IPC Annual Report 2018/19 released

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Media release:
IPC Annual Report 2018/19 released

Information and Privacy Commission (IPC) CEO, NSW Information Commissioner and Open Data Advocate Elizabeth Tydd released the IPC’s Annual Report 2018/19 today, which also contains a report on the work of the Privacy Commissioner, Samantha Gavel for the same period.

The Annual Report documents the IPC’s work and organisational achievements during the reporting period and outlines the IPC’s focus for the year ahead across both information access and privacy in NSW.

Ms Tydd noted the Annual Report demonstrates that the IPC is an effective regulator, and influencer upholding the important rights of information access and privacy.

“The importance of these rights has been amplified by digital technology. Applications to the IPC continued to increase, demonstrating the intensifying importance citizens are placing on these rights. The IPC has met the challenge with a 28% increase in the finalisation of cases.

The IPC continued to support NSW public sector agencies in addressing contemporary information governance challenges to promote information access and privacy respectful digital services that are designed to deliver more effective and timely outcomes for the public.

The increase in rights awareness and reliance upon digital solutions will require an ongoing commitment and a strong strategic focus going forward,” said Ms Tydd.

Ms Gavel noted that the IPC provided effective information governance advice to NSW Government agencies.

“We launched two important self-assessment governance tools for public sector agencies, one for privacy and one for information access,” said Ms Gavel.

“Upholding and promoting NSW citizens’ right to information access and privacy is central to the work of the IPC. Our service to the public has been enhanced through our finalisation of applications, provision of guidance to members of the public, strategic regulatory initiatives and our active promotion of these important rights.

“A prime example was the new guideline on Care Leavers' Access to Out-of-Home Care Records to ensure that former care leavers have effective access to the historical records relating to their time in institutional care,” said Ms Tydd.

2018/19 highlights include:

  • improving community and agency understanding of privacy and information access rights in NSW with 26 new publications released
  • realising the community’s information access and privacy rights with the finalisation of 750 reviews and complaints, 28% more than in 2017/18
  • supporting the public by dealing with 2633 email and phone enquiries from the public and providing information - receiving 495,545 page views of its website, a 14% increase from 2017/18
  • supporting public sector compliance by agencies by providing 437 advices to agencies
  • releasing the Information Commissioner’s Report on the Operation of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2019, 2017-2018. 

Ms Gavel added that privacy issues have been an important consideration of the work being done by NSW Government agencies to increase digital service delivery and provide better services and outcomes for the public.   Seventy-five voluntary breach notifications were made to the Privacy Commissioner.

“Privacy initiatives during the year included production of guidance materials to assist agencies to diminish privacy risks and increase the reporting of privacy breaches and guide agencies in preparing public interest disclosures and in obtaining consent.  The IPC’s Privacy Awareness Week panel event on the theme of Privacy in NSW – the next 20 years: Consent, Protection & Digital Government, focussed on current and emerging privacy challenges,” said Ms Gavel.

To access the IPC Annual Report 2018/19 click here

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

IPC media team on 0435 961 691 or email ccadigital@ipc.nsw.gov.au

About the Information and Privacy Commission:
The Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC) is an independent statutory authority that administers New South Wales’ legislation dealing with privacy and access to government information. The IPC supports the Information Commissioner and the Privacy Commissioner in fulfilling their legislative responsibilities and functions and to ensure individuals and agencies can access consistent information, guidance and coordinated training about information access and privacy matters.

About the NSW Information Commissioner 
The NSW Information Commissioner’s statutory role includes promoting public awareness and understanding of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act); providing information, advice, assistance and training to agencies and the public; dealing with complaints about agencies; investigating agencies’ systems, policies and practices; and reporting on compliance with the GIPA Act.

About the NSW Privacy Commissioner
Samantha Gavel was appointed as NSW Privacy Commissioner on 4 September 2017. Her role is to promote public awareness and understanding of privacy rights in NSW, as well as provide information, support, advice and assistance to agencies and the general public.

For further information about the IPC visit our website at www.ipc.nsw.gov.au