The nature of the business of mediation means that DSCV employees hear and record private and confidential information from clients.  This information is treated in accordance with the DSCV Privacy Policy and DSCV Confidentiality Policy. The DSCV Privacy Policy has been drafted to respect and protect the rights of DSCV clients and employees.

Statement of policy

The DSCV collects personal information for statutory, reporting and administrative reasons. Where lawful and practicable an individual may be anonymous when interacting with DSCV. No identifying details will be collected if they request.

Typical DSCV information collected includes:

  • solicited and unsolicited correspondence from the public
  • applications, enquiries, submissions, surveys and complaints
  • details of volunteers, visitors, committee members and statutory office holders
  • research data
  • details about occupational health and safety

The type of personal information DSCV collects depends on the nature of the contact with DSCV. Other government organisations including, agencies, local councils or statutory bodies may refer client enquiries to DSCV. In some cases, as permitted by privacy legislation, DSCV may collect sensitive personal information, particularly with clients during the assessment of suitability and mediation processes.

Why does DSCV collect information?

DSCV collects personal information that is necessary for its functions including administration, assessment of suitability, mediation and training. DSCV staff must take reasonable steps to explain why personal information is collected, what is done with it, whether any law requires it and the main consequences for a person if it is not provided to DSCV. If clients refuse to provide personal information such as name and contact details, a consequence may be that DSCV is not be able to offer some services such as mediation.

What does DSCV do with information?

DSCV uses and shares personal information for the purposes the information was collected. Occasionally, DSCV may be authorised by law (sometimes privacy legislation but often other laws) to use or provide personal or health information for another reason. In some instances, a person’s consent may be sought to use or provide personal information to another organisation for a particular reason.

DSCV assigns or adopts a unique identifier (e.g. case file number) for parties when it is necessary, authorised by law or with consent. DSCV ensures any transfer of personal information outside Victoria is in accordance with privacy legislation.

How can individuals access information held by DSCV?

Where appropriate an individual may ask for access to their personal information informally, without having to make a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). In some situations, informal access will not be appropriate, and an individual will have to make a formal Freedom of Information request. (For example, if a third party's privacy is involved). Formal requests for access to personal information are managed in accordance with the FOI Act. A client, contractor or member of staff can access personal information by contacting the privacy officer or FOI unit and make an FOI request.

How does DSCV ensure that information is accurate and up-to-date?

DSCV will take reasonable steps to ensure that personal information held is accurate, complete and up-to-date. In many instances, DSCV relies on individuals to provide accurate and current information in the first instance, and to inform us when circumstances or details may change.

How does DSCV store and protect information?

DSCV has many information privacy and security measures aimed at protecting against the misuse, loss, unauthorised access or unauthorised disclosure of personal. Stored information is also archived in accordance with the Public Records Act 1973 which determines when it is appropriate to retain or dispose of personal information.

How does DSCV handle complaints about privacy?

DSCV undertakes to resolve privacy complaints in a timely, fair and reasoned way. Clients should direct their questions to the privacy coordinator, or contact the Department of Government Services' Senior Privacy Adviser, by phoning 1300 372 888 or by sending a letter to the following address:

Senior Privacy Adviser
Executive Services
Department of Government Services
121 Exhibition Street
Melbourne, VIC 3001