This Policy applies to Bedford Partners Pty Limited ACN 660 006 584, Bedford Operations Pty Limited ACN 660 006 575, Bedford Group Holdings Pty Limited ACN 659 994 644 and Bedford CA Financial Pty Limited ACN 607 952 483 (referred to as ‘Bedford’, ‘we’, ‘our’, ‘us’), and extends to and covers all operations and functions of this organisation. We recognise the importance of ensuring the confidentiality and security of your personal information.
This Policy outlines Bedford’s obligations to manage and protect personal information. Bedford is bound by the Australian Privacy Principles, (APP), the Credit Reporting Privacy Code, (the Code), and the Privacy Act 1988, (the Act). This Policy also outlines several Bedford practices, procedures and systems that ensure compliance with the APP, the Code and the Act.
- Disclosure of information – providing information to persons outside Bedford.
- Individual – any person whose personal information we collect, use or disclose.
- Personal information – information or an opinion relating to an individual, which can be used to identify that individual.
- Privacy Officer – the contact person within Bedford for questions or complaints regarding Bedford’s handling of personal information.
- Sensitive information – includes information relating to a person’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religion, trade union or other professional or trade association membership, sexual preferences, criminal record, and health information.
- Use – use of information with Bedford.
2. What kind of personal information do we collect and hold?
We may collect and hold the following personal information about individuals, including:
- Phone numbers.
- Email addresses.
- Bank account details.
- Drivers’ licence details.
- Any other information that is relevant to the services that we provide.
3. How we collect personal information
We generally collect personal information by the following methods:
- Directly from applications, questionnaires and other forms you complete when you wish to use our services or apply for a position with us.
- From information disclosed to us by you on the phone, or by sending us correspondence, (including letters, faxes and emails), or visiting us in person.
- From a variety of third party sources, including our business contacts, identity verification service providers, financial institutions, fund recipients, referrers or travel companies.
This list is not exhaustive.
Bedford will not collect sensitive information unless the individual has consented or an exemption under the APP applies. These exemptions include if the collection is required or authorised by law or necessary to take appropriate action in relation to suspected unlawful activity or serious misconduct.
If the personal information we request is not provided by an individual, we may not be able to provide you with the benefit of our services, or meet your needs adequately.
Bedford does not give individuals the option of dealing with us anonymously, or under a pseudonym. This is because it is impractical, and in some circumstances illegal, for Bedford to deal with individuals who are not identified.
4. Unsolicited personal information
We may receive personal information about you when we have taken no active steps to collect that information. This is known as ‘unsolicited’ personal information. We destroy all unsolicited personal information, unless the personal information is relevant to Bedford’s purposes for collecting personal information.
5. About whom do we collect personal information?
The personal information we may collect and hold includes, (but is not limited to), personal information about:
- Potential clients.
- Service providers or suppliers.
- Prospective employees, employees and contractors.
- Other third parties with whom we come into contact.
6. Why does Bedford collect and hold personal information?
We may use and disclose the information we collect about you for the following purposes:
- To assist Bedford in providing you with a product or service.
- Completion of documentation and forms.
- To consider and assess your request for a product or service.
- To provide you with information about a product or service and invite you to marketing events.
- To protect our business and other clients from fraudulent or unlawful activity.
- To conduct our business and perform other management and administration tasks.
- To consider any concerns or complaints an individual may have.
- To manage any legal actions involving Bedford.
- To comply with relevant laws, regulations and other legal obligations.
- To help us improve the products and services offered to our clients, and to enhance our overall business.
7. How might we use and disclose personal information?
Bedford may use and disclose personal information for the primary purposes for which it is collected, for reasonably expected secondary purposes which are related to the primary purpose and in other circumstances, authorised by the Act.
We use and disclose personal information for the purposes outlined in section 6 above. Sensitive information will be used and disclosed only for the purpose for which it was provided or a directly related secondary purpose, unless the individual agrees otherwise, or where certain other limited circumstances apply, (e.g. if required by law).
We engage other people to perform services for us which may involve them handling personal information we hold. In these situations we prohibit that person from using personal information about you except for the specific purpose for which it is supplied. We prohibit that person from using your information for the purposes of direct marketing of their products or services.
In relation to sensitive information held by us, wherever possible, Bedford will attempt to de-identify the information. We also undertake to take reasonable steps to securely archive all personal information about you when it is no longer required.
8. To whom might we disclose personal information?
We may disclose personal information to:
- An entity related to or connected with Bedford.
- An agent, contractor or service provider engaged by us to carry out functions and activities, (e.g. our lawyers, other accountants, debt collectors or other advisers).
- Organisations involved in a restructure, transfer or sale of all or part of our assets or business.
- Organisations involved in managing payments, including payment merchants and other financial institutions such as banks.
- Regulatory bodies, government agencies, law enforcement bodies and Courts.
- Financial product issuers and credit providers.
- Others to whom you authorise us to disclose information, or as required by law.
We may also collect personal information from these organisations and individuals and will deal with that information in accordance with this Policy. We may disclose personal information to credit reporting bodies to comply with our obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth), (AML / CTF obligations). To comply with our AML / CTF obligations, we may disclose a client’s name, date of birth and residential address, to credit reporting bodies, to verify whether the personal information matches the identification information held by the credit reporting body. We may, upon request, provide you with an alternative method of verification. However, any alternative verification method must also comply with the AML / CTF obligations.
9. Sending information overseas
We will not send personal information to recipients outside of Australia unless:
- We have taken reasonable steps to ensure that the recipient does not breach the Act, the APP and the Code.
- The recipient is subject to an information privacy scheme similar to the Privacy Act.
- The individual has consented to the disclosure.
If you consent to your personal information being disclosed to an overseas recipient, and the recipient breaches the APP, we will not be accountable for that breach under the Privacy Act, and you will not be able to seek redress under the Privacy Act.
10. Management of personal information
Bedford recognises how important the security of personal information is to our clients. We will always seek to ensure that the personal information we collect and hold is protected from inference, misuse or loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Bedford employees must respect the confidentiality of the personal information we collect.
Personal information is generally held in client files. Information may also be held in a computer database. All paper files are stored in secure areas. Computer-based information is protected by access passwords.
In relation to our computer-based information, we apply the following guidelines:
- Data ownership is clearly defined within Bedford.
- Passwords are routinely checked.
- Employee access capabilities may change if they are assigned to a new position.
- Employees have restricted access to sections of the system.
- The system automatically logs and reviews all unauthorised access attempts.
- The system automatically limits the amount of personal information appearing on any one screen.
- Unauthorised employees are barred from updating and editing personal information.
- All personal computers which contain personal information are secured, physically and electronically.
- Data is encrypted during transmission over the network.
- Print reporting of data containing personal information is limited.
Bedford performs all employment procedures, including application and termination processes, in a confidential manner. All job attributes, such as classification information and salaries, are confidential.
Where we no longer require the personal information for a permitted purpose under the APP, we will take reasonable steps to securely archive it.
11. Direct marketing
Bedford does not use personal information for the purposes of direct marketing, unless:
- The personal information does not include sensitive information.
- You would reasonably expect us to use or disclose the information for direct marketing.
- We provide a simple way of opting out of direct marketing.
- You have not requested to opt out of receiving direct marketing from us.
If we collect personal information about you from a third party, we will only use that information for the purposes of direct marketing if you have consented, (or it is impracticable to obtain your consent), and we will provide a simple means by which you can easily request not to receive direct marketing communications from us. We will draw your attention to the fact you may make such a request in our direct marketing communications. We will not use your credit information for the purposes of direct marketing.
In relation to sensitive information, Bedford may only use or disclose sensitive information about an individual for direct marketing if you have consented to the use or disclosure of the information for that purpose. You have the right to request to opt out of direct marketing and we must give effect to the request within a reasonable timeframe.
You may also request that Bedford provides them with the source of your information. If such a request is made, Bedford must notify you of the source of the information free of charge within a reasonable timeframe.
We will not use identifiers assigned by the Government, such as a tax file number, Medicare number or provider number, for our own file recording purposes, unless one of the exemptions in the Act applies. Bedford endeavours to avoid data-matching, being the comparison of data collected and held for two or more separate purposes to identify common features in relation to individuals, as a basis for further investigation or action in relation to those individuals.
13. How do we keep personal information accurate and up-to-date?
Bedford is committed to ensuring that the personal information we collect, use and disclose is relevant, accurate, complete and current.
We encourage you to contact us to update any personal information we hold about you. If we correct information that has previously been disclosed to another entity, we will notify the other entity within a reasonable period of the correction.
Where we are satisfied information is inaccurate, we will take reasonable steps to correct the information within 30 days, unless you advise otherwise. We do not charge you for correcting the information.
14. Access to personal information
Subject to the exceptions set out in the Act, you may gain access to the personal information that we hold about you by contacting the Bedford Privacy Officer. We will provide access within 30 days of the individual’s request. If we refuse to provide the information, we will provide reasons for the refusal.
We will require identity verification and specification of what information is required. An administrative fee for search and photocopying costs may be charged for providing access.
15. Updates to this Policy
This Policy will be reviewed from time to time to take account of new laws and technology, and changes to our operations and the business environment and any updates will be approved by the Directors of Bedford.
17. Privacy training
18. Non-compliance and disciplinary actions
19. Incidents / complaints handling
Bedford has a complaints handling process to manage privacy risks and issues, which involves:
- Identifying, (and addressing), any systemic / ongoing compliance problems.
- Increasing consumer confidence in Bedford’s privacy procedures
- Helping to build and preserve Bedford’s reputation and business.
You can make a complaint to Bedford about the treatment or handling of your personal information by lodging a complaint with the Privacy Officer.
20. Contractual arrangements with third parties
Third parties will be required to implement policies in relation to the management of an individual’s personal information in accordance with the Act. These policies include:
- Regulating the collection, use and disclosure of personal and sensitive information.
- De-identifying personal and sensitive information wherever possible.
- Ensuring that personal and sensitive information is kept securely, with access to it only by authorised employees or agents of the third parties.
- Ensuring that the personal and sensitive information is only disclosed to organisations approved by Bedford.
21. Inquiries and complaints
If you have any questions about our privacy procedures, or if wish to make a complaint about how we have dealt with your personal information, (including credit information), you may lodge a complaint with us in any of the following ways: By telephone: + 61 2 9955 6522
Bedford Privacy Officer
PO Box 1811
NORTH SYDNEY NSW 2059