City of Palmerston believes that the responsible handling of personal information is a key aspect of democratic governance and is strongly committed to protecting an individual’s right to privacy. Accordingly, Council is committed to full compliance with its obligations under the Information Act 2002 (NT) (the Act).
This Policy applies to personal information held by the City of Palmerston. Personal information means information from which an individual’s identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained. It includes any Council information that can be linked to a person who is alive or has been alive within the last five years. It can include numbers and things like photos of a person or their property.
For example, Council holds personal information on its ratepayers, such as names and addresses, in order to carry out its functions including planning, valuation and property services. City of Palmerston may also request personal information in order to provide education, welfare and other community services, such as child care services. In some instances, personal information may be contained on a public register (e.g. rates book, register of building permits, food premises and animal registration details).
City of Palmerston may also hold sensitive information. Sensitive information means personal information about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of professional, trade, political association or trade union, philosophical or religious beliefs, sexual preferences or practices, criminal record or health information.
City of Palmerston will only collect personal information that is necessary for its functions and activities. In some instances, Council is required by law to collect personal information. When Council collects personal information we will take reasonable steps to ensure you are aware of what information we want, for what purpose, whether any law requires us to collect it, and the consequences, if any, of not providing the information.
Generally, Council will only collect sensitive information with your consent or if it is required by law.
If it is reasonable and practical to do so, Council will collect personal information about you directly from you. If City of Palmerston collects personal information about you from someone else, Council will take reasonable steps to ensure that you are aware of this information.
Use and Disclosure
City of Palmerston will only use personal information within Council, or disclose it outside Council, for the purpose for which it was collected or as allowed under the Act. For example, where you have consented or where the other purpose is related to the purpose for collection and you would reasonably expect this to occur. Some de-identified personal information may be used for policy development and social planning, but not in a way that reduces privacy.
Council may disclose personal information to our contractors for the purpose of carrying out their duties. For example, if you make a complaint or a request for work to be carried out, such as repairs to a driveway or footpath outside your house, Council may ask the contractor to contact you to arrange a suitable time for the work to be done.
Wherever possible, Council will take every reasonable measure to protect your privacy. However, there may be some instances in which your anonymity cannot be guaranteed. For example, if you make a complaint about a neighbour, you may be required to provide evidence in court if the matter cannot be resolved without legal action.
City of Palmerston Library
City of Palmerston Library collects information about you in order to provide a comprehensive public library service, including lending and in-house services and to advise you on all facilities, services, programs, collections, special events and activities so that your individual needs are met. The only information collected is provided by you when joining the library.
By applying to become a member of the Library, you are consenting to your personal information being disclosed to the Northern Territory Government for the sole purpose of addition to and maintenance of a shared database.
This database is shared by libraries throughout the Northern Territory (LINNet) and provided by Northern Territory Library and Information Services (NTLIS). NTLIS allows authorised access to some or all of this information to authorised staff in all libraries in LINNet. This information sharing helps us to provide services such as interlibrary loans to patrons throughout the Territory. You may request access to the information City of Palmerston Library holds about you by contacting Council’s Director of Corporate Services in writing.
City of Palmerston Library will only use the personal information collected for the purposes stated above. If required by legislation, then the Library will disclose your personal information.
City of Palmerston will endeavour to maintain a secure system for storing personal information. Technological and operational policies and procedures are in place to protect personal information from misuse and loss and from unauthorised modification or disclosure. Council will dispose of or de-identify personal information where it is no longer necessary to fulfill the purposes for which the information was collected or as required bylaw.
Where lawful and practical, City of Palmerston will give you the option of not identifying yourself when supplying information or entering into transactions with Council, and will advise you of any consequences of remaining anonymous. For example, we may not be able to provide services to you or deal with your complaint if we cannot identify you.
While personal information is usually handled by Council staff, City of Palmerston may outsource some of its functions to third parties. This may require the contractor to collect, use or disclose.
Access and Correction
Should you wish to access your personal information, please contact Council’s Director of Corporate Services on 08 8935 9922. Access will be provided except in the circumstances outlined in the Act, for example, where the information relates to legal proceedings.
If you believe that your personal information is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date, you may require that Council correct the information. Your request will be dealt with in accordance with the Act.
If you are unhappy with Council’s handling of your personal information, you may make a complaint to Council’s Director of Corporate Services on 08 8935 9922. Your complaint will be investigated within five business days and a written response will be provided.
Alternatively, you may make a complaint to the Northern Territory Information Commissioner (although the Commissioner may decline to hear the complaint if you have not first made a complaint to the City of Palmerston).
The Information Act (NT), including the Information Privacy Principles, can be viewed in full at the Office of the Information Commissioner website https://infocomm.nt.gov.au/