Media Release - IPC Annual Report 2021/22 tabled in NSW Parliament
The Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC) CEO, NSW Information Commissioner and Open Data Advocate, Elizabeth Tydd, today released the IPC Annual Report 2021/22 (the Report). It includes a report of the work of the NSW Privacy Commissioner, Samantha Gavel, for the period and her Report on the Operation of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998. The Report was tabled in NSW Parliament on 31 October 2022.
Commissioner Tydd noted that the Report demonstrates the IPC’s position as a responsive integrity agency in a dynamic government environment.
“Strategically, we have proactively promoted information access and privacy rights in an increasingly digital environment with audits and advices that provide contemporary insights and strategies to preserve citizens’ fundamental rights and position agencies to protect those rights in digital government,” said Commissioner Tydd.
“Operationally, the IPC’s positive performance outcomes over the past year are clearly demonstrated in our ability to deal with high case volumes and retain both timeliness and importantly quality outcomes.”
Commissioner Gavel added, “During 2021/22, a key focus for the IPC was to work with NSW government agencies to promote and protect privacy rights and reduce privacy risks, particularly in relation to projects and services involving the use of digital technology.
“The IPC provided advice and assistance to agencies to ensure privacy rights of citizens were considered and preserved in measures and initiatives to manage issues including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the elevated cyber threat environment.”
Highlights from the Report include:
- 40 strategic and regulatory initiatives finalised across the previous and current Strategic and Regulatory Plans
- finalisation of 764 information access and privacy reviews and complaints
- 387 information access and privacy advices provided to support compliance by agencies
- finalisation of 4 proactive information access audits and 1 privacy audit
- 112 advices provided to projects seeking funding under the Digital Restart Fund
- Commissioners provided submissions to 9 reviews and inquiries conducted by government including 5 joint submissions
- 3,140 enquiries dealt with from the public
- 460,319 page views and a 4.8% increase in website visits to the IPC website (ipc.nsw.gov.au)
- raising awareness of privacy and information access rights with the release of 28 new information access, privacy and corporate publications, and 34 updated publications
- release of new formats of communications including 4 new animations on citizens’ rights and agency obligations under the Government Information (Public Access) Act (GIPA Act), Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act (PPIP Act) and Health Records and Information Privacy Act (HRIP Act).
The Commissioners recognise the importance of enhancing public trust in government services in the contemporary digital environment, particularly with respect to their privacy rights and rights to access government information.
Commissioner Tydd said, “In NSW, we have firmly established e-Government to better deliver funds, services and transact with citizens. These new channels present efficiencies, facilitate instantaneous engagement and introduce new risks.”
“As new risks emerge because of the efficiencies delivered by digital government, it is essential that we recognise the impact on enshrined human rights – the right to information and privacy.
“The vast areas of responsibility by government demand transparency and accountability to the citizens they serve. Importantly, they require new modes of engagement to promote a participative democracy.”
Commissioner Gavel added, “The pace of development and innovation in the digital space is likely to continue and even increase into the future. Ensuring that privacy is at the centre of digital technology and digital innovation will enable NSW government agencies to secure the benefits of this technology, while minimising the risk of harm to privacy rights.”
Commissioner Tydd concluded, “The antidote to the erosion of trust in contemporary governments is e-Governance. The forward focus of the IPC will be to ensure that we inform NSW’s progress from a transactional e-Government model to a mature e-Governance approach that institutionalises democratic processes and values in all manifestations of digital government.”
The IPC Annual Report 2021/22 is available on the IPC website.
For further information, please contact:
The Manager, Communications and Corporate Affairs on 0435 961 691 or email email@example.com
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.
The Government Information (Information Commissioner) Act 2009 (GIIC Act) establishes the procedures for appointing the Information Commissioner and sets out the Commissioner's powers and functions. It outlines the method for people to complain about the conduct of agencies when undertaking their duties under the GIPA Act, and the way in which the Information Commissioner may deal with the complaint. The GIIC Act also enables the Information Commissioner to investigate and report on how agencies carry out their functions under 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