no cost associated with a request to correct your personal information.

If correction is refused

If we are unable to change your personal information, we will explain why the correction has been refused, either in part or full.

Generally, the reasons for refusing an application could include:

  • The information is not your personal information (i.e. the information relates to another individual, or is confidential PWSS information). 
  • The information does not exist or is not held by the PWSS (i.e. we are unable to locate the information you requested in our files).
  • Actioning the request would be onerous or impractical (for example, where there was such a significant quantity of documents that correction of the documents would unreasonably divert PWSS officers from their duties).
  • The PWSS is satisfied that the personal information it holds is correct, having regard to the purpose(s) for which it is held.

If we refuse your request to correct your personal information, you may ask that the PWSS record a statement that you think your personal information is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading, and the reasons why. The PWSS will take reasonable steps to associate the statement with your personal information, so that the statement is available to any PWSS staff who might access your personal information.

Further information

Further information about correcting your personal information and the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) is available from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (Correct your personal information - Home (oaic.gov.au)).

Resource

This factsheet is also available as a downloadable resource: