188.8.131.52 Offences & Penalties
Offences related to protected information under PPL law
The PPLAct contains a number of offences relating to unauthorised access to or use of protected information as well as soliciting disclosure or offering to supply protected information.
Act reference: PPLAct section 129 Offence-unauthorised access to protected information, section 130 Offence-unauthorised use of protected information, section 131 Offence-soliciting disclosure of protected information, section 132 Offence-offering to supply protected information
Policy reference: PPL Guide 7.1.1 General Power to Obtain Information
Penalties for offences related to protected information in the PPLAct
The following table outlines:
- the offences related to protected information, and
- the penalties for those offences.
|Offence||Imprisonment period upon conviction||PPLAct reference|
Unauthorised access to protected information.
Example: A person misrepresenting their identity to Centrelink to access protected information about another person.
|2 years||section 129 Offence-unauthorised access to protected information|
|Unauthorised use of protected information, i.e. making a record of, disclosing or otherwise using protected information when not authorised or required under the PPLAct to do so.||2 years||section 130 Offence-unauthorised use of protected information|
Soliciting the disclosure of protected information where the disclosure would contravene the confidentiality provisions in the PPLAct.
Explanation: It is an offence whether or not any protected information is actually given.
|2 years||section 131 Offence-soliciting disclosure of protected information|
|Offering to supply protected information. A person commits an offence if the person offers to supply or holds himself or herself out as being able to supply protected information about another person.
Explanation: This does not apply to an authorised officer carrying out their duties under the PPLAct.
|2 years||section 132 Offence-offering to supply protected information|
Note: It is not an offence for a member of the AAT to disclose information if the information concerns a threat to the life, health or welfare of a person and the member believes that the disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen the threat. If the threat suggests that an offence may be or has been committed against a person the AAT member can disclose information for the purpose of preventing, investigating or prosecuting that offence.
Act reference: PPLAct Part 4-1 Division 3 Confidentiality, section 130A Disclosure of information by AAT members-threat to life, health or welfare