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Privacy Statement – Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat

The Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General’s Privacy

This policy sets out how the Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General (OOSGG) complies with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) in the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) when requesting, collecting and managing personal information required to administer the Australian Honours and Awards System.

  • The APPs set out requirements in relation to how the OOSGG manages your personal information.
  • 'Personal information' is information or opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable. The information or opinion may or may not be true, and may or may not be recorded in a material form.
  • Data regarding your cultural heritage may be used for statistical reporting on diversity in the honours system. These statistics help the OOSGG to identify underrepresented groups and measure the effectiveness of diversity campaigns. 

What personal information does OOSGG collect and why do we collect it?

  • OOSGG collects personal information that is reasonably necessary to administer the Australian Honours and Awards System. The personal information collected may also be used to contact persons in relation to events being hosted by OOSGG.
  • The nature of the personal information collected may include, but is not limited to:  names, date and place of birth, occupation, gender, nationality, contact details (including telephone, email and residential or postal address), biographical information, and referee reports.
  • When you are making a general enquiry regarding awards administered by the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat, generally, you have the option of dealing with OOSGG anonymously or using a pseudonym.

How does OOSGG collect personal information?

‘Personal information’ may be collected by OOSGG in a variety of methods including but is not limited to:

  • Directly from you or your representative;
  • Through independent research or social media;
  • From third parties such as nominators, referees, and general members of the public.
  • From the Australian Electoral Roll to identify or locate individuals who:
    • are nominated, or are being considered for nomination, for an honour or award within the Australian Honours and Award System; or
    • have been selected to provide a reference connected with such a nomination.

We may collect your personal information in a variety of ways including by phone, in writing, email, or via the ‘SmartForms’ service hosted by the Department of Industry Innovation and Science.

SmartForms only stores data temporarily while transmitting from the form user (you) to the client agency (OOSGG). Data passing through the SmartForms service is encrypted, and is purged within 72 hours of the client agency confirming they’ve retrieved the data from the servers.

The SmartForms hosting application (Transact Manager) compiles activity logs that identify statistical information about the user’s browser. Logs are partitioned so that an agency can only access data and reporting about their own agency and forms. SmartForms can report on statistical data at a global level.

How does OOSGG use and disclose personal information?

OOSGG uses and discloses limited personal information for the purposes of administering the Australian Honours and Awards System and related activities. Examples of who we disclose limited personal information to include:

  • the Order of Australia Council, the Australian Bravery Decorations Council and the National Emergency Medal Committee as appropriate to consider nominations and make recommendations to the Governor-General or Administrator;
  • Individuals who are requested by the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat to provide a referee report;
  • The Governor-General, or Administrator as the responsible authority to approve awards within the Australian Honours and Awards System and send congratulatory messages;
  • State and Territory Government House for the purposes of hosting investiture ceremonies.
  • External government agencies and private organisations for the purpose of verifying details of service as appropriate; and
  • OOSGG may use or disclose personal information for another purpose with your consent or where otherwise permitted by law.
  • OOSGG will not publicly disclose data on your cultural heritage in any biographical information released following the acceptance of an award.  

OOSSG may disclose personal information overseas when:

  • The Australian Honours and Award Secretariat is required to seek permission from another country regarding the acceptance of a foreign award;
  • An investiture ceremony for a recipient of an award within the Australian Honours and Awards System is hosted outside of Australia; and
  • Notifying Buckingham Palace of upcoming appointments and awards within the Australian Honours and Awards System.

What happens if you don't give us your personal information?

To maintain the integrity of the Australian Honours and Awards System we must positively identify you. If you choose not to provide OOSGG your personal information, then the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat may not be able to administer your award/s, or respond to your request.

How does OOSGG protect your personal information?

OOSGG takes information security seriously and uses a range of IT and physical measures to ensure that your personal information is held securely and protected from misuse, interference, loss and unauthorised access, modification and disclosure. OOSGG also takes steps to ensure that any personal information it uses or discloses is accurate, up-to-date, complete and relevant.

Under the Archives Act 1983, OOSGG is not permitted to destroy Australian Government records (which may contain personal information) except in specified and controlled circumstances. If the personal information is not held in an Australian Government record and there is no other legal impediment to doing so, OOSGG will take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to destroy or de-identify the information when it is no longer required by the OOSGG.

Access to personal information and correction

You may request access to your relevant personal information held by OOSGG and request that it be corrected if you believe it to be inaccurate. OOSGG will provide you with access to your personal information except in limited circumstances set out in the Privacy Act. If we refuse a request for access or correction to personal information, we will provide you with written reasons for that refusal. We will respond to a request for access or correction within 30 days after the request is made.

Please note Section 6A of the Freedom of Information Act.

Requests for correction of personal information can be made to the contact below.

How to make a complaint

If you make a complaint to OOSGG about how we have handled your personal information, we will contact you regarding whether an investigation will be conducted, who to contact about the matter and an estimated timeframe for resolving the complaint.

We will advise you of the outcome of our enquiries regarding the complaint in writing.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you may take the matter to the Privacy Commissioner in the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner:

Phone: 1300 363 992


Sydney Office: GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001

Canberra Office: GPO Box 2999 Canberra ACT 2601

Privacy Impact Assessment register

A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) is a systematic assessment of a project that identifies the impact that the project might have on the privacy of individuals, and sets out recommendations for managing, minimising, or eliminating that impact.

From 1 July 2018, OOSGG is required by the Australian Government Agencies Privacy Code to maintain a register of the Privacy Impact Assessments it conducts. Copies of PIAs may be requested by contacting the Privacy Officer at


Complaints, requests for access and/or correction should be in writing and sent to:

By post:

Director, People and Services Branch

Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General

Dunrossil Drive

Yarralumla ACT 2600

By email:

Further Information

For further information please refer to our Privacy Policy.