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Legal & Privacy

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Privacy

The principles contained within the GOTAFE Privacy & Freedom of Information Policy are provided below:

Collection of Information

We will only collect information that is relevant. At the time of collection, we will provide a written statement why we need the information requested; what purposes we use this information for and whom we regularly disclose this information to. Information will also be provided about the individual’s right to access and, if appropriate, correct information we hold about them. Information that is collected will be held securely to prevent any security breaches. Information that is collected will be processed in order to meet the individual needs of our employees and customers.

Use and Disclosure

GOTAFE will not divulge any personal or health information to a third party for any reason other than the primary purpose for its collection or for purposes specified in our privacy notice or with the consent of the individual or as required by law.

GOTAFE values our employees and customers and will respect the privacy of their personal and health information.

Data Quality

GOTAFE will take all reasonable steps to ensure that information is protected from misuse, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. All information not required will be destroyed in accordance with privacy legislation or as required by other legislation or as required under guidance from the Public Records Office Victoria.

Data Security

GOTAFE will take all reasonable steps to ensure that information is protected from misuse, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. All information not required will be destroyed in accordance with privacy legislation or as required by other legislation or as required under guidance from the Public Records Office Victoria.

Openness

GOTAFE will take all reasonable steps to provide employees and customers with details of their personal and health information being held, upon request. GOTAFE will advise them of the type of information we possess, the purpose for it being held, the method of collection, use and disclosure of the information as well as their rights to access and amend this information.

Access and Correction

In most circumstances we will give employees and customers access to their personal or health information upon request. All requested information will be provided within 30 days from receipt of the request. All information that is not accurate will be amended within 5 days of receiving a written request to do so.

Informal access to records is usually available, though in some circumstances a request for access will need to be made under the FOI Act.

GOTAFE seek to have accurate records so information needed to update these records such as current contact details will be made on request. Other amendments may require an application and consideration under the FOI Act.

Unique Identifiers

Sometimes GOTAFE is required to collect unique identifiers such as Centrelink numbers, Tax File Numbers or Health Care Card Numbers. If GOTAFE requires this information, the purposes of its collection will be explained to individuals.

GOTAFE will not use these unique identifiers for any purposes other than those for which they were collected.

If GOTAFE ascribes a unique identifier to an individual for internal use, this will not be shared with any other body or person without the written consent of the affected individual, unless authorised under law.

Anonymity

GOTAFE will give employees or customers the option of not identifying themselves when entering transactions with us wherever it is lawful and practicable.

Transborder Data Flows

GOTAFE will not transfer personal information to any person, unless that person or body is legally obliged to protect the individual’s privacy under equivalent or higher privacy legislation than GOTAFE. In most circumstances, the transborder transfer of personal or health information that is held about an individual will only be transferred with that individual’s consent, unless it relates to personal or community health and safety, or is permitted by law.

Sensitive Information

GOTAFE will only collect sensitive information about an individual with consent of the person or as required by law.

GOTAFE will only contract with and supply personal or health information with suppliers, contractors and employers who agree to adhere to our privacy policy and all relevant privacy legislation.

Freedom of Information (FOI)

Any request by an individual for access to GOTAFE documents, or information held by GOTAFE under the FOI Act, is to be done so as per GOTAFE’s Freedom of Information Procedure.

Protected Disclosure

GOTAFE supports the making of disclosures that reveal improper conduct or the taking of detrimental action in reprisal against persons who come forward to report such improper conduct.

The Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (Victoria) provides protection of individuals who may disclose improper or corrupt conduct by public officers. Please refer to GOTAFE’s Protected Disclosure (Whistleblower) Policy for guidance.

For more information on privacy at GOTAFE please refer to the Privacy and Freedom of Information Policy. GOTAFE complies with both State and Federal Privacy laws as applicable.

Legal, Policies & Procedures

One of our Strategic Goals is to “achieve strong financial results, environmental improvements and contribute to social development in our region.”

GOTAFE is committed to minimising our impact on environment and will continue to put in place measures to reduce our electricity usage, travel, waste, water and greenhouse gas emissions.

GOTAFE use animals for teaching purposes to train students in agricultural and animal care industry vocational practices. An obligation to respect animals underpins all activities.

GOTAFE’s Animal Ethics Committee ensures that all teaching activities involving the use of animals uphold the highest standards of animal care and complies with the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (8th Edition, 2013).

At our Wangaratta Regional Study Centre, Tone Rd, Wangaratta, we are grateful for the use of local horses for our equine teaching programs. We are committed to providing the highest level of care to all horses entrusted to us by their owners. Horses are checked daily including over weekends, and may be paddocked with light rugs during warmer months. The rugs provide horses with protection from the sunlight, insects and the heat.

Any enquiries can be addressed to the Animal Ethics Committee via email: animalethics@gotafe.vic.edu.au

Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE operates in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) and its amendments for Freedom of Information (FOI) Access Arrangements. For further information and guidance on GOTAFE’s Privacy & Freedom of Information arrangements, please refer to the Freedom of Information Procedure.

Those who wish to lodge an FOI request with GOTAFE, are to do so by completing the Freedom of Information Request Form and forward it to the:

GOTAFE Privacy Officer, 152 Fryers Street, Shepparton VIC 3630 (privacy@gotafe.vic.edu.au)

Charges for FOI access are governed by the Act, its amendments and the Freedom of Information (Access Charges) Regulations 2014, which apply from June 28, 2014.

GOTAFE seeks to maintain high levels of integrity and public trust and avoid conflicts of interest. A policy and procedure framework aligns to Victorian Public Sector Commission (VPSC) guidelines, including for the management of the acceptance or provision of Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality.

GOTAFE documents that align to the VPSC’s ‘Gifts, benefits and hospitality Policy framework’ include:

A Gifts, Benefits & Hospitality Register is maintained in accordance with the policy framework and the register can be viewed here.

The Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (the Act) has replaced the now repealed Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001.

The main object of the Act is to encourage and facilitate the making of disclosure of improper conduct by public officers and public bodies and establish a system for matters to be investigated. The Act provides protection from detrimental action to any person affected by a protected disclosure whether it is a person who makes a disclosure, a witness, or a person who is the subject of an investigation.

The GOTAFE Protected Disclosure Coordinator (PDC) can provide general guidance relating to Protected Disclosure, however they are not authorised to accept any disclosure made by any individual or body, relating to GOTAFE. GOTAFE cannot accept disclosures under the Act.

Protected Disclosures are to be reported directly to IBAC;

Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (ibac)
Phone 1300 735 135 | Fax 03 8635 6444
Street address Level 1, North Tower, 459 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Postal address GPO Box 24234, Melbourne VIC 3001
Web www.ibac.vic.gov.au/contact-us

GOTAFE is to ensure the welfare and protection of genuine persons making protected disclosures against detrimental action, provided GOTAFE is aware a disclosure has been made. Any instances of detrimental action against a person making a protected disclosure should be reported immediately to the Protected Disclosure Coordinator.

The Protected Disclosure Coordinators for GOTAFE are;

GOTAFE Chief Financial Officer
Phone 1300 468 233

GOTAFE Executive Manager, Human Resources
Phone 1300 468 233

For further information relating to Protected Disclosure you can access GOTAFE’s Protected Disclosure (Whistleblower) Policy and the Protected Disclosure (Whistleblower) Procedure.

Information is also available at the IBAC website listed above.

Australian society is defined, among other aspects, by a belief in elected Government, by a commitment to the rule of law, to equal rights for all before the law, and by a belief in freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of association. Our society is also tolerant of a range of religious, political, social and cultural beliefs and values in the context of the fundamental principle of our democracy.

As a registered training provider operating under the regulations of the Victorian Education and Training Reform Act, GOTAFE undertakes to deliver our programs and teaching in a manner that supports and promotes the principles and practice of Australian democracy.

This includes a commitment to:

  • Elected government
  • The rule of law
  • Equal rights for all before the law
  • Freedom of religion
  • Freedom of speech and association
  • The values of openness and tolerance

GOTAFE is committed to operating in a manner consistent with these principles and to ensure that these principles are put into practice through appropriate inclusion in Institute policies and procedures.

The GOTAFE community is enriched by people of many backgrounds, age, race, ethnic and national heritage, physical and intellectual abilities and lifestyle choices. GOTAFE aims to treat all members of the community with dignity, courtesy and respect.

By creating a positive environment in which the welfare and needs of students is of paramount importance, GOTAFE seeks to enhance the learning experience and optimise outcomes for all students. In this way, GOTAFE aims to not only practice these principles but to imbed them in the learning process to contribute to their perpetuation.

Through the GOTAFE Behavioural Policy and Procedure, the Institute aims to:

  • Foster an environment that is free from discrimination, harassment and bullying
  • Promote appropriate standards of conduct at all times
  • Implement education and awareness-raising strategies to ensure that everyone is made aware of their rights and responsibilities
  • Encourage reporting of inappropriate behaviour and provide an effective procedure for resolving complaints in a sensitive, confidential, fair and timely manner
  • Provide protection from victimisation
  • Provide individuals access to information outlining how to best manage their health and safety
  • Ensure the principles of natural justice are adhered to at all time

Statement of Adherence to Australian Democratic Principles

The Victorian Ombudsman takes complaints about Victorian state and local government departments and agencies (including TAFEs).

The Ombudsman is independent and impartial and provides a free service.

When you make a complaint to the Ombudsman about a government action or decision, the Ombudsman can look into it, tell you what occurred, and whether it was reasonable or unreasonable; she can also make recommendations to the government body about its conduct.

A complaint can be made to the Ombudsman via the following details:

Phone: (03) 9613 6222 or 1800 806 314 (Regional Only)

Website: www.ombudsman.vic.gov.au