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Britt Lapthorne Bill 2009

Part 2 Alerting families immediately an Australian is reported missing overseas


6   Reports about Australians missing overseas

                   Where the department reports to the local police or other relevant authority in a foreign country that an Australian national who may be staying or travelling in that country is believed to be missing, the department must immediately make all reasonable efforts to identify and contact the person’s next of kin to inform them that the person has been reported missing.

7   Disclosure of personal information about Australians missing overseas

             (1)  Despite any provision in the Privacy Act 1988 , where the department makes contact with a person’s next of kin in accordance with section 6, the department may disclose relevant personal information about the person to his or her next of kin.

             (2)  Decisions concerning disclosures made under this section may only be made by a senior officer of the department authorised by the Minister.

             (3)  The department must develop guidelines subject to the Privacy Commissioner’s approval to assist with the application of this section, including guidance on ascertaining the status of a person as the “next of kin” of an Australian national travelling overseas.

             (4)  The department must report to the Privacy Commissioner at the end of each financial year on the number of occasions on which disclosure of information under this section took place.

8   Requests to opt-out of disclosure arrangement

             (1)  A person may request that the department not contact his or her next of kin in the circumstances described in section 6.

             (2)  If a person has made a request under subsection (1), the department must not disclose personal information about that person unless that disclosure is otherwise authorised.

             (3)  The department must maintain on its website a form allowing a person to make a request in accordance with subsection (1).