In late 2021, the Information Commissioner published guidance on Collection, disclosure and storage of information relating to vaccination of workers - NT Vaccination Direction. While that guidance was given in the context of the specific Direction, it contained general guidance on taking, securing and retaining information regarding vaccination status. While the Direction is no longer in force, much of the guidance will remain relevant both with respect to retention of information collected under the Direction and to cases where individual employers impose a separate requirement for collection and use of personal information relating to vaccination status of employees. The guidance cannot be updated to reflect every possible circumstance in which such information may be retained or continue to be collected. It nevertheless provides useful general guidance on factors to be considered, with necessary adaptation due to the circumstances of the particular case. The updated printable statement is available in the Publications section of this website under Guidelines or can be viewed directly by clicking here.
The Office of the Information Commissioner together with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and other state and territory privacy commissioners and ombudsmen have produced the following universal privacy principles to support a nationally consistent approach to solutions and initiatives designed to address the ongoing risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please follow this link to read more: National COVID-19 Privacy Principles - Home (oaic.gov.au)
Our Office and NT government agencies are currently operating in an environment of unprecedented events related to COVID-19.
This has the potential to lead to staff absences for varying reasons, staff being assigned to alternative essential duties and varied work arrangements, e.g., working remotely and, at some stage, possible closures of certain units or offices.
All of these factors require changes to the way we operate and the way government agencies operate. We will continue to make every effort to provide services to the NT community but our ability to respond and the timeliness of responses will be affected. The same will be true for many NTG agencies, even if there are statutory timeframes in place for action.
These are extraordinarily challenging times for everyone and we appreciate that this is also true for people approaching our office and individual agencies.
In these difficult circumstances, we are grateful for your understanding and patience.
Please note: If someone lodges a complaint to the OIC because an agency has not complied with a statutory timeframe, and the agency’s ability to deal with or respond sufficiently to the application has been impacted by the current situation, the OIC may decide, to exercise its discretion to refer the complaint back to the agency when normal business resumes.