This policy explains how the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability (The Office) collects, uses and discloses personal information, including through our websites. The Office is bound by and adopts the Information Privacy Principles set out in Schedule 1 of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) ('Act'). The Office views the protection of personal information as an important issue and is committed to the protection and responsible handling of personal information it collects.
This Privacy Statement may change from time to time and changes will take effect from the date of posting on our website.
The Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability’s role is to provide independent and objective scientific reporting to inform policy-makers, scientists and the wider Victorian public on the state’s natural environment.
According to the Act, the Commissioner’s role is to:
- review and report on the condition of Victoria’s environment
- encourage decision-making that facilitates ecologically sustainable development
- enhance knowledge and understanding of issues relating to ecologically sustainable development and the environment, and
- encourage Victorian and local governments to adopt sound environmental practices and procedures.
Your personal information
Personal information is information about you, whether recorded in a material form or not, from which your identity could reasonably be ascertained. The types of personal information we may collect includes name, address, telephone numbers, email contact details, occupational details, images of you, and other information relevant to the business activities undertaken by The Office from time to time.
Where The Office requests that you provide your personal information and you elect not to provide it, The Office may not be able to provide you with some or all of its information services.
Collection of personal information
The Office collects personal information from a variety of sources, including:
- communications between you and the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability and/or The Office, including via email, telephone or in writing (for example, surveys, feedback forms, registration for event, online inquiries)
- your participation in discussions, forums and interviews with theCommissioner for Environmental Sustainability and/or The Office including, for example, by filming or recording you.
- when you use any services provided by (or on behalf of) Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability and/or The Office.
- when you access or register on the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability websites (including www.ces.vic.gov.au)
- from publicly available sources of information.
Information is collected, wherever possible, from you directly. The Office will collect your personal information lawfully, fairly and without undue intrusion. At the time your personal information is collected, The Office will take reasonable steps to advise you whether there are any consequences of not providing that information. The Office will not collect sensitive personal Information about you (for example, information about your racial or ethnic origin) unless The Office first obtains your consent.
Use and disclosure of personal information
The personal information you provide to The Office gives valuable insights into the views of Victorians on sustainability issues. This information can, in turn, help The Office to achieve its goals of finding and communicating new and effective ways for Victorians to live and work sustainably.
To do this, The Office may use your personal information for a variety of purposes, including the delivery of services to you and the conduct of research and analysis. The Office may also send you information and updates about the Commissioner's initiatives, events and services and provide you with information, news and updates relating to sustainability and leading a sustainable lifestyle. If you do not wish to receive these updates or information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Office also uses personal information for the purpose(s) that are communicated to you at the time of collection (or a related purpose that you would reasonably expect).
The Office may disclose your personal information to third parties, such as:
- web monitoring service providers
- other government and regulatory authorities and other organisations
- as required or authorised by law
- as is reasonably necessary for the assistance for law enforcement and the protection of public revenue
- for application interoperability purposes (including to reduce the need for you to re-enter your personal information into building and planning compliance applications operated by or on behalf of those authorities or organisations)
- its professional advisors (such as auditors)
- organisations that assist The Office to conduct research or analyse data
- other organisations that assist The Office to provide services to you from time to time (including hosting and software providers and email marketing service providers).
We take reasonable steps to ensure these third parties are bound by confidentiality and privacy obligations in relation to the protection of your personal information.
Data quality and security
The Office will take reasonable steps to:
- ensure that the personal information it collects, uses or discloses is accurate, complete and up-to-date (however, the accuracy of your information depends on the information you provide and whether you keep The Office updated on changes)
- protect your personal information from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure and securely destroy personal information if it is not required for any purpose.
The Office has implemented technology and security policies, rules and measures to help protect the personal information that is under its control. However, while Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability strives to protect your personal information, The Office cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information transmitted to it online.
You have a right to access the personal information we hold about you. Requests for access should be sent to The Office at the contact details listed at the bottom of this Privacy Statement. Alternatively, you can submit a formal application under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic). Charges may apply to cover the cost of accessing and providing this information to you.
Wherever it is practicable and lawful, The Office will allow you to interact anonymously with us.
You can visit and browse The Office's websites without disclosing your personal information. However, where you submit you personal information on a website (e.g. complete and submit a webform), your personal information will be managed in accordance with this Privacy Statement.
You may be able to disable or avoid some of these technologies by adjusting your Internet browser settings, though doing so may prevent you from taking advantage of improvements to our websites. Importantly, at no time can individual users be identified from the data collected via these means.
Privacy collection statement – gift offers
As a public sector agency, The Office’s collection of information and personal information complies with laws and related obligations including the Public Administration Act 2004 (Vic) and the Minimum accountabilities for the management of gifts, benefits and hospitality (Minimum accountabilities) issued by the Victorian Public Sector Commission.
Any questions relating to this Privacy Statement or your personal information can be directed to:
The Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability
Level 36, 2 Lonsdale St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Last updated March 2018
The Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability (OCES) proudly acknowledges Victoria’s Aboriginal community and their rich culture and pays respect to their Elders past and present.
We acknowledge Aboriginal people as Australia’s first peoples and as the Traditional Owners and custodians of the land and water on which we rely. We recognise and value the ongoing contribution of Aboriginal people and communities to Victorian life, and how this enriches us.
We embrace the spirit of reconciliation, working towards the equality of outcomes and ensuring an equal voice.