The Government has a range of data retention laws which make it harder for people to get access to information, including records on tax returns, employment records, bank records and medical records.
What are they?
Public records laws are state laws which limit the scope of what a person can get access too.
The laws are designed to keep people out of power and to ensure that the public has confidence in government.
The key to understanding how the laws work is understanding what they mean and how they apply.
Public records Laws 1.
What they cover: The main set of laws which apply to all Australians is the Australian Public Records Act (APRA).
These are: Section 26(1)(a) provides that the Minister must make an application for the Minister to make a record available for inspection, copying, publishing or otherwise in the exercise of the powers conferred by this Act.
Section 26 provides for the making of such an application, a copy of the application and the grounds for making such an appeal.
Section 27(1) provides for a decision by the Minister that the record should be released to the public.
Section 28 provides that any record in relation to which the Minister has made an application under section 26(2) must be made available for public inspection or copying, or may be made publicly available on the Internet.
The Government also has a list of Public Records Acts that have been repealed.
This is the list of APRA’s repealed laws.
The main reasons for repealing a law include the loss of confidence in governments and public officials and the inability to comply with an order for disclosure.
The list of repealed laws is available on Government’s website.
There are also other related statutes which apply when a law is repealed or revised: State laws and regulations: This includes the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1997 (TIA) which is repealed and the Privacy Act 1984 (PAAA).
There are no other laws to repeal.
The repealed laws are: the Australian Privacy Principles Act 1992, the Telecommunications Act 1997 and the Telecommunications Transaction Tax (TTT) Act 2000.
Who can access them: The laws apply to anyone who wants to access the data: a business can request access to a public record for business purposes and the Minister can order that the information be made public.
Businesses and their employees can also request that the records be made accessible to the general public.
A person can apply for access to the information if they want to know the name of the person to whom it relates.
This applies to: a person or organisation who has obtained the information under a privilege or exemption under the law; a person who is the subject of an order under the TIA Act or the TAA Act; or a person under the Public Interest Privacy Protection Act.
Business organisations may also request access if they believe that disclosure could damage their business and their reputation.
An organisation or a body which has a business purpose may request that information be published in a newspaper.
If a person wants to obtain the records, they must give notice to the Minister of the purpose.
This notice must contain the person’s name and address, the information they need, the reason why the records should be made inaccessible and the information that they would like to get from the person.
The person must not be able to make the request before the end of the business day.
This information must also include: the reasons why the information should not be made confidential; the reasons for making the records available to the media; and the details of any further information that the person needs to make their request.
A business can also apply to the court for a judicial review if they are dissatisfied with the Government’s decision and believe that the disclosure would not be in the public interest.
They may also apply for an order that an information be released.
A court may order the release of the information to the press, a person, an organisation or the public if the court considers that the release would not prejudice the public’s right to know.
How they apply: Section 27 applies to people who want to access public records.
They must give their name, address and the reasons they want access to their records.
The public may ask for a copy.
Section 38(1),(2),(3) and (4) apply to people under the Privacy Acts.
Section 58 applies to individuals and bodies which have a business or legal interest in the records.
Section 64(1)) applies to a person and body if the person is a member of the public or is an officer or employee of the organisation.
The law also provides that a person may not make an objection to the release or release of records if the Minister considers that: the release may cause undue hardship to the person; and releasing the records would be inconsistent with the public good.
Section 70(1)),(2)) and (3) apply where a person is required to disclose information relating to a private interest, including to: an inquiry into a crime; or to conduct an audit of