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NSW Government Bulletin - 8 August 2018

08 August 2018

#Government, #Data & Privacy

NSW Government Bulletin - 8 August 2018

Are your health records safer in paper than online? 

While the discussion about opting out of MyHealth record at a Federal level centres on issues relating to cybersecurity, a reported data breach in NSW last week indicates that paper health records may not be more secure. 

The ABC reported that more than 1,000 confidential medical records had been found in a derelict former aged care facility near Helensburgh. Photos posted with the report indicated graffiti in the facility which was dated 2015 and records strewn about. 

A reproduced but de-identified patient record published as part of the report indicated that the records included pain, incontinence charts, social worker reports, doctor’s referrals and hospital admission forms. 

While it has not been confirmed, NSW Health has stated that the building was illegally accessed and, even if that is the case, the photos in the report indicate via the tag on the graffiti that it has been illegally accessed since 2015. If the records strewn about the floor have the potential to contain personal information then that it is a long time for NSW Health to have failed to take action to secure the records.

It is reported that the NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, has instructed an audit of archived medical records. He has also expressed apologies to families whose relatives may have had records in the relevant facilities. 

If the reported facts are true, the situation is a breach of the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW) and Health Privacy Principle 5 which requires that an organisation that holds health information must ensure that “the information is protected, by taking such security safeguards as are reasonable in the circumstances, against loss, unauthorised access, use, modification or disclosure, and against all other misuse” and then that  “the information is disposed of securely and in accordance with any requirements for the retention and disposal of health information”. 

Author: Lyn Nicholson

In the media

Private health sector most vulnerable to data breaches – report
Private health sector is the most vulnerable to data breaches, followed by the finance, legal and accounting sectors according to the quarterly notifiable data breaches report published by the Office of the Australia Information Commissioner (OAIC) (31 July 2018).  More...

Record investment in community justice in NSW
Free legal help for the state’s most vulnerable people has been secured after the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government unveiled a $44 million ‘future fund’, the interest from which will further strengthen the state’s Community Legal Centres (CLCs) (01 August 2018).  More...

NSW campaign to peeve identity thieves
A council in one of the state’s identity-theft hotspots is fighting back against fraudsters with a new video campaign to protect residents all over NSW. Attorney General Mark Speakman has today launched Strathfield Municipal Council’s Protect Your ID, Protect U video that blows the lid on common identity theft scams and shows people how to avoid being targeted (31 July 2018).  More...

NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly update June 2018
The increase is attributable to a steady growth in both prisoners on remand (i.e. unconvicted prisoners awaiting trial or sentence) and sentenced prisoners. Commenting on the findings, the Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) said that BOCSAR expected the NSW prison population to continue increasing over the next year (30 July 2018).  More...

In practice and courts

OAIC: Notifiable Data Breaches second Quarterly report released
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has received 242 notifications under the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme in the period 1 April to 30 June 2018, according to the second quarterly statistical report on data breach notifications received under the scheme released on 31 July 2018. This is the first full quarter of operation of the NDB scheme since it commenced on 22 February 2018. The private health sector is the top sector for reporting data breaches under the Australian NDB scheme with 49 notifications in the quarter.  More...

CDPP launches Commonwealth sentencing resources
Two new sentencing resources are now available on the CDPP webpage. The National Legal Direction – Duties and Role of the Prosecution in a Sentencing Hearing and the Sentencing of Federal Offenders in Australia – A Guide for Practitioners are now available under News, Publications and Policies. It is planned that these resources will be updated on a regular basis to ensure that they continue to provide a useful and comprehensive guide to federal sentencing (27 July 2018). 

Time to talk about a properly resourced "Family Court of Australia 2.0"
The New South Wales Bar Association has today released a discussion paper to encourage a national conversation about the benefits of preserving a specialist "Family Court of Australia 2.0" as an alternative to the restructure proposed by the Commonwealth Attorney-General on 30 May 2018.  More...

NSW Justice: Task Force – Terms of Reference
The Task Force is established with the objective of assessing the circumstances and Corrective Services NSW's (CSNSW) subsequent investigation and management of a number of inappropriate relationships between CSNSW staff and offenders. The Task Force will also look into any other allegations of such inappropriate relationships that surface during the term of the Task Force (29 July 2018).  More...

NSW Justice: Review of the Crime Commission Act 2012
The Crime Commission Act 2012 is being reviewed to determine if the whether the policy objectives of the Act remain valid and whether the terms of the Act remain appropriate for securing those objectives. Submissions close 20 August 2018.  More... 

Strengthening child sexual abuse laws in NSW
The NSW Government has prepared a discussion paper that identifies issues and poses questions about possible options for child sexual abuse law reform. The paper considers the recommendations made by the Royal Commission and the recommendations of the NSW Parliament's Joint Select Committee on Sentencing of Child Sexual Assault Offenders. Submissions close 6 October 2018.  More... 

JUDCOM Sentencing Bench Book 2018
Update 41, July 2018 - Unless otherwise stated, section numbers refer to the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.
Deferral for rehabilitation or other purpose References to forum sentencing intervention programs have been deleted from Declaration and regulation of intervention programs at [5-440] and Restrictions on the power to make intervention program orders at [5-450] following the commencement on 29 June 2018 of the Criminal Procedure Amendment (Intervention Programs) Regulation 2018.  More...

ICAC: Operation Skyline public inquiry to resume Monday 6 August 2018
The Operation Skyline public inquiry into allegations concerning the Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council resumed from 6 August 2018 and will last for approximately two weeks. Click here for more information and the witness list for week 1. Please note that witness lists are subject to change (03 August 2018).

ICAC: Operation Dasha public inquiry to continue from 6 August at LECC
The Operation Dasha public inquiry into allegations concerning the former Canterbury City Council is continuing at the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission hearing room. Click here for more details and the witness list. Please note that this list is subject to change (03 August 2018).

Prosecution briefs with the DPP and outcomes
Tables summarising information about briefs that are with the DPP, and prosecution outcomes. Last updated 3 August 2018.  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly update June 2018
BOSCAR: 30 July 2018
Overall the adult prison population continues to grow, increasing by 4.1 per cent in the last 12 months. As of June this year, the prison population stood at 13,630. The increase is attributable to a steady growth in both prisoners on remand (i.e. unconvicted prisoners awaiting trial or sentence) and sentenced prisoners.  More... 

Preparing for copyright term changes in 2019
National and State Libraries Australasia: 25 July 2018
This discussion paper identifies the major library policies, systems and staff activities that will be affected by changes to the copyright duration provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), due to come into effect on 1 January 2019.  More...

Human rights and technology issues paper
Australian Human Rights Commission: 24 July 2018
The release of this issues paper marks the formal launch of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s major project on human rights and technology.  More...


DKC v NSW Trustee and Guardian [2018] NSWCATAD 167
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – review of decision of NSW Trustee and Guardian to decline a claim for reimbursement of expenses from protected person’s estate – principles followed by NSWTG to the reimbursement of expenditure from protected person’s estate –- sufficiency of supporting evidence - whether decision is the correct and preferable decision. 

CGU Workers Compensation (NSW) Ltd v Department of Planning and Environment [2018] NSWCATAD 169
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Government Information – information provided in confidence – personal information – whether disclosure could reasonably be expected to prejudice the effective exercise by an agency of the agency's functions – whether disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to prejudice any person's legitimate business, commercial, professional or financial interests – whether overriding public interest against disclosure.

Denyer v Commissioner of Police, NSW Police Force [2018] NSWCATAD 160
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Government Information (Public Access) Act - personal information – weight of information already revealed – whether information known to applicant can still be revealed – access to information about an individual by the individual- whether in those circumstances such information could still prejudice an agency’s functions – whether dormant information constitutes a record.

Zonnevylle v Department of Justice [2018] NSWCATAD 158
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – access to government information – ability of agency to impose processing charge and advance deposit – time for deciding request for reduction in charge - advance deposit not paid within time – refusal to further deal with access application.


Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Guardianship Amendment (Corresponding Laws) Regulation 2018 (2018-395) — published LW 27 July 2018


Dispute Resolution, Inquiries and Administrative Law
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Construction and Infrastructure (Projects and Procurement)
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