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Privacy Act 1988 advanced module

Resolving privacy complaints

Who should attend

This course is for privacy contact officers and officers of all levels who are responsible for or assist in handling breach-of-privacy complaints. It is expected that participants will have attended our 'Introduction to privacy' course or have equivalent training or experience in handling privacy complaints.

Course outline

The Privacy Act 1988 sets out standards for the management of records containing personal information within the Commonwealth public sector and provides a mechanism for individuals to make a complaint when they believe their privacy has been breached by a government agency.

We will undertake an in-depth examination of the relevant provisions of the Privacy Act as they apply at each stage of the complaint-handling process and will examine the investigation and determination-making powers of the Privacy Commissioner. Practical examples of circumstances which have arisen in Commonwealth agencies will be provided and discussed. We will also work through syndicate exercises in small groups, which will describe fictitious situations raising issues relevant to the handling of a privacy complaint.

The groups will be asked to identify the issues and consider how they might be managed.


This course will significantly advance participants' knowledge of the provisions of the Privacy Act relevant to the handling of breach-of-privacy complaints and their skills in handling such complaints. Those skills will include transferable practical skills for handling complaints generally, as well as privacy specific structural dimensions.


Our presenters are AGS lawyers who have a great depth of knowledge of the government environment and who practise extensively in the areas of information access and administrative law.


This is a half-day course, either 9 am – 12.30 pm or 1.30 – 5 pm. The calendar indicates when sessions are being offered by either 'am' or 'pm'. Morning/afternoon tea will be provided.


Standard fee – $600 (inclusive of GST) per person.

No more than 20 people will be accepted on each course and courses will only be conducted if we receive sufficient nominations.