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The Victoria Privacy Commissioner is an independent statutory office created by the Information Privacy Act 2000. It provides a wide range of functions (from section 58 of the Information Privacy Act):
- to promote an understanding and acceptance of ten Information Privacy Principles (IPPs), and their objects [function (a)];
- to assess and approve codes of practice submitted by public sector agencies and to review and recommend the amendment or revocation of approved codes of practice where necessary [functions (b), (c) and (w)];
- to issue guidelines consistent with the Victoria Freedom of Information Act to assist agencies as they develop procedures for the handling of personal information, including its transfer outside Victoria, and develop their own privacy codes of practice [functions (d), (e) and (f)];
- to examine agencies and audit their records of personal information to ensure their records and practices comply with the IPPs or an approved code of practice [functions (g), (i), (j) and (t)];
- to receive complaints relating to alleged breaches of privacy by public sector agencies and try to settle them through conciliation [function (h)];
- to monitor developments in data processing and computer technology and report on the adequacy of safeguards for users of technology in order to minimise any adverse effects of developments on personal privacy [functions (k) and (m)];
- to advise on proposed legislation and policies relating to privacy [functions (l) and (n)];
- to promote privacy protection through awareness programs and public statements, by listening to the concerns of the public and by co-operating with other privacy watchdogs [functions (o), (p), (q) and (r)]; and
- to gather information, make suggestions and provide advice to any individual or organisation about action in the interests of personal privacy [functions (s), (u) and (v)].
The Privacy Commissioner reports to the Victorian Parliament through the Attorney-General.