PRIVACY ACT 1988

PART V - INVESTIGATIONS ETC.  

Division 5 - Miscellaneous  

SECTION 66   FAILURE TO GIVE INFORMATION ETC.  

66(1)  


A person shall not refuse or fail:


(a) to give information; or


(b) to answer a question or produce a document or record;

when so required under this Act.

Penalty:


(a) in the case of an individual - imprisonment for 12 months or 20 penalty units, or both; or


(b) in the case of a body corporate - 100 penalty units.

66(1A)  


For the purposes of subsection (1B), a journalist has a reasonable excuse if giving the information, answering the question or producing the document or record would tend to reveal the identity of a person who gave information or a document or record to the journalist in confidence.

66(1B)  


Subsection (1) does not apply if the person has a reasonable excuse.

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (1B) (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code ).

66(2)  
For the purposes of subsections (3) to (11) (inclusive):

document
includes a record;

information
includes an answer to a question.

66(3)  


Subject to subsections (4), (7) and (10), it is a reasonable excuse for the purposes of subsection (1B) for an individual:


(a) to refuse or fail to give information when so required under this Act; or


(b) to refuse or fail to produce a document when so required under this Act;

that giving the information, or producing the document, as the case may be, might tend to incriminate the individual or make the individual liable to forfeiture or a penalty.

66(4)  
Subsection (3) does not apply in relation to a failure or refusal by an individual to give information, or to produce a document, on the ground that giving the information or producing the document might tend to prove his or her guilt of an offence against, or make him or her liable to forfeiture or a penalty under, a law of the Commonwealth or of a Territory, if the Director of Public Prosecutions has given the individual a written undertaking under subsection (5).

66(5)  
An undertaking by the Director of Public Prosecutions shall:


(a) be an undertaking that:


(i) information given, or a document produced, by the individual; or

(ii) any information or document obtained as a direct or indirect consequence of the giving of the information, or the production of the document;
will not be used in evidence in any proceedings for an offence against a law of the Commonwealth or of a Territory, or in any disciplinary proceedings, against the individual, other than proceedings in respect of the falsity of evidence given by the individual;


(b) state that, in the opinion of the Director of Public Prosecutions, there are special reasons why, in the public interest, the information or document should be available to the Commissioner; and


(c) state the general nature of those reasons.

66(6)  
The Commissioner may recommend to the Director of Public Prosecutions that an individual who has been, or is to be, required under this Act to give information or produce a document be given an undertaking under subsection (5).

66(7)  
Subsection (3) does not apply in relation to a failure or refusal by an individual to give information, or to produce a document, on the ground that giving the information or producing the document might tend to prove his or her guilt of an offence against, or make him or her liable to forfeiture or a penalty under, a law of a State, if the Attorney-General of the State, or a person authorised by that Attorney-General (being the person holding the office of Director of Public Prosecutions, or a similar office, of the State) has given the individual a written undertaking under subsection (8).

66(8)  
An undertaking by the Attorney-General of the State, or authorised person, shall:


(a) be an undertaking that:


(i) information given, or a document produced, by the individual; or

(ii) any information or document obtained as a direct or indirect consequence of the giving of the information, or the production of the document;
will not be used in evidence in any proceedings for an offence against a law of the State, or in any disciplinary proceedings, against the individual, other than proceedings in respect of the falsity of evidence given by the individual;


(b) state that, in the opinion of the person giving the undertaking, there are special reasons why, in the public interest, the information or document should be available to the Commissioner; and


(c) state the general nature of those reasons.

66(9)  
The Commissioner may recommend to the Attorney-General of a State that an individual who has been, or is to be, required under this Act to give information or produce a document be given an undertaking under subsection (8).

66(10)  


For the purposes of subsection (1B):


(a) it is not a reasonable excuse for a body corporate to refuse or fail to produce a document that production of the document might tend to incriminate the body corporate or make it liable to forfeiture or a penalty; and


(b) it is not a reasonable excuse for an individual to refuse or fail to produce a document that is, or forms part of, a record of an existing or past business (not being, if the individual is or has been an employee, a document that sets out details of earnings received by the individual in respect of his or her employment and does not set out any other information) that production of the document might tend to incriminate the individual or make the individual liable to forfeiture or a penalty.

66(11)  
Subsections (4), (7) and (10) do not apply where proceedings, in respect of which giving information or producing a document might tend to incriminate an individual or make an individual liable to forfeiture or a penalty, have been commenced against the individual and have not been finally dealt with by a court or otherwise disposed of.

66(12)  
(Repealed by No 59 of 2015, s 3 and Sch 1 item 173, effective 18 June 2015.)




This information is provided by CCH Australia Limited Link opens in new window. View the disclaimer and notice of copyright.