Consultation on updated draft guidance on Key terms used in ‘politically exposed person’ definition — submission to AUSTRAC
Our reference: 15/000193-02
PO Box 13173
MELBOURNE VIC 8010
Submission by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner on the updated draft guidance on ‘Key terms used in “politically exposed person” definition’
Thank you for providing the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) with the opportunity to comment on the updated draft guidance on ‘Key terms used in “politically exposed person” definition’ (Updated Guidance Note). We appreciate that the Updated Guidance Note has been developed to assist reporting entities in understanding how to interpret key terms used in the ‘politically exposed person’ (PEP) definition within the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) regime.
The OAIC provided comments on an earlier version of the draft guidance in February of this year. To that end, I welcome the inclusion of section 7 in the Updated Guidance Note, entitled Privacy requirements – ‘sensitive information’, which outlines the definition of sensitive information under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act), and notes that such information is generally afforded a higher level of privacy protection under the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). The OAIC does not have any additional comments to make in relation to the Updated Guidance Note.
However, in order to ensure that the information included in the Updated Guidance Note assists reporting entities in understanding their obligations under the Privacy Act as clearly as possible, you may wish to consider modifying section 7, by:
moving the general statement which follows paragraph 8.3 to the beginning of section 7. This will make it clear to reporting entities that the Privacy Act applies to all of the activities they undertake to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Act 2006 (Cth), even where a reporting entity may otherwise be exempt from the Privacy Act, and
including a brief explanation of why the information collected in relation to PEPs may be sensitive information. For example, you might consider including words to the following effect after the first sentence in paragraph 7.1: ‘PEP information may therefore fall within the definition of sensitive information under s 6(1) of the Privacy Act, in particular, where the relevant PEP is a head of state, government minister or other politician’.
If you would like to discuss any of the matters raised in this submission, please contact Este Darin-Cooper, Director, Privacy Practice, Advice and Technology on [contact details removed].
Acting Australian Information Commissioner
1 September 2015
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