Confidentiality and publication of Tribunal proceedings
Hearings are open to the public
Most hearings of the Tribunal are open to the public. A person may make an application to the Tribunal pursuant to section 12 of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1995 to have the hearing closed to the public or to have particular persons excluded from the hearing.
Evidence that is supplied to the Tribunal may be discussed at the hearing in accordance with rules of procedural fairness. If you believe that the information that you wish to provide is especially confidential and that it should not be discussed at the hearing, you must apply (in writing or at the hearing) to the Tribunal to have that information treated confidentially.
The Act provides protection for persons or organisations disclosing information.
Section 85(1) states that a person who makes a report or gives information to the Tribunal is not subject to any liability for making the report or giving the information so long as he or she acts in good faith and has reasonable and probable grounds for believing the report or information to be true.
Publication of names and photographs is prohibited
Section 13 of the Act prohibits the publication of information or a photograph which may lead to the identification of a person or persons involved in matters before the Tribunal unless the publication has been specifically approved by the Tribunal.
It is also prohibited to disclose information obtained by the Tribunal or the Public Guardian that deals with the personal history or records of a person who is the subject of an application or an order unless it has been authorised under Section 86.
Media outlets are encouraged to contact the Tribunal for further information about these provisions.
Providing information to Tribunal - A guide for financial institutions
It is the practice of the Tribunal, in applications for the appointment of an administrator or to review an enduring power of attorney, to verify financial information against statements of accounts from financial institutions. The Tribunal writes directly to financial institutions requesting details of a proposed represented persons accounts and balances.
A. Your obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
Banks and financial institutions are subject to the National Privacy Principles (NPP) in the federal Privacy Act 1988.
Those principles state at NPP 2.1 that if an organisation collects personal information for one purpose it can only use or disclose it for a secondary purpose in limited circumstances. NPP 2.1(g) permits an organisation to disclose personal information for a secondary purpose where disclosure for that purpose is required or authorised by law.
B. Your obligations under the Guardianship and Administration Act
Section 11(11) of the Tasmanian Guardianship and Administration Act 1995 provides:
'The Tribunal may, for the purposes of any proceedings require any government department or State authority, the Public Guardian or a service provider, guardian or administrator to provide a report or information on any matter relating to the proceedings of the Tribunal.'
Section 11 also defines service provider to include a financial institution or person with whom a proposed represented person has deposited money or on whose account money has been deposited.
C. Section 11(11) deemed a lawful secondary purpose
The federal Privacy Commissioner has indicated that the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal may invoke section 11(11) to require a bank or financial institution to disclose personal information relating to the proceedings of the Tribunal, that the disclosure would therefore be required by law and would be permitted by NPP 2.1(g).
D. Additional protection at law
The Guardianship and Administration Act 1995 provides protection for persons or organisations making disclosures in section 85(1). That section states that a person who makes a report or gives information to the Tribunal is not subject to any liability for making the report or giving the information so long as he or she acts in good faith and has reasonable and probable grounds for believing the report or information to be true.
For further information contact:
Phone: 1800 657 500
Phone: 1300 363 992
Release of information from Tribunal files
There are circumstances where the Tribunal may allow the release of information obtained in the course of an application or a hearing and these are set out in Section 86 of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1995. If you require information from a Tribunal file, please forward a request in writing to the Deputy President of the Tribunal.