VIC Privacy statement to ensure govt body shares info?

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Mike Love

Well-Known Member
25 June 2014
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Hi everyone,

OK, so I have tried several times to start a new Federal political party.
This week we were told that from the AEC's testing, we had one member "deny" being a member.
But they won't tell us who due to "privacy" reasons.

So we are starting a new membership list, and we are going to make the members agree to a clause stating that they agree to the mutual sharing of info between us and the AEC.
Would this ensure that the AEC will tell us details of who says what?

And would anyone have any suggested wording for this statement?

Thanks so much for your help!
 

Tim W

Lawyer
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28 April 2014
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I note an earlier suggestion from @Rod that you include an express consent provision in your application process.

As to your question:
Would this ensure that the AEC will tell us details of who says what?
From where I sit, the short answer is "No, I don't think so".
My view is that while such a clause could enable the AEC to disclose,
if they are otherwise satisfied that it is reasonable* to do so,
I am not at all certain that it would operate to place the AEC under an enforceable obligation**
to disclose to the applicant the details of any "denier(s)".



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* That is, that disclosure is not, or is not reasonably likely to become,
inconsistent with (at least) dot-point 4 in clause 2.2 of the AEC Privacy Policy.
Proof of that would lie with you, and if they didn't believe you last time, then what's changed?

** Which is what you meant by your word "ensure"
 

Rod

Lawyer
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27 May 2014
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I tend to agree with Tim, though it may assist with any subsequent FOI application you may make.

I'd be looking at getting many more than minimum number of members needed so you overcome the minimum number threshold.
 

Docupedia

Well-Known Member
7 October 2020
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To echo from Tim and Rod, whose reasoning I agree with, my thoughts are the practical outcome will be one of two things:
1. The AEC outright refuses to do so, with or without reason. There's nothing to compel them to release (it's a privacy consent or authority, not an enforceable direction). As for reasoning, it could be along the lines of saying they don't know whether the consent was obtained via 'fully informed consent' or 'without coercion' and simply don't want to risk a complaint/prosecution;
2. The AEC only agrees to release the information if they get a secondary specific consent from the people in question, rather than relying on a broad, generic consent. The effect of this is that someone who is denying membership (and possibly playing games to mess with your attempts at registration) is unlikely to out themselves. I doubt you could then use a process of elimination to determine who it was, based on the sampling methods AEC use.
 
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