Privacy policy

 Department’s Personal Information Handling Practices

 Collection of personal information generally

The Department only collects personal information which it needs in order to perform its functions and activities including those contained in legislation administered by the Ministers responsible for the Department (as set out in the Administrative Arrangements Order). As the Department has limited direct contact with the public, the Department only collects personal information in a limited range of categories.
These categories include:

  • personal information collected directly from an individual in programs such as the Medical Treatment Overseas program, the National Bowel Cancer Screening program and the Bonded Medical Places scheme.
  • personal information collected by the Department of Human Services in relation to programs administered for and on behalf of the Department including the Personally Controlled Electronic Records System Operator.
  • personal information added to PCEHR directly by consumers or uploaded by their healthcare providers.
  • personal information collected by contracted service providers in compliance with contractual measures as required by the Privacy Act.
  • personal information collected from employees, job applicants, contractors and others in relation to employment.

The Department collects personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act.
The Department routinely provides a privacy notice as required by APP 5 when it solicits personal information.
In some circumstances, individuals or organisations provide personal information on an unsolicited basis. Examples of this include correspondence to the Ministers or to the Department. The Department does not normally give an APP 5 privacy notice in these circumstances because the information is unsolicited.
In all cases where personal information is received, it is handled according to the particular circumstances and in compliance with the Privacy Act.
The Department collects personal information through a range of different channels including:

  • paper-based and electronic forms (including online forms)
  • face to face meetings
  • telephone, email, and facsimile communications
  • Department’s websites (including online portals)
  • social media websites and accounts.


 Kinds of personal information collected and held

The Department collects and holds various kinds of personal information including:

  • records relating to personnel, payroll matters, recruitment, disciplinary and counselling matters for the Department’s staff, contractors and job applicants including security clearances and police record checks
  • records relating to occupational health and safety matters including accident and injury records, compensation and rehabilitation case files
  • applications, correspondence (including decision letters), instruments of appointment, medical and patient records and other records relating to the performance of the Department’s legislative and administrative functions and activities
  • correspondence, invoices, receipts and other records relating to good and services supplied to the Department
  • correspondence, invoices, receipts and other records relating to services provided by the Department or publications purchased from the Department
  • correspondence, curricula vitae, remuneration and travel records and other records including membership lists relating to a range of non-statutory and statutory committees, boards, reference and working groups
  • distribution and mailing lists relating to the dissemination of departmental publications, reports, newsletters and other information of interest to individuals
  • correspondence and other documents relating to contracts, grants, allocations, funding agreements, requests for tenders and other procurement processes
  • correspondence, reports and other records relating to internal and external audits, allegations of fraud and compliance investigations
  • correspondence from individuals, third parties and the Ministers and Ministerial staff including background and briefing material
  • correspondence and other documents relating to complaints and other feedback provided to the Department
  • requests for access to documents held by the Department including requests under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) and related correspondence
  • correspondence and other documents relating to requests for legal advice