Freedom of information and privacy
The Northern Territory’s Information Act (the Act) took effect 1 July 2003 and impacts the way Northern Territory public sector organisations collect, use and store government and personal information. Under the Act, and for the first time in Australia, the related issues of freedom of information (FOI), privacy and records and archives management are brought together.
The Act is designed to promote the protection of personal information and the free flow of government information, subject only to the need to protect essential public interests and the private and business interests of persons.
The Act has four main components:
- right of access to government information, including personal information, except where an exemption applies
- the appointment of an Information Commissioner
- effective and responsible record keeping and records management
- protection of personal information in the public sector by application of Information Privacy Principles (IPPs).
The Act does not replace other procedures for accessing information or limit access to government information (other than personal information) that is already publicly available.
The Act creates a legal right of access to government and personal information held by government, including the right to request correction of personal information where a person believes information regarding them is incorrect, inaccurate or out of date. This right of access is limited if disclosure of particular information would be contrary to the public interest and have a prejudicial effect on essential public interests or on the private or business interests of other persons.
Read more about making freedom of information requests to the Northern Territory Government.
Request access to information
Applying to access information
The Act provides community access to government information, including personal information. The right to access information is limited only in circumstances where the disclosure of particular information would be contrary to the public interest. The Act does not replace other acts or procedures for accessing government information, or limit access to publicly available government information.
Read the DTF Information Access Policy
How to apply to access information
To access information held by DTF, make a request directly to the relevant area or unit that holds the information you require. The request will be forwarded to the Information Policy Unit. Alternatively, you may complete an Application to Access Information form.
Submit the form to the Information Policy Unit, using the contact details listed. Please read the Information Access Policy prior to submitting an Application to access information request.
Application and processing fees
For information about fees associated with information requests go to the Northern Territory Government website.
How to apply for a review of a decision
When a person makes an application to access government information or correct their personal information, DTF must make a determination on the application within 30 days of accepting the application and advise the applicant in writing of that decision or it is deemed to have been refused.
If the applicant is dissatisfied with the decision of the initial request, the applicant has a right to seek an internal review with DTF. If the applicant is still dissatisfied with the outcome of the internal review, further rights of review exist with the Information Commissioner. For more information, read
Submit the form to the Information Policy Unit, using the contact details listed. Please read the DTF Internal Review Policy prior to submitting an Application for a Review of a Decision.
Correcting your personal information
In accordance with the Act, every person has the right to correct his or her personal information if they believe the information is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date.
Under the Act, the department can make the change you requested, change the information in another way, or refuse to change the information.
If the person and the public sector organisation holding the information disagree on the correction to be made, you will be provided with written reasons for refusal, and be given an opportunity to request the department takes reasonable steps to associate with the information, a statement by the person to the effect that, in the person's opinion, the information is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date.
How to apply for a correction
To apply to correct your information submit an
Explain why you think the information is not accurate, incorrect, incomplete or out of date, and submit your application to the Information Policy Unit using the contact details listed below. There are no fees associated with this process.
For further information go to the Northern Territory Government website.
Share access to your information
In accordance with the Act, DTF cannot supply your personal information to anyone without your written consent. If you would like to consent to the release of information held by DTF to a particular person or organisation complete an Application to authorise disclosure of personal Information form:
Application to authorise disclosure of personal information (Form)
This application form can be submitted directly to the Information Policy Unit, using the contact details listed.
DTF applies the following privacy principles to your personal information.
- When your personal information is collected by the department, it will only collect what is necessary to provide you with the best and most appropriate services.
- The department will advise the reasons for collecting your personal information, how it will be used, if it will be disclosed to anyone and that you have the right to access it.
- The department will only use your personal information for the purpose for which it was collected, and will not use it for another purpose unless you give consent, if it is required by law, or if the use is related to the reason for which it was collected.
- The department will keep your information secure and take reasonable steps to ensure it is accurate, complete and up-to-date.
- If there is no law requiring the department to keep your personal information, it will be destroyed or de-identified once it is no longer needed.
- On request, the department will give you access to your personal information.
If you are concerned your personal information has been collected or handled in a manner that contravenes an IPP under the Act, or that DTF has interfered with your privacy, you should submit a written complaint to the Information Policy Unit, using the contact details listed.
Include your name and contact details, and why you believe your personal information has been collected or handled in contravention of the Act or how your privacy has been interfered with. There are no fees associated with this process.
Provide as much detail as possible, including:
- date and time
- location of incidents
- description of events and people involved
- names and contact details of any witnesses.
If you are not satisfied with any response you receive from the department in relation to an interference with your privacy, you can then lodge a complaint with the Northern Territory Information Commissioner.
Read the DTF Complaints Policy
Application for a Privacy Compliant (Form)
Further information can be found here: https://nt.gov.au/law/rights/privacy-your-rights
Governance Information and Reporting Unit
Phone: +61 8 8999 5429
Information and Governance Officer
Governance Information and Reporting Unit
GPO Box 4396
DARWIN NT 0801
Receiver of Territory Monies
Office of the Information Commissioner
Last updated: 24 August 2020
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