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Privacy Law and Policy Reporter

Privacy Law and Policy Reporter (PLPR)
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Greenleaf, Graham --- "Complaint: Use of Official Conduct Record" [1994] PrivLawPRpr 20; (1994) 1(2) Privacy Law & Policy Reporter 31

Complaint: Use of Official Conduct Record

Australian Privacy Commissioner (Annual Report 1992-93)

Personnel records - IPP 9 (use) - IPP 4 (security) - Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), s14

''The complainant, an employee of the agency, appeared before a Disciplinary Appeal Committee, where the charges were upheld. The resulting Official Conduct Record (OCR) was alleged to have been repeatedly disclosed to selection committees for any position for which the complainant applied, and at least one copy appeared to have been held by line management. The action, on its face, appeared to be consistent with the relevant, but very brief, Personnel Management Manual (PMM) provisions. It did not however appear to be consistent with the IPPs.

By agreement with the agency, the OCR will be kept on the personnel file only, and no other copies will be maintained. In any future selections for which the complainant makes application, the OCR will be given to the delegate only, and not to the committee. The agency will also prepare national guidelines for departmental staff on the use of OCRs, in consultation with the Public Service Commission' (Fifth Annual Report on the Operation of the Privacy Act, p 91). The Commissioner also commented that the PMMs need

Comment

The complaint as reported illustrates how IPP 9 can easily be breached by ''internal' use of information by agencies. It would have been valuable to have the Commissioner's reasoning in distinguishing between the positions of the delegate and the committee, in terms of the interpretation of IPP 9

Graham Greenleaf


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