The NT Legal Aid Commission (the Commission) is an independent statutory authority and delivers business activities under the Legal Aid Act 1990. The Commission’s role is to ensure that people in the NT, particularly those who are disadvantaged, understand and have access to quality services to protect and enforce their legal rights and interests. We do this by providing free legal information, advice services, court representation and referral services to people with a legal problem in the NT. In order to provide our services, we are required to collect personal information from people using our services, as well as from those employed by us, and contractors employed by us.
We adhere to strict privacy principles set out in Section 55 of the Legal Aid Act which states:
(1) This section applies to:
(a) every person who is or has been a Commissioner, an officer or other person employed in the service of the Commission, a member of a Legal Aid Committee, a member of a Review Committee; and
(b) any person who has performed any function in relation to this Act under the Financial Management Act or the Audit Act .
(2) A person to whom this section applies shall not, either directly or indirectly, except for the purpose of this Act:
(a) make a record of, or divulge or communicate to a person, any information concerning the affairs of another person acquired by him or her by reason of his or her office or employment under or for the purposes of this Act or in the performance of a function under this Act; or
(b) produce to a person a document relating to the affairs of another person furnished for the purposes of this Act.
Maximum penalty: 17 penalty units or imprisonment for 6 months.
The NT’s Information Commissioner – Information Privacy Principles
The Commission supports and adheres to the NT Government’s privacy principles which can be found here
What Information Do We Collect?
The Commission only collects information required to provide services. This information can vary depending on the assistance we provide to you. We collect it to report on services delivered under Commonwealth Government and NT Government funding agreements. The types of information we collect are:
1. Information about legal problems as well as personal and financial information from people seeking assistance;
2. Complaints from members of the public;
3. Previous employment history about people who work for us, or apply to work for us;
4. Details about private practitioners who apply to join our panel;
5. Security footage in some office areas.
How Do We Use This Information?
We use the information we collect in several ways:
1. To ensure independent legal advice is provided to people seeking assistance by undertaking conflict of interest checks.
2. To help people and give them advice about their legal problems;
3. To assess if someone is eligible for a grant of legal aid if they need more help;
4. To resolve complaints;
5. To assist in recruiting new staff;
6. To assess applications from private lawyers to join our panel;
7. To manage workplace health and safety.
How Do We Keep Your Information Safe?
Protecting the information we record is our priority. We do this with procedures, physical barriers and software barriers:
1. We have physical information barriers between our legal practice areas;
2. We have electronic information barriers to our databases and electronic storage systems;
3. We adhere to archiving and destroying information held both physically and electronically in accordance with our Records Disposal Schedule.
Can We Help You Without Recording Your Information?
Yes we can. Our Legal Aid Helpline 1800 019 343 and the Commission’s website https://www.legalaid.nt.gov.au are free and de-identified services. This means we collect no personal information, or store any personal information, about anyone accessing those services.
We value all feedback from people accessing our services. Information about how to provide feedback, including a Customer Satisfaction Survey, is on the Commission’s website at www.legalaid.nt.gov.au. Customer feedback enables us to review our service delivery and programs to ensure we provide a valuable and effective service.