Privacy Law and Policy Reporter
Australian Privacy Commissioner, Credit Reporting Determination 1996 No 1
The Privacy Commissioner has issued Credit Reporting Determination 1996 No 1, concerning classes of credit providers. It covers those categories of business which do not come under the definition of `credit provider' in the Privacy Act but who nonetheless provide credit and require access to credit reports issued by a credit reporting agency. This instrument, issued under s 11B(1)(b)(v)(B) of the Privacy Act, continues the effect of the earlier Determination No 1 of 1993, and takes effect from 26 August 1996 for a period of five years (until 25 August 2001). It remains subject to disallowance by Parliament -- the period for disallowance will expire in October.
The lapsed Bill also contained some other minor amendments to Pt IIIA which would:
It is expected that these too will be re-introduced in the next session.
Another proposed amendment, to deal with the issue of subject access `under duress', is still under consideration and consultation with the Credit Reporting Consultative Group.
Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) Schedule 4; Statutory Rule 1996 No 7, gazetted 3 January 1996
Persons employed or contracted by the Australian Securities Commission (ASC) no longer have the protection of the Commonwealth spent convictions scheme, following the making of regulations under Sched 4 of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth). The effect is that anyone applying to work for the ASC, as an employee, consultant or even contractor, can be asked questions about even a minor criminal record in the past which would normally be considered `spent' under the scheme. Statutory Rule 1996 No 7, gazetted on 31 January 1996, also gives the ASC an exclusion from the scheme when considering whether to prosecute or making submissions as to sentence. Previously the ASC, like other commonwealth agencies, was expected not to ask about spent convictions, which individuals are entitled not to disclose.
In making this amendment, the then Attorney-General rejected advice from the Privacy Commissioner. This advice followed the criteria set out in the May 1990 Advice published by the Commissioner, which seeks to limit exclusions from the scheme to circumstances similar to those included in the original statute. In the Commissioner's view, the case made by the ASC to be treated as a `law enforcement agency' for the entirety of its operations was not convincing, but the Attorney-General took a contrary view, placing the ASC in the same category as the Australian Federal Police and the national crime authority. In all previous applications for exclusion, the Attorney-General has followed the Commissioner's advice.