Direction relating to Anti-social behaviour project

This is a Direction under s. 41(1) of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998. This Direction replaces the Direction made by the Privacy Commissioner under s. 41(1) on 30 April 2007 entitled “Direction relating to the Anti-Social Behaviour Pilot Project”.

Interpretation

In this Direction:

“adult” means a person who is aged 25 years or over;

“ASBP Participating Agencies” means the public sector agencies participating in the ASBP Project, as listed in Schedule 1 to this Direction;

“ASBP Project” means the Anti-Social Behaviour Pilot Project;

“ASBP Working Group” (ASBP Working Group) is a group made up of representatives from some of the Participating Agencies and chaired by the Director Operations, Department of Premier and Cabinet. The Working Group reports to the Crime Prevention Steering Group, and was previously referred to as the Anti-Social Behaviour Pilot Project Steering Committee;

“Case Coordination Guidelines” mean the procedures for referral and management of complex cases and crisis cases described in this Direction;

“Case Coordination Panel” (Panel) means the Group comprising Case Managers from the Participating Agencies who are selected by the CCSOG to partake in the development and implementation of an individual case plan for an individual child or young person;

“CCEC” means Case Coordination Eligibility Criteria, by which a Contact Agency assesses a case for referral to a CCSOG for management under the Case Coordination Guidelines;

“CCSOG” means a Case Coordination Senior Officers’ Group, comprised of representatives from some or all of the ASBP Participating Agencies, which operates in connection with a location listed in Schedule 2;

“child” means a person under the age of 16 years;

“Contact Agency” means the individual ASBP Participating Agency, which first considers a case for referral to a CCSOG for management under the Case Coordination Guidelines;

“individual” means a child, young person or adult;

“IPP” means an Information Protection Principle as set out in sections 8-19 of the PPIP Act

“PPIP Act” means the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998;

“relevant personal information” means:

(i) any personal information about the relevant individual; or

 (ii) any personal information held on any file of an ASBP Participating Agency, where such a file relates to the relevant individual; or

(iii) any personal information about individuals other than the relevant individual, which is directly relevant to assessing and managing the relevant individual’s case in accordance with the Case Coordination Guidelines;  

“relevant CCSOG” means the CCSOG which operates in connection with the location listed in Schedule 2 that is applicable to the relevant individual’s case;

“relevant individual” means an individual who is being assessed or managed under the Case Coordination Guidelines, including an individual about whom an assessment or determination is being made as to whether his or her case should be referred to a CCSOG or managed under the Case Coordination Guidelines; and

“young person” means a person who is aged 16 years or over but who is under the age of 25 years.

Background

Information collected by law enforcement agencies indicates that while most areas of crime have decreased across the State, assaults have remained steady at high levels, and in some Police Local Command Areas the incidence of assaults has increased. In other areas there has been an increase in anti-social behaviour by children and young people.

Approaches have been established within Police Local Command areas to deal specifically with children and young people at risk that are involved in the commission of assaults or in anti-social behaviour. These areas are set out in Schedule 2 of this Direction.

Objects of the Anti-Social Behaviour Pilot Project

The ASBP Project is an initiative of the ASBP Participating Agencies. The ASBP Project is intended to improve case coordination across the ASBP Participating Agencies regarding the management of complex cases and crisis cases involving children, young people and families who live in, or are habitual visitors to, the locations listed in Schedule 2. It is also intended to improve case coordination across the ASBP Participating Agencies regarding the management of individuals involved in riots, social disturbances or other occurrences that constitute a threat to public health or safety, in order to bring such occurrences to an end, mitigate their effects, or prevent their re-occurrence. These objects are to be achieved by the implementation of the Case Coordination Guidelines governing the management of such cases and the exchange of personal information between, and use of personal information by, the ASBP Participating Agencies. The ASBP Project Working Group oversees the ASBP Project.

Operation of the Case Coordination Guidelines

The steps in the referral and management of complex cases and crisis cases within the Case Coordination Guidelines are:

(1) If a Contact Agency becomes aware that a child or young person may meet the following CCEC:

(a) The child/young person temporarily or permanently resides in, or is an habitual visitor to, a location listed in Schedule 2;  

(b) The child/young person is a high level risk to him or herself and/or others;

(c) Multiple agency collaboration is necessary due to the complexity of the case; and

(d) Agency intervention has failed to reduce the risks so far; the Contact Agency will make an assessment as to whether it is appropriate, based on an application of the CCEC, to refer the case to the relevant CCSOG for assessment and possible management under the Case Coordination Guidelines.

(2) If the Contact Agency concludes on the basis of its assessment of the case against the CCEC that the case should not be referred to a CCSOG, the agency will proceed to deal with the case in accordance with the agency’s usual procedures.

(3) If the Contact Agency concludes on the basis of its assessment of the case against the CCEC that the case should be referred to a CCSOG, the agency must determine whether it is in the best interests of the individual and/or the public interest to obtain the consent of the individual (or, where appropriate, a parent or guardian). In particular, if there are reasonable grounds to believe that seeking consent could unreasonably prevent or delay necessary services being provided with the result that the individual or third parties might suffer harm, the Contact Agency will not seek consent. The consent in question will be consent to refer the case to the relevant CCSOG and for relevant personal information to be collected, used and disclosed by the ASBP Participating Agencies for the purpose of assessing and managing the case under the Case Coordination Guidelines.

(4) If the Contact Agency determines that it is not in the best interests of the individual and/or the public interest to obtain such consent, or if consent has been sought but refused, the agency will rely upon the exemptions operating under this Direction to refer the case to the relevant CCSOG. If consent is obtained, the Contact Agency will refer the case to the relevant CCSOG in accordance with that consent.

(5) On referral, the CCSOG will assess whether management of the case under the Case Coordination Guidelines is appropriate and ASBP Participating Agencies will exchange relevant personal information to facilitate this assessment. If a CCSOG determines that such case management is not appropriate, no further exchange of such personal information will take place between the ASBP Participating Agencies pursuant to the Case Coordination Guidelines. If the CCSOG determines that case management under the Case Coordination Guidelines is appropriate, it will identify which ASBP Participating Agencies should be responsible for planning and implementing the management of the case. The CCSOG will also appoint a lead agency from among those agencies.

(6) If a case has been referred to a CCSOG without the consent of the individual (or, where appropriate, a parent or guardian), the CCSOG will make a determination as to whether it is in the best interests of the individual and/or the public interest to obtain such consent. In particular, if there are reasonable grounds to believe that seeking consent could unreasonably prevent or delay necessary services being provided with the result that the individual or third parties might suffer harm, the CCSOG will not seek consent. The consent in question will be consent to relevant personal information being collected, used and disclosed by the ASBP Participating Agencies for the purpose of assessing and managing the case under the Case Coordination Guidelines. However, even if general consent is obtained, paragraph 1(a) in the “provisions” section of this Direction will continue to apply.

(7) If a CCSOG does determine that case management under the Case Coordination Guidelines is appropriate, but determines that it is not in the best interests of the individual and/or the public interest to obtain consent, or if consent has been sought but (either wholly or partially) refused, the ASBP Participating Agencies will proceed to collect, use and disclose relevant personal information, pursuant to the exemptions operating under this Direction. If consent is obtained, the ASBP Participating Agencies will act in accordance with that consent. However, even if consent is obtained, paragraph 1(a) in the “provisions” section of this Direction will continue to apply.

(8) In exceptional circumstances that involve an ongoing risk of harm to children, young people or the community in a location listed in Schedule 2, the relevant CCSOG will assess whether management of particular cases involving children or young persons, temporarily or permanently residing in, or an habitual visitor to, that location, under the Case Coordination Guidelines is appropriate, without referral from a Contact Agency in the manner described at step (1) and without taking the steps outlined above relating to seeking consent. ASBP Participating Agencies may exchange relevant personal information to facilitate this assessment. If the CCSOG does determine that management of such a case is appropriate, the ASBP Participating Agencies may exchange relevant personal information with other ASBP Participating Agencies and may use such information for the purpose of assessing and managing the case. If necessary and if it is not possible to call a CCSOG meeting in the short term:

(i) the Chair of the relevant CCSOG may make assessments and determinations on behalf of the CCSOG in respect of the relevant location, provided that the Chair informs the relevant CCSOG of the details of this at its next meeting; or

(ii) the Director Operations, NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, may make assessments and determinations on behalf of the CCSOG in respect of any location listed in Schedule 2, provided that the Director informs the ASBP Project Working Group of the details of this at its next meeting.

(9) Notwithstanding step (8) of the Case Coordination Guidelines, in the exceptional circumstances of a riot, social disturbance or other occurrence that constitutes a threat to public health or public safety, or in the aftermath of such, either or both:

(i) the Chair of a CCSOG may make a determination to manage the case of any individual involved in such a riot, social disturbance or other occurrence who is temporarily or permanently residing in, or an habitual visitor to, the location in which the riot, social disturbance or other occurrence is occurring or has occurred, provided this is a location listed in Schedule 2, and the Chair is to inform the relevant CCSOG of the details of this at its next meeting; and

(ii) the Director Operations, NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, may make a determination to manage the case of any individual involved in such a riot, social disturbance or other occurrence who is temporarily or permanently residing in, or an habitual visitor to, any location in New South Wales, regardless of whether the riot, social disturbance or other occurrence took place in a location listed in Schedule 2, and the Director is to inform the ASBP Project Working Group of the details of this at its next meeting.

If such a determination is made, the ASBP Participating agencies may exchange relevant personal information with other ASBP Participating Agencies, and may use such information, for the purpose of assessing and managing the case of the individual involved in such riot, social disturbance or other occurrence, in order to bring such an occurrence to an end, mitigate its effects, or prevent its re-occurrence.

(10) In the course of assessing and managing a case under the Case Coordination Guidelines, the ASBP Participating Agencies may collect relevant personal information from, and disclose relevant personal information to, other ASBP Participating Agencies, and may, subject to step (9), use such information for the purpose of assessing and managing the case. Step (9), where applicable, places additional restrictions on the use of such information.

Public interest

This Direction has been made to allow the ASBP Participating Agencies to collect, use and disclose personal information for the purpose of implementing the objectives of the ASBP Project. I am satisfied that the public interest in making this Direction to enable the implementation of the ASBP Project is greater than the public interest in requiring the agencies named in Schedule 1 to comply with the IPPs as referred to in the provisions set out below. A corresponding direction applies to the ASBP Project in respect of the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002.

Coverage

This Direction covers each public sector agency, which is an ASBP Participating Agency, as listed in Schedule 1 to this Direction.

Provisions

1. ASBP Participating Agencies, in collecting, using and disclosing personal information in accordance with the ASBP Project Case Coordination Guidelines, as described in this Direction, need not comply with:
(a) section 8(1) of the PPIP Act, but only to the extent that ASBP Participating Agencies may collect personal information for a lawful purpose that is not directly related to a function or activity of that agency; or

(b) sections 9, 10, 17, 18 or 19 of the PPIP Act.

2. Paragraph 1 is subject to the condition that the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by an ASBP Participating Agency are reasonably relevant and reasonably necessary for the purpose of meeting the objects of the ASBP Project.

3. The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Direction are not intended to override and do not override any other legal requirement dealing with the collection, use or disclosure of information by an ASBP Participating Agency.

Note. For example, this Direction does not override the secrecy or confidentiality provisions in another Act.

Duration

This Direction has effect until the completion of the ASBP Project.

Signed by me on 2 September 2008

Judge K.V.Taylor

Privacy Commissioner  

Schedule 1 - Public sector agencies covered by this direction (ASBP Project Participating Agencies)

Aboriginal Housing Office

Department of Aboriginal Affairs

Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care

Department of Arts, Sports and Recreation

Department of Community Services

Department of Corrective Services

Department of Education and Training

Department of Health

Department of Juvenile Justice

Housing NSW

Justice Health

Greater Southern Area Health Service

Greater Western Area Health Service

Hunter New England Area Health Service

North Coast Area Health Service

Northern Sydney and Central Coast Area Health Service

NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet

NSW Police Force

Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children (Westmead Children’s Hospital)

South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Area Health Service

Sydney South West Area Health Service

Sydney West Area Health Service

Schedule 2 - Locations Covered by this Exemption

The locations covered by this Direction are those falling within the boundaries of the following NSW Police administrative areas:

1. Canobolas Local Area Command

2. Lake Macquarie Local Area Command

3. City Central Local Area Command

4. Eastern Beaches Local Area Command

5. Orana Local Area Command

6. Darling River Local Area Command

7. Castlereagh Local Area Command

8. Parramatta Local Area Command

9. Macquarie Fields Local Area Command

10. Lachlan Local Area Command

11. Richmond Local Area Command

12. Tuggerah Lakes Local Area Command

13. Wagga Wagga Local Area Command

14. Leichhardt Local Area Command

15. Port Stephens Local Area Command

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