The Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (Digital Readiness and Other
Measures) Bill 2016 moved through the House of Representatives on Thursday 2
March 2017. It now goes to the Senate.
The Bill seeks to overcome long-recognised deficiencies in DVA’s antiquated IT systems and improve its business processes.
The Bill is designed to help reform DVA’s processes to simplify them, reduce claims processing times and improve the services provided by the Department to veterans and their families and we support this aim.
However, the privacy issues concerning what is the “public interest” to enable the Secretary of DVA to release a veteran’s record has not undergone an independent Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA).
We want the Government to order an independent PIA that is consistent with
the Guidelines set by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
Once this is achieved, the veterans community and lawmakers will be able to review the independent PIA report with respect to veterans’ privacy and adjust the Bill as
necessary to address our concerns. This should be done before the Bill is
considered by the Senate.