The department is committed to the fair collection and safe handling of personal information in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) (IP Act).
The primary intent of the legislation is to protect the personal information collected in the delivery of government services and the conduct of government business.
Types of personal information
Personal information is collected when an individual corresponds with the department. Incoming correspondence will usually contain personal information about the writer and may also contain personal information about other people. The correspondence often requires referral to other relevant areas of the department for consideration and response.
The department collects and holds personal information about:
- social housing tenants, applicants and household members
- departmental employees
- other members of the public through their dealings with the department.
Social housing applicants and tenants
The department collects and holds personal information about social housing applicants and social housing tenants and their household which includes the individual’s name, contact details, income and asset information and current living arrangements. The information is used to allow the department to manage social housing applicants and tenants with their housing needs and services.
The department collects and holds personal information about potential, current and former employees. Commonly, the personal information collected includes the individual’s name, contact details, gender, next of kin, wages/salary and/or relevant allowances, work history, qualifications and equal employment opportunity group designation. The information is used to maintain employment history and manage payroll and other services relating to employment with the department.
The department may collect personal information about individuals through contracted service arrangements, from other government departments under legislative provisions or various information sharing arrangements. The department may also receive and hold unsolicited information about individuals by way of correspondence from third parties or their representatives.
Apply to access your personal information
Your application must:
- be on the approved form
- give sufficient information concerning the document to enable the responsible officer of the agency or the minister to identify the document and
- state an address to which notices under the Act may be sent to you, as the applicant.
You can either:
- apply online
- email or post your application and evidence of identity to the department
- lodge your application in person to your Housing Service Centre where an officer will verify your identity. Your application and evidence of identity will be scanned and forwarded to the RTI Unit to commence processing your application.
Evidence of identity
If you’re seeking documents that include your personal information, you need to provide a certified copy of an identity document, e.g. a passport, driver’s licence or birth certificate. A document is considered certified when it is a photocopy of an original document and witnessed by a lawyer or notary public, a commissioner for declarations or a justice of the peace as being a correct copy of the original document.
If you’re an agent, you need to provide the applicant’s authorisation for you to act as their agent and evidence of your (the agent’s) identity.
Fees and charges
There is no application fee for an individual who wishes to access documents containing their personal information.
Access charges may be imposed for any documents that are provided to the applicant, at 25 cents per A4 page.
Charges may be waived if the applicant holds a health care card or pensioner concession card under the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth) or a pensioner concession card issued by the department of the Commonwealth in which the Veteran’s Entitlements Act 1986 (Cth) is administered. An applicant can request, in writing, that any processing and/or access charges be waived and the request must be accompanied by a certified copy of a health care card or pensioner concession card.
There are no access charges payable for documents provided on CD.
The department has 25 business days in which to make a decision. This period can be extended if consultation with a third party is required.
Applications involving third parties
If the release of the documents may reasonably be expected to be of concern to a third party, the views of the third party are taken into account. The documents will not be provided to the applicant until the rights of review of the third party have expired or the review application is decided.
If you are granted access
You will be notified in writing of the decision and provided with copies of the relevant documents, unless access charges are applicable.
You need to pay the access charges before any documents are released.
Should access be granted to other materials (such as tape and video recordings) and copies are not able to be sent to you, the decision maker will discuss with you how, when and where you can view the material.
If you are refused access
If you are refused access to a document, the department must provide written reasons for the decision and explain your rights of review.
Review of a decision
You can apply to the department for an internal review of a decision. The reviewing officer will make a new decision as if the original decision had not been made.
However, you may choose to apply to the Office of the Information Commissioner for an external review of the department’s decision. You can do so even if you have not first applied for an internal review.
Applications for review of a decision must be made within 20 business days after the date of the written notice of decision.
There are no fees for reviews of decisions.
Request to have documents amended
If you have had access to a document containing your personal information, or the personal information of a deceased person to whom you are next of kin, you can apply to an agency or minister for amendment of any part of the information if it is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading.
Requests for amendment must:
- be in writing
- specify an address to which notices may be sent
- give particulars of the matters in relation to which you believe the information kept by the department or minister is inaccurate, incomplete, out-of-date or misleading
- specify the amendments you wish to be made.