Policies & Disclaimers

The purpose of this Policy is to inform our clients how we collect, use and protect personal information.

The Public Trustee provides a number of services to the Tasmanian community including preparation of Wills and powers of attorney, estate and trust administration, acting as attorney for people requiring assistance to manage their financial affairs or as financial administrator of people when appointed by the Tasmanian Civil & Administrative Tribunal.

Personal information collected
The Public Trustee collects personal information including details such as addresses, marital and family circumstances and financial affairs about our clients for the purposes of enabling us to provide our services or to carry out our statutory functions.

Such information is collected directly from clients or incidental to the appointment of the Public Trustee as trustee, executor or administrator.

The type of personal information the Public Trustee collects includes names, addresses, date of birth, contact details, financial institution account numbers, details about assets such as property, shares, superannuation etc.  In addition, we collect other specific information about our clients that may be required for the purpose of discharging our functions.  Sensitive information, such as health information, will generally only be collected with your consent if it is necessary, or if the collection of that information is required or permitted by law.

Under the Personal Information Protection Act 2004, the Public Trustee is the custodian of personal information it collects and the collection, use and disclosure of information which is to be used by the Public Trustee is governed by that Act, the Public Trustee Act 1930, the Guardianship and Administration Act 1995 and the Australian Privacy Principles set out in the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Cth).

The Public Trustee takes reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information it holds is accurate, complete and up to date.  Where practicable, the Public Trustee checks on the accuracy of personal information.

Unique Identifiers
The Public Trustee does not assign unique identifiers to people unless it is necessary for it to carry out functions efficiently or as required by law.  The Public Trustee does not adopt as its unique identifiers the unique identifiers from other organisations.  However, the Public Trustee may collect unique identifiers assigned to clients by another organisation, but will not disclose these without lawful authority.

Access to and Correction of Information Collected
The Personal Information Protection Act 2004 provides that a person can access their personal information held by the Public Trustee.

If a person considers the personal information the Public Trustee holds regarding them to be incorrect, incomplete and out of date or misleading, they can request the information be amended.

Requests to access or correct your personal information held by the Public Trustee will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Right to Information Act 2009 and /or the Australian Privacy Principles.

For further information contact the Right to Information and/or Privacy Officer, phone 62 355 250 GPO Box 1565 Hobart 7001 and by email, tpt@publictrustee.tas.gov.au.

Depending upon the nature of the request a fee may be charged for this service.

If you are not satisfied with the handling or outcome of your request for access to or correction of your personal information, you can lodge a complaint with the Privacy Officer of the Public Trustee or with the Ombudsman.  The Ombudsman’s Office can be contacted on 1800 001 170 (cost of local call outside Hobart area) and by email at ombudsman@justice.tas.gov.au.

Use and Disclosure of Personal Information
Staff are provided with or have access to the information that is necessary for them to carry out their functions within the Public Trustee.  All staff are bound by confidentiality requirements.

Personal information will be used only for the purpose described in the Personal Information Collected and the Australian Privacy Principles.  Otherwise, personal information will only be disclosed with consent of the person to whom the information relates, or if it is required by or authorised by law.  For example, the Public Trustee may be required to disclose personal information to a Court or a Tribunal. The Public Trustee seeks compliance to the same regulatory constraints regarding disclosure from entities overseas and in other jurisdictions if required to disclose to such entities.

The Public Trustee provides regular statements of account to clients where they are the beneficiary of a trust or where the Public Trustee has been appointed as their financial administrator or attorney.  However, where a client is under a disability, whether legal or otherwise, for example, a minor, the Public Trustee may forward these statements to someone other than the client, such as a parent, spouse, guardian or carer etc.

There may be a need or requirement to disclose some or all information collected to contractors and agents of the Public Trustee for the purpose of obtaining a service.

The Personal Information Protection Act permits the disclosure of “basic personal information” (that is, name, address, date of birth and gender) to other public sector bodies where necessary for the efficient storage and use of information.

Some information collected may be used in research, statistical analysis, state or national reporting, awareness programs, public statements or training, but not in a way that would identify the person to whom it relates.

People have the right to request the source of the personal information held by the Public Trustee, opt out of receiving direct marketing communications from the Public Trustee, and opt out of disclosure of their personal information for third party marketing. Such options can be exercised by contacting the Privacy Officer as referred to above.

Security of Personal Information
We use a number of procedural, physical and technical safeguards, including access controls, secure methods of communication and back-up and recovery systems to protect information from misuse and loss, unauthorised access, modification and disclosure.

Generally, information is destroyed or permanently de-identified when it is no longer required.  However, under the Archives Act 1983, some information is required to be kept for specified periods or permanently.

The Public Trustee is bound by the National Privacy Principles for handling personal information. To find out more about your rights and the Public Trustee’s obligations, contact the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner (www.privacy.gov.au).

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