Section 61ZC - Statutory secrecy not a reasonable excuse
Extract of legislation
|Statutory secrecy not a reasonable excuse
|It is not a reasonable excuse for the purposes of section 61X for a person to refuse or fail to comply with a requirement of the Information Commissioner as a result of—
|any obligation imposed on that person, by any enactment or rule of law, to maintain secrecy in relation to the production of the document, information or the answer to a question; or
|any restriction imposed on that person, by any enactment or rule of law, that prohibits the disclosure of the document, information or the answer to a question.
|Nothing in this section affects the operation of—
|Part 7 of the Protected Disclosure Act 2012; or
|Division 3 of Part 2 of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011.
Statutory secrecy is not a reasonable excuse for the purpose of not complying with a notice to produce or attend. This means a person must still comply with a notice to produce or attend, even if another Act prohibits them from disclosing the requested information.
For example, if a person claims a document or information is exempt under section 38 because of a secrecy provision in another Act, that person must still produce that document or information under the notice unless a reasonable excuse applies.
There are two instances where statutory secrecy will be a reasonable excuse:
- assessable disclosures under Part 7 of the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic) (PID Act);1 and
- confidentiality notices under Division 3 of Part 2 of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011 (Vic) (IBAC Act).
For information on what a reasonable excuse does include, see: