The Parliamentary Workplace Support Service (PWSS) is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). However, we wish to ensure that our clients have access to their own personal information, and propose to provide this material under an Administrative Access process.
This policy sets out the PWSS’s approach to providing Administrative Access to personal information.
Administrative Access considerations
A client who wishes to access personal information that relates to them (the applicant) should direct the request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The request will be actioned by the PWSS Privacy Officer.
In making the decision to release documents under Administrative Access, the Privacy Officer will consider:
- Does the requested documents contain personal information that relates to applicant?
- If the request covers access to, or correction of, the applicant’s own personal information, have the requirements of Australian Privacy Principles (APP) 12 and APP 13 been met in responding to the request?
- These requirements include that the request is responded to within 30 days, access is provided free of charge and provided in the manner requested. If access if refused, written reasons for the refusal will be provided.
Details of request
Where possible, your request for access to personal information under Administrative Access should:
- Be in writing.
- Include a description of the documents that you wish to access.
- Include the date range for the requested documents.
Examples of documents we can release under Administrative Access include:
- Copies of correspondence from you to the PWSS.
- Copies of correspondence from the PWSS to you.
- Records of telephone or face-to-face discussions involving you, unless those records contain sensitive information. In this case, non-sensitive portions may be disclosed.
- Other documents, such as copies of correspondence between you and other entities- related to your complaint, where we are satisfied that you would have already seen these documents.
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 providing 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
- Verification of your date of birth.
- Details of your legal capacity to access information on behalf of another person.
The Privacy Officer will acknowledge receipt of your request within two business days of receiving it. The Privacy Officer will set out the timeframes and next steps for managing your request.
Consistent with best practice guidance from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, the PWSS will process your request for documents under Administrative Access 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 access is granted
If your request to access your personal information is granted, we will provide you with the requested documents via email, or other method as requested.
There is no cost associated with a request for documents under Administrative Access.
If access is refused
If we are unable to comply with your request for documents, we will explain why the access has been refused, either in part or full.
Generally, the reasons for refusing an application to personal information could include:
- The requested information is not your personal information (ie. the information relates to another individual, or is confidential PWSS information).
- The requested information does not exist (ie. we are unable to locate the documents you requested in our files).
- The requested information contains the personal information of a third party and disclosure would breach their privacy. If possible, the PWSS may provide partial documents, or redacted documents to meet your request, however where the document would amount to a breach of privacy (even with redactions), we may be unable to grant your request.
- Providing the requested information would be onerous or impractical (for example where there was such a significant quantity of documents that production of the documents would unreasonably divert PWSS officers from their duties).
We welcome your feedback of the PWSS, including complaints. Understanding your experience is important to us because it helps improve our service and provide better support to parties through the process.
If you are unhappy with the PWSS we encourage you to speak with your case coordinator in the first instance, so that you can discuss your concerns with them directly. You can also choose to provide feedback to another PWSS officer.
You are also able to offer feedback or make a complaint through the Feedback Form or contact the PWSS:
Phone: 1800 PH PWSS (1800 747 977)
A written record will be made of any oral feedback or complaint received about the PWSS, though you can choose to provide feedback anonymously.
Details on how we collect and use feedback and manage complaints can be found in the Feedback and Complaints Policy.