OAIC to develop APS-wide privacy code

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 22 May, 2017

OAIC to develop APS-wide privacy code

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) will develop a a privacy code covering the entire Australian Public Service (APS).

The OAIC will develop the code in collaboration with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), the APS and data stakeholders, and with the input from public consultations.

The code is expected to be complete next year, and it will apply to all agencies governed by the Privacy Act. Once complete, the new code will be implemented across the APS with the support of PM&C.

In a joint statement, PM&C said strong personal data protection is vital to unlocking the potential of government-held data, and this will require APS-wide standards and capabilities.

“Privacy protection fully supports data innovation when an integrated approach is taken,” Information and Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim added.

“The Privacy Code, and its supporting tools and resources, will ensure the APS has the skills and capabilities to place that integrated approach at the centre of public sector innovation. We are looking to make best practice the only practice for government-held data.”

Pilgrim wrote to the PM&C in March requesting that an APS-wide privacy code be developed.

He had asked for the code to be developed by PM&C itself, but stated that he would be happy to develop it himself if his office was found to be best suited for the role, adding that he would be seeking close engagement with the department in this case.

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