Privacy and Freedom of Information

Information Privacy

Privacy concerns and complaints

The Northern Territory Information Act regulates how public sector organisations collect, manage, use and disclose personal information. it also gives anyone the right to apply for access to information held by public sector organisations, and to apply to correct personal information that government holds about them if it is incorrect, incomplete or out of date.

Charles Darwin University is committed to protecting your privacy and will act responsibly to collect, manage, use and disclose personal information in accordance with prevailing community standards of best practice, the Northern Territory Information Act and any other privacy-related legislation.

Confidential Information means information that is by its nature confidential, is designated by the University as confidential or that the staff member knows or ought to know as confidential. It includes information comprised in or relating to any of the University's Intellectual Property, financial position or affairs, internal management and structure,personal information about employees, strategy and business plans, decisions and deliberations of committees or boards, information regarding litigation, investigations or claims involving the University or information regarding the University’s students, contractors, staff members and suppliers

We respect your privacy when collecting or handling personal information about you. Any staff member, student, researcher, contractor or third party who collects, manages or uses personal information on behalf of the University has a statutory duty to protect your personal information by taking reasonable security steps against such risks as misuse and loss of information and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Specifically, access to systems, applications and the collected data is restricted to authorised personnel only. Furthermore, any personal information collected and used for identifying user trends (e.g. IP address) is aggregated and made anonymous during report generation.

Refer to the Charles Darwin University Privacy and Confidentiality Policy (PDF 69KB) for the broader collection, use and disclosure of personal information by the University.

If you wish to access or change your personal information, or to lodge a complaint about an interference with your privacy, or you have any query on how your personal information is collected or handled, please contact our Privacy Officer.

Privacy Officer

Director, Strategic Services and Governance
Charles Darwin University
Darwin NT 0909

The Northern Territory Information Act recognises that it is often necessary to find a balance between the privacy interests of the person whose information is collected or handled and the legitimate interests of government and other people.

The IPPs set out general rules for organisations to apply. But those rules are subject to qualifications and exceptions that recognise those other interests.

IPP1 CollectionWe can only collect your personal information if it is necessary to fulfil one or more of our functions or activities. We must collect your personal information only by lawful and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way.
IPP2  Use and DisclosureWe can only use and disclose your personal information for the primary purpose for which it was collected, or a related purpose that you would reasonably expect, or in other limited circumstances. It is best that we get your consent, but the law allows some uses without consent, such as law enforcement purposes and to protect safety.
IPP3 Data QualityWe must keep your personal information accurate, complete and up to date.
IPP4 Data SecurityWe must take reasonable steps to keep your personal information protected from misuse, loss unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
IPP5 OpennessWe must have clearly expressed policies on the way we manage personal information. You can view the Charles Darwin University Privacy and Confidentiality Policy (PDF 69KB).
IPP6 Access and CorrectionYou have the right to seek access to your own personal information and to make corrections if necessary. We may only refuse in limited circumstances, as detailed in the Northern Territory Information Act, for example where disclosure might threaten someone’s safety.
IPP7 Unique IdentifiersUnique identifiers, usually a number, can facilitate data matching. We can only use unique identifiers where we can demonstrate that the assignment is necessary to carry out our functions. There are also restrictions that are detailed in the Northern Territory Information Act, on how we can use unique identifiers assigned by other organisations.
IPP8 AnonymityWhere lawful and feasible, we must give you the option of transacting with us without identifying yourself.
IPP9 Transborder Data FlowsIf your personal information travels outside of the NT, we must ensure your privacy protection travels with it.
IPP10 Sensitive InformationThis includes your racial or ethnic origin, political opinions and membership of political associations, religious or philosophical beliefs, membership of professional or trade associations or trade unions, sexual preferences or practices, or a criminal record or health information. The law puts special restrictions on its collection.

The Northern Territory Information 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 gives you the right of access to information held by the University, including the right to request the correction of personal information if you believe information regarding you is incorrect, inaccurate or out of date. This right of access is limited where the disclosure of particular information would be contrary to the public interest due to it having a prejudicial effect on essential public interests or on the private or business interests of other persons.

You are able to apply for access to your personal information held by the University unless there is good reason for refusing access.  We may, in some cases, refuse access to part or all of the information you apply for. This will only happen if we determine that disclosure of particular information would be contrary to the public interest due to it having a prejudicial effect on essential public interests or on the private or business interests of other persons, as set out in the Northern Territory Information Act.

Freedom of Information (FOI) requests or applications for access to information must be made using the Application to Access Information form.

The University publishes a lot of information about what we do. Before you make an FOI request, you should research the type of information we hold or contact our Information Officer to discuss what information you think the University holds to see what they have available and discuss any options for access.


Information Officer

Director, Strategic Services and Governance
Charles Darwin University
Darwin NT 0909

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Information Access / Freedom of Information Request FormsFees and Charges

There is no application fee if your application is limited to your own personal information. Otherwise, there is a $30 application fee.

If your application is limited to documents that contain your personal information only, you may still be required to pay a processing fee as set out in the Regulations. If you are required to pay a processing fee, the University will give you an estimate of the fees and seek your agreement before proceeding further with the application. You may also be required to pay a deposit. Processing fees may be waivered in limited circumstances.

Personal Information

For your own personal information there is a fee for the costs of arranging and providing access. These include:

Supervising examination of informationFirst two hours free then $25 per hour
Photocopying A4 Black and White20c per page
Arranging or providing access in another way, for example, by a tape or transcriptActual Cost

Non-personal Information

For non-personal information the fee includes:

Searching for, retrieving and returning information (but not searching for misplaced information)$25 per hour 
Considering and making decision, including consultation $25 per hour 
Supervising examination of information $25 per hour 
Photocopying fees for black and white, A4 copies 20c per page 
Arranging or providing access in another way, for example, by a tape or transcript Actual Cost 


A broad request for "everything you have about me" gives us very little help in deciding how to search for the information you want. To help reduce the amount of work that needs to be done to respond to an application, please:

  • look for the relevant information on our website
  • be as specific as you can about the information you are looking for
  • give as many details as you can to help identify information.

For example, you may be able to say when an incident took place, where it took place, who was involved, or what the outcome was. You may already know about some documents that exist. All of this information will help with the search for the information you want.

Your application will be dealt with by the University’s Information Officer who will:

  • check that your application satisfies the requirements of the Act
  • provide you with an estimate of processing costs (if necessary)
  • locate the information you have requested
  • consult with any third parties who may be affected by the release of the information (if necessary)
  • make a decision regarding your access to the information
  • arrange for you to access the information.

The Information Officer may contact you to talk about your application or get further details to help them locate the information you want more efficiently.

Under the Act we have 30 days* from receipt of a valid application to locate the information you have requested and provide you with a decision in writing about whether you have been granted access. However, this time period can be extended if:

  • further time is required to consult with a third party
  • the application relates to a large amount of information
  • extensive searches are required to locate the information
  • complying with the period would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the University
  • we transfer your application to another organisation. (Please note: we have 15 days to transfer your application and the other organisation then has 30 days from the date of transfer to make a decision.)

*The 30 days does not include time spent waiting for you to respond to an estimate of processing fees provided by the organisation.

Notice of Decision

If we believe your application is not valid, and you have provided sufficient contact details, we will contact you to let you know what the problem is and give you the chance to fix it.

After considering whether any of the information you want is exempt, we will provide you with a written notice of our decision. It may:

  • provide you with access in full
  • provide you with access in part
  • refuse access
  • neither confirm nor deny that information exists but state that if it did the information would be exempt.

We will either give you a copy of the information or allow you to view it. There are fees for arranging or providing access. If you have a particular preference for the form of access, let us know. For example, if there are a large number of electronic documents we may be able to give you a copy on disk or USB in order to reduce the cost.

If we do not provide you with access in full, we will explain which exemptions are relied on and provide reasons why those exemptions apply to the information.
External Resources

The Information Commissioner is the independent officer appointed to oversee the Freedom of Information and Privacy provisions of the Northern Territory Information Act.

The Commissioner is also appointed as the Commissioner for Public Interest Disclosures and has responsibility for the implementation of the Northern Territory Public Interest Disclosure Act.


Brenda Monaghan
Commissioner for Information and Public Interest Disclosures.

Office of the Information Commissioner Northern Territory
Level 7, 9-11 Cavenagh Street
Darwin NT 0800
T: 1800 005 610

NT Office of the Independent Commissioner for Corruption

Floor 9, 9 Cavenagh St

Darwin NT 0801