C.04.Res.01 Privacy Act grounds for refusing disclosure of personal information

The following are some of the instances in sections 27 to 29 of the Privacy Act where the manager may refuse all or part of the request for release of prisoner’s personal information.

Access to personal information cannot lawfully be refused for any reason other than those in the Privacy Act.

Reason Privacy Act section
Risk to the security, defence or international relations of New Zealand. 27(1)(a)
Prejudice in maintaining the law, including preventing, investigating, and detecting offences.
Prejudice to fair trial rights.
Physical danger to any individual (e.g. informants) 27(1)(d)
Unwarranted disclosure of the affairs of another person, including deceased individuals. 29(1)(a)
If disclosure, being ‘evaluative material’ would breach a promise to the supplier of the information that this, or their identity, would be kept confidential. 29(1)(b)
Prejudice to the mental or physical health of the prisoner (for this reason the contents of Psychological Service reports are not released without the permission of the Principal Psychologist of the relevant Psychological Service Office). 29(1)(c)
Prejudice to the safe custody or the rehabilitation of that individual (e.g. information which is likely to distress an ‘at risk’ prisoner or anything that may impact negatively on rehabilitation or safe custody). 29(1)(e)
Breach of legal professional privilege (e.g. a departmental solicitor’s notes on an issue – the solicitor must be contacted to determine if the privilege exists). 29(1)(f)
If disclosure would constitute contempt of court or of the House of Representatives. 29(1)(i)
The request is frivolous or vexatious, or the information requested is trivial. (Decisions under this section should be made on the merits of each request. The section cannot apply by default simply because requests are numerous, time consuming or appear to have no practical purpose. Advice must be sought unless direct advice about this prisoner has already been given). 29(1)(j)
The information is not readily retrievable, does not exist, or cannot be found. 29(2)(a) & (b)
The information is not held by Corrections, and there are no grounds for believing the information is held by another agency.
The information is connected more closely with the functions of another agency.