Protocol Privacy Collection Statement

About this Statement

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT’s) Protocol Branch (PRB) provides services and advice to foreign missions, international organisations and other government agencies in accordance with our obligations under the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations.

Comprehensive guidance on PRB’s role and responsibilities may be found in the publicly available Protocol Guidelines.

PRB’s support and services include: facilitating agrément and credentials requirements for Australian and foreign Heads of Mission; providing diplomatic and consular accreditation, visas and identity cards for officers posted to Australia; expediting the establishment of embassies and consulates in Canberra, Australian states and the Northern Territory; processing requests for honorary consul representation in Australia; assisting with reverse consular liaison between missions and Australian police and health services; and coordinating airport facilitation for visits by high-level dignitaries.

PRB provides advice to diplomatic missions and other government agencies on: privileges and immunities and rights of protection applicable under the Vienna Conventions and other international legal instruments and laws; the Australian Government’s Indirect Tax Concession Scheme; bilateral arrangements covering the employment of dependants of diplomatic and consular officials; engagement of foreign domestic workers by eligible accredited staff; and issues related to the diplomatic estate in Canberra.

This collection notice describes how PRB (as part of DFAT) collects and handles personal information, and is to be read in conjunction with DFAT’s Privacy Policy.

Why does PRB collect, use and disclose your personal information?

PRB collects, uses and discloses your personal information to manage the presence in Australia of representatives of official foreign missions and international organisations, their locally engaged staff, eligible family members, private domestic workers and honorary consuls, including to:

  • determine current and ongoing entitlement to accreditation;
  • administer privileges and immunities;
  • determine and establish appropriate protection services for accredited missions and representatives;
  • compile statistics and information for use in the preparation of official reports to the Government and the Parliament;
  • publish the Diplomatic and Consular Lists and the List of Representatives of International Organisations on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website;
  • provide the Foreign Heads of Mission After Hours and Emergency Contact List to Portfolio Ministers and their offices and senior Australian officials;
  • assist with ‘reverse consular’ liaison between missions and Australian police and health services; and
  • ensure compliance with relevant visa conditions and Australian laws.

How and when does PRB collect your personal information?

PRB collects personal information from individuals and foreign missions when foreign representatives, dependent family members, private domestic workers and honorary consuls are nominated, and as required to provide protocol services.

For the purpose of providing protocol services, we also collect your information from Australian Government agencies, and State and Territory Government agencies, including:

  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Department of Home Affairs
  • Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Attorney-General’s Department
  • Australian Federal Police and State and Territory police
  • Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission
  • Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and Cities
  • National Capital Authority
  • Department of Human Services (including Centrelink)
  • Department of Social Services
  • State and Territory child protection agencies

We may also collect personal information from other organisations, including airport authorities, in order to provide airport facilitation.

Authority for collection of personal information

Collection of this information is authorised by or under Australian law, being the Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act 1967, Consular Privileges and Immunities Act 1972, International Organisations (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1963, and Overseas Missions (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1995.

What happens if PRB does not collect your personal information?

If PRB does not collect your personal information, you will not be able to receive accreditation and/or appropriate protocol services.

To whom does PRB disclose your personal information?

PRB may disclose your personal information to other Australian Government agencies, and State and Territory Government agencies, including the:

  • Attorney-General’s Department
  • Australian Federal Police and State and Territory police
  • Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and Cities
  • National Capital Authority
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Department of Home Affairs
  • Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission
  • Department of Human Services (including Centrelink)
  • Department of Social Services
  • State and Territory child protection agencies

We may also disclose your personal information to other organisations, including airport authorities, in order to provide airport facilitation.

Does PRB provide this information overseas?

In order to provide accreditation and other protocol services, PRB may disclose personal information it collects to ‘receiving state’ governments and other authorities where it is necessary for PRB’s diplomatic or consular functions or activities.

How PRB stores and protects personal information

Access by departmental staff to personal information contained in protocol files is strictly limited on a ‘need to know’ basis.

Sensitive personal information stored in DFAT’s databases can only be accessed by authorised users for the purpose of working on particular enquiries, complaints, applications, or cases. These databases maintain an audit trail whenever personal information is included, amended, or deleted.

We take steps to protect the personal information we hold against misuse, interference and loss; and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. These steps include password protection for electronic files, securing paper files in locked cabinets and physical access restrictions.

Personal information held by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Commonwealth records is managed securely through our recordkeeping system. When no longer required to be retained as part of a Commonwealth record, personal information is destroyed in accordance with the Archives Act 1983.

How do you find out more about PRB’s privacy practices?

DFAT’s Privacy Policy describes how DFAT protects and manages personal information, including how you can access and seek to correct your personal information, how to make a complaint about DFAT’s privacy practices, and how your complaint will be handled.

To find out more about how PRB in particular manages your personal information, you can contact:

Protocol Branch
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
RG Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent
BARTON ACT 0221

Email: Protocol.Branch@dfat.gov.au

From time to time, we will review and revise this privacy collection statement. We reserve the right to amend this statement at any time.

Date last updated: July 2018

Last Updated: 5 July 2018