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Budget 2006: Assisting business to meet privacy obligations.



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL THE HON PHILIP RUDDOCK MP

NEWS RELEASE

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600  Telephone (02) 6277 7300  Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.ag.gov.au/ag

9 May 2006

ASSISTING BUSINESS TO MEET PRIVACY OBLIGATIONS

Australian businesses will be assisted in meeting their obligations under the Privacy Act 1988, through funding of $6.5 million over four years for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC), announced today by Attorney-General Philip Ruddock.

The OPC is being given additional funds to enable it to:

ï¿» respond to calls from business and industry for greater assistance in meeting obligations under the Privacy Act 1988

ï¿» review its complaint handling practices to ensure that privacy complaints are undertaken efficiently and effectively, and

ï¿» respond to Australian Government requests for high level advice on information privacy aspects in the development of new policy initiatives.

“Consultation with the private sector will be a key element of ensuring information and guidance materials meet the needs of Australian industry,” Mr Ruddock said.

The materials will give private sector organisations a comprehensive and clear understanding of their privacy obligations, as well as providing guidance on how to improve and consolidate privacy practices within their organisations.

The OPC will also develop and monitor strategies for assisting businesses and industry to meet their compliance requirements under the Privacy Act. The strategies include developing business specific compliance tools to assist business to undertake their own internal compliance activities.

“The increased resources to assist businesses to meet their obligations will ease the regulatory burden and should increase consumer confidence in the handling of personal information by private sector organisations,” Mr Ruddock said.

“Easy access to special material for small businesses will reduce the burden in determining their obligations under the Privacy Act.”

The funds will also allow the OPC to review its complaint handling practices and ensure that complaint handling practices are streamlined and the backlog of complaints is cleared.

Media Contact: Charlie McKillop (02) 6277 7300 0419 278 715