This statement applies to the following websites and online facilities -
These websites and online facilities are managed by the Public Trustee and Guardian (PTG).
For information about how PTG handles your information, please refer to the following policies:
- Public Trustee and Guardian Access to information Policy155.11 KB (MS Word146.00 KB)
What this policy determines
This policy clarifies how we handle information about you in the course of conducting our business. It also sets out the way PTG protects information including any personal information, sensitive information, or personal health information about you which is collected or held by us.
Who we are and what we do
PTG is an independent government organisation which has the functions of Public Trustee and Public Guardian.
Within these functions, PTG has responsibilities as a guardian or financial manager, and can make personal care and health care decisions, as well as financial and property decisions, for persons with a decision-making disability. PTG also provides other services including deceased estate administration, Will-making services, Enduring Power of Attorney services, trust administration and funds and property management. PTG's functions and activities are governed by an extensive list of legislation.
The following directions apply to the handling of all stored personal information that has been received for the purposes of delivering PTG services and products. These directions apply to all PTG employees and any contractors and service providers undertaking work on our behalf.
Collecting and receiving information about you
When PTG becomes involved in someone's life, we collect and receive a lot of personal and sensitive information about the person, their family and sometimes friends. We respect the privacy and confidentiality of that information. PTG collects this information to have a better understanding of a person's needs in order to provide our services.
We only collect personal information about you in ways that are lawful, fair and directly related to our work. This information can be collected through forms, face-to-face-meetings, emails, fax messages and telephone calls. The information may come from you directly or from other people, organisations and government agencies, where your consent has been given, or when we exercise legislative powers. It may also come from publicly available sources, including social media, land titles registers etc.
When we collect information from you, we will notify you about who we are, why we need to collect the information, how you may be affected if we cannot collect the information and to whom that information may be disclosed.
Without the information we collect, PTG is unable to do its job properly. This includes securing and protecting a person's financial affairs and ensuring the person is appropriately supported with the relevant services in a timely manner. Where necessary, this may also include information about the identity of beneficiaries under a Will, bank and investment account details, health and medical information, superannuation and insurance, medical service providers, details of assets and liabilities and current court cases.
The data quality of your personal information is important to PTG. To ensure that personal information we collect is accurate, up-to-date and complete we:
- record information in a consistent manner;
- where necessary, confirm the accuracy of information we collect from other sources;
- promptly add updated information or new personal information to our records;
- regularly audit our contact lists and identification credentials; and,
- review the quality of the personal information before we use or disclose it.
Under the Information Privacy Act 2014 and the Freedom of Information Act 2016, you have the right to ask that we correct errors or update your personal information. If a correction or update is made, any incorrect or out-of-date personal information that has been disclosed to others, can also be corrected or updated.
If you contact us, but choose not to identify yourself, or use a made-up name, we can still help you by describing the services we are able to offer.
How we keep and protect information about you
The Information Privacy Act 2014 and the ACT Government Protective Security Policy Framework requires PTG to take all reasonable measures to ensure your personal information is safe and secure with us. This means that only certain people within PTG can have access to that information, and that it can only be passed onto other people or organisations in restricted circumstances.
Any personal information held by PTG about you is stored electronically in a secure case management computer network or, for paper documents, in locked cabinet files and a secure warehouse. Access to that information is controlled on a need-to-know basis to provide maximum privacy protection.
Due to the nature of PTG's multiple business services, this can also mean the protection of personal information from being shared between PTG business areas where appropriate. This is because the multiple functions within PTG also mean the potential scope for more than one service responsibility being created for the one person.
To allow PTG to maintain its services in the event of a natural disaster, PTG uses more than one storage facility for paper files and back-up systems for electronic files.
Under the Territory Records Act 2002, PTG is required to keep government information, including your personal information for specified periods depending on the nature of the material. Where individual case management files are no longer active, there are secondary legislative provisions which determine the timing and subsequent destruction of that information.
If your personal information is accidentally released, lost, corrupted or accessed without authorisation, PTG will enact its Data Breach Management Policy (DBMP). The DBMP is implemented swiftly to contain further damage, assess the breach, warn you if affected, and implement additional controls to prevent similar breaches in the future.
Disclosure of your personal information to others
PTG will only disclose your personal information with others if you agree. This is usually limited information to establish relationships with your service providers, financial institutions and legal advisors, or for the purpose of buying or selling real property on your behalf, financial planning advice, activating payments to you, or verifying the identity of beneficiaries under a will or trust. In some circumstances, it may be necessary for PTG to communicate with overseas agencies.
However, where a law requires or allows us to disclose your personal information without your consent, we can do so in exceptional circumstances. Examples of these exceptional circumstances include:
- where there is a threat to life, health or safety of a person;
- law enforcement to prevent or detect a crime;
- addressing misconduct or corruption involving our work;
- suspected child abuse or other reportable conduct; or
- complying with court or tribunal directions.
Access to information
You have the right to access government information, personal information or personal health information under ACT legislation. Refer to the PTG Access to Information Policy No 19 for further details.
If you are unhappy with how we have handled the privacy of your personal information, we ask that you make a complaint to us in writing (by letter or email). We can assist you to make your complaint with us. Our email, facsimile and postal address for complaints is:
Facsimile: (02) 6207 9811
Post: Complaints – PO Box 221, Civic Square ACT 2608
If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, you may ask for a review by PTG or make a formal complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. The OAIC contact details for complaints is:
Facsimile: (02) 9284 9666
Post: Complaints – GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001
Legislation and definitions
The legislative provisions governing the privacy of PTG information are:
- Information Privacy Act 2014 (IP Act)
- Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997 (HR-PA Act)
- Freedom of Information Act 2016 (FOI Act)
- Public Trustee and Guardian Act 1985
- Administration and Probate Act 1929
- Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003
- Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act 2003
- Financial Management Act 1996
- Public Sector Management Act 1994
- Territory Records Act 2002
- Guardianship and Management of Property Act 1991
- Official Visitor Act 2012
- Powers of Attorney Act 2006
- Trustee Act 1925
- Unclaimed Moneys Act 1950
- Wills Act 1968
Key definitions used in this policy document are:
Personal information means information or an opinion about a person who is reasonably identifiable - whether that information or opinion is true or not and whether the information and opinion is recorded in a material form or not. Personal information does not include personal health information (IP Act).
Sensitive information means personal information about a person's race or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, religious beliefs or associations, philosophical beliefs, membership of a professional or trade association or trade union, sexual orientation or practices, criminal record, genetic information, or biometric information or a biometric template that relates to the individual (IP Act).
Personal health information means information, whether or not recorded in a health record, relating to the health, illness or disability of a consumer or collected by a health service provider in relation to the health, illness or disability of a consumer (HR-PA Act).
Government information means information contained in a record held or accessible by an agency or Minister excluding - information relating to the Minster's personal or political activities or created or received by a Minister in their capacity as a member of the Legislative Assembly (FOI Act).
How to contact us
- Email us through our contact form
- Telephone: (02) 6207 9800
- Facsimile: (02) 6207 9811
- Post: PO Box 221, Civic Square ACT 2608
- National Relay Service
- TTY users' phone
- Speak and Listen users' phone
- Internet relay users connect to the NRS
- Translating and Interpreting Service
Apart from the local call cost, these are free.
If you visit the websites and/or online facilities managed by PTG to read or download information or conduct an online transaction, PTG automatically records the following information in their log files -
- Your Internet Protocol (IP) address. The IP Address is a unique numerical identifier used by computers and other devices to identify and communicate with each other over a network. PTG uses the IP Address to direct requested web pages to you where this is required;
- Top level domain name (eg: .com, .net, .gov, .au etc);
- The type of browser and operating system you use;
- Date and time of your visit;
- The previous site visited;
- Which pages are accessed;
- The time spent on individual pages and the site overall;
- Which files were downloaded; and
- What keywords you used to search the site.
This information may be used to improve these websites and online facilities and to help PTG to understand how people are using them. The log files do not collect or store personally identifiable information.
'Cookies' are small pieces of information that are stored by the browser on your computer's hard drive. The data collected about your use of these websites and online facilities is transmitted to and stored on servers. The service uses this data for the purpose of compiling usage reports for PTG and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage.
The reports provided by the service to PTG contain only aggregate non-personal data about your use of these websites and online facilities. These reports may contain data relating to pages viewed, files downloaded or the completion of online forms or subscriptions. PTG uses the data collected by the service to improve these websites and online facilities and to help PTG to understand how people are using them.
The service may transfer this data to third parties where required to do so by law, or where third parties process this data on behalf of the service.
Personal information is defined as information about an individual whose identity is apparent or reasonably identifiable.
No personal information is collected automatically through this website. All personal information collected and/or stored must be voluntarily provided by you.
PTG will only collect personal information about you when you voluntarily participate in an activity that asks for information, such as:
- Sending an enquiry or feedback;
- Participating in a survey;
- Making a booking;
- Undertaking a payment or other transaction;
- Creating an account; and
- Opting in to communication or subscription services.
PTG will collect personal and financial information (e.g. postal address and invoice numbers) where you choose to provide this information. The information requested in each case is required to complete the transaction. The information collected through the online version of the transaction is equivalent to the information collected using the alternate channels such as in person at our office.
If you choose not to provide personal information when completing one or more of these activities, you may not be able to complete that activity. If you choose not to participate in these activities, your choice will in no way affect your ability to browse these websites and online facilities.
Use of your personal information
Personal information you provide when sending an enquiry or feedback, participating in surveys, making a booking, undertaking a payment or transaction, creating an account, or opting in to communication or subscription services is strictly used only for the purpose it was collected and where extra information is required in order to provide the service you have requested.
PTG may use your contact details to respond appropriately, for example to advise receipt, address issues you identify, or to seek action from another government agency or other organisation.
Survey information is used only for the purpose designated.
PTG will not share information about you with other government agencies or other organisations without your permission unless:
- it is necessary to provide you with a service that you have requested;
- it is required or authorised by law; and
- where permitted general situations exist, such as to lessen or prevent a threat to life, health or safety; to assist with the location of a missing person; or to investigate suspected unlawful activity or serious misconduct relating to our functions.
Storage and security of your personal information
Security measures including, but not limited to, authentication, monitoring, auditing and encryption have been integrated into the design, implementation, contractual arrangements and day-to-day practices of the entire PTG operating environment as part of its continuing commitment to risk management.
These security measures ensure the privacy of information while it is being transmitted across the Internet and protect your information against loss, misuse and alteration.
Credit card details are submitted directly to the banking system and are not passed or retained by PTG in any form.
Access to and correction of personal information
You can review any personal information collected about you at any time by making a formal request in writing to PTG.
PTG will take reasonable steps to correct the information to ensure that, having regard to the purpose for which it is held, the information is accurate, up-to-date, complete, relevant and not misleading. The obligation to correct information is subject to any applicable limitation in a law that provides a right to require the collection or amendment of documents.
If you believe that your personal information is being used for a purpose other than what was intended when submitted, you may contact PTG. In all cases, PTG will take reasonable steps to verify your identity prior to granting access to your personal information or making corrections to the information collected.
Privacy obligations applying to PTG
With respect to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, PTG is bound by the (ACT) Information Privacy Act 2014.
PTG ensures that appropriate standards are used when service provision is outsourced to the private sector.
Neither PTG nor any agency, officer or employee warrants the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information published by this system, nor endorses any content, viewpoints, products or services linked from this system and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of such information.
Portions of such information may be incorrect or not current. It is your responsibility to verify all information provided by these websites and online facilities and/or websites linked to or from them. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this system does so at his or her own risk.
How to contact us
If you have any comment in relation to any aspect of the collection, use, security of or access to your personal information please contact PTG.
If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction you may wish to contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.