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Private Health Insurance Bill 2007

Part 6-8 Disclosure of information

Division 323 Disclosure of information

323-1   Prohibition on disclosure of information

             (1)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person has, or has at any time had, a duty, function or power under this Act; and

                     (b)  the person discloses information to another person; and

                     (c)  the information is * protected information; and

                     (d)  the disclosure is not an * authorised disclosure.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years or 120 penalty units, or both.

             (2)  Information is protected information if the information:

                     (a)  either:

                              (i)  is obtained by a person in the course of performing duties or functions, or exercising powers, under this Act; or

                             (ii)  was information to which subparagraph (i) applied and is obtained by a person by way of an * authorised disclosure under section 323-10, 323-15 or 323-20; and

                     (b)  relates to a person other than the person who obtained it.

             (3)  A disclosure of information is an authorised disclosure if the disclosure is one that the person may make under section 323-5, 323-10, 323-15, 323-20, 323-25, 323-30 or 323-35.

323-5   Authorised disclosure: official duties

                   For the purposes of subsection 323-1(3), a person may disclose information if the disclosure is made:

                     (a)  in the course of performing a duty or function, or exercising a power, under this Act; or

                     (b)  for the purpose of enabling a person to perform functions under the Medicare Australia Act 1973 .

323-10   Authorised disclosure: sharing information about insurers among agencies

             (1)  For the purposes of subsection 323-1(3), a person to whom subsection (2) applies may disclose information to another such person if:

                     (a)  the information relates to any or all of the following:

                              (i)  a private health insurer;

                             (ii)  an applicant to become a private health insurer;

                            (iii)  a person carrying on * health insurance business;

                            (iv)  a * director or * officer of a person mentioned in subparagraph (i), (ii) or (iii); and

                     (b)  the information is not information of a kind specified in the Private Health Insurance (Information Disclosure) Rules as information that must not be disclosed under this section; and

                     (c)  the disclosure is made in accordance with any requirements in the Private Health Insurance (Information Disclosure) Rules.

             (2)  This subsection applies to the following persons:

                     (a)  the Minister;

                     (b)  the Secretary of the Department;

                     (c)  an APS employee in, or a person holding or performing the duties of an office in, the Department;

                     (d)  a member of the Council;

                     (e)  a person employed, or a consultant engaged, by the Council;

                      (f)  the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman;

                     (g)  an APS employee in, or a person holding or performing the duties of an office in, the Statutory Agency of the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman;

                     (h)  the Medicare Australia CEO;

                      (i)  an APS employee in, or a person holding or performing the duties of an office in, Medicare Australia.

323-15   Authorised disclosure: sharing information about insurers other than among agencies

             (1)  For the purposes of subsection 323-1(3), a person may disclose information to another person if:

                     (a)  the information relates to any or all of the following:

                              (i)  a private health insurer;

                             (ii)  an applicant to become a private health insurer;

                            (iii)  a person carrying on * health insurance business;

                            (iv)  a * director or * officer of a person mentioned in subparagraph (i), (ii) or (iii); and

                     (b)  the information is not information of a kind specified in the Private Health Insurance (Information Disclosure) Rules as information that must not be disclosed under this section; and

                     (c)  the disclosure is made in accordance with any requirements in the Private Health Insurance (Information Disclosure) Rules; and

                     (d)  the disclosure is, or is a kind of disclosure, certified by the Minister by written instrument to be in the public interest; and

                     (e)  if there are any conditions specified in the certificate—the conditions are met.

             (2)  The Minister may specify conditions in a certificate under paragraph (1)(d) relating to the application of the certificate.

             (3)  A certificate under paragraph (1)(d) is not a legislative instrument.

323-20   Authorised disclosure: public interest

             (1)  For the purposes of subsection 323-1(3), a person may disclose information to another person if:

                     (a)  the information does not relate to any of the following:

                              (i)  a private health insurer;

                             (ii)  an applicant to become a private health insurer;

                            (iii)  a person carrying on * health insurance business;

                            (iv)  a * director or * officer of a person mentioned in subparagraph (i), (ii) or (iii); and

                     (b)  the information is not information of a kind specified in the Private Health Insurance (Information Disclosure) Rules as information that must not be disclosed under this section; and

                     (c)  the disclosure is made in accordance with any requirements in the Private Health Insurance (Information Disclosure) Rules; and

                     (d)  the disclosure is, or is a kind of disclosure, certified by the Minister by written instrument to be in the public interest; and

                     (e)  if there are any conditions specified in the certificate—the conditions are met.

             (2)  The Minister may specify conditions in a certificate under paragraph (1)(d) relating to the application of the certificate.

             (3)  A certificate under paragraph (1)(d) is not a legislative instrument.

323-25   Authorised disclosure: by the Secretary or Council if authorised by affected person

                   For the purposes of subsection 323-1(3), the Secretary or the Council may disclose information to a person who is expressly or impliedly authorised by the person to whom the information relates to obtain it.

323-30   Authorised disclosure: court proceedings

                   For the purposes of subsection 323-1(3), a person who has, or has at any time had, a duty, function or power under this Act may disclose to a court information that relates to another person for the purposes of an action or proceeding before the court to which that other person is a party.

323-35   Authorised disclosure: Council’s public information and agency cooperation functions

                   For the purposes of subsection 323-1(3), the Council may disclose information to the extent necessary to perform the Council’s public information functions under subsection 264-10(5) and agency cooperation functions under subsection 264-10(6).

323-40   Offence: disclosure of information obtained by certain authorised disclosures

                   A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person obtains information; and

                     (b)  the person does so by way of an * authorised disclosure under section 323-10, 323-15 or 323-20; and

                     (c)  the person discloses the information; and

                     (d)  the disclosure by the person is not an authorised disclosure.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years or 120 penalty units, or both.

323-45   Offence: soliciting disclosure of information

                   A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person solicits the disclosure of information from another person; and

                     (b)  the information is * protected information; and

                     (c)  the person knows, or ought reasonably to know, that the information is protected information; and

                     (d)  the disclosure would not be an * authorised disclosure.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years or 120 penalty units, or both.

323-50   Offence: use etc. of unauthorised information

                   A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  information is disclosed to the person; and

                     (b)  the information is * protected information; and

                     (c)  the disclosure to the person is not an * authorised disclosure; and

                     (d)  the person knows, or ought reasonably to know, that the disclosure to the person is not an authorised disclosure; and

                     (e)  any of the following apply:

                              (i)  the person solicited the disclosure of the information;

                             (ii)  the person discloses the information;

                            (iii)  the person uses the information.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years or 120 penalty units, or both.

323-55   Offence: offering to supply protected information

                   A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person:

                              (i)  offers; or

                             (ii)  holds himself or herself out as being able;

                            to supply (whether or not to a particular person) information about another person; and

                     (b)  the person knows that the information is * protected information; and

                     (c)  the supply would not be an * authorised disclosure.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years or 120 penalty units, or both.