Information access and sharing policy

Background

This policy establishes the principles governing access to and dissemination of information created, collected, maintained and managed by the NRSCH.

The information sharing function of Registrars is essential in order to support the objects of the National Law and to accomplish the aims of the NRSCH. That is, to ensure a well governed, well managed and viable community housing sector that meets the housing needs of tenants and provides assurance for government and investors.

The purpose of this policy is to explain the circumstances under which the NRSCH will collect and disclose information about a registered community housing provider or a provider seeking registration under the NRSCH. The document also explains under what circumstances a Registrar will share information with other participating Registrars, housing agencies and third parties.

Scope

This policy has been agreed and adopted by all jurisdictions participating in the National Regulatory System for Community Housing (NRSCH).

The policy applies to all data collections stored in electronic and non- electronic formats that are owned, created, collected, managed and stored by the NRSCH.

Business rules

Registrars will manage the sharing of information in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Community Housing Providers National Law (the National Law) including Section 10(1) and Section 26 of the National Law.

Policy statement

Principles

The principles of good regulation that underpin the National Regulatory Code are recognised in the Information Sharing policy.

  • Proportionate – Sharing of information is an appropriate balance of risk, intent, and the range of legislative instruments related to information disclosure.
  • Accountable – Community housing providers understand why Registrars share information about entities and the reason for disclosure, and have a means to challenge the rationale.
  • Consistent – There will be a consistent approach to sharing information across all participating jurisdictions.
  • Transparent – The NRSCH Information Sharing policy and information about the collection and disclosure of information will be accessible.
  • Flexible – Information sharing is not confined to a singular process but is adaptive to needs and reflects the role of Registrars and intelligence and performance monitoring bodies.
  • Targeted – Information sharing is directed to support the objects of the national law and achieve the Charter (PDF , 6.0 MB) of the National system. Information sharing on specific entities is decided on a case-by-case basis and subject to disclosure law.

Types of information

The following are examples of the types of information that may be owned, created, collected, managed or stored by Registrars participating in the NRSCH:

  • information held on the national register including:
    • the name and identifying details of the entity
    • the category of registration of the entity
    • the primary jurisdiction of the entity
    • each other participating jurisdiction in which the entity has community housing assets
    • othe conditions to which the registration of the entity is subject
    • details of any regulatory action to which the provider is subject
    • details of regulatory action to which the provider is subject
    • any other information about the entity that a registrar considers to be relevant for the purposes of the National Law
  • case studies
  • annual performance/compliance assessments of registered agencies/ providers
  • evidence documentation submitted by providers to support their claims for suitability and/or compliance
  • advice from funding bodies, other regulators, or referring entities on the performance of specific providers
  • whistle-blower reports and complaints made against provider performance
  • reports on the performance of the regulator and the regulatory regime
  • key national and jurisdictional statistical data
  • trends and patterns in performance in the sector
  • policy documents and guidelines.

Information access

Information publicly available

The NRSCH publishes the following information publicly:

  • NRSCH Policy documents and Guidelines
  • information held on the national register
  • key national statistical sector data
  • key trends and patterns in the performance of the sector (if available).

Informal request for information

If the information sought has not been published it may be provided by the participating NRSCH jurisdiction in response to an informal request. These documents include:

  • copies of correspondence, sent to us by the requester
  • documents that contain only information about the requester
  • documents that have already been made public in some other way
  • other reasonable requests, as determined by the Registrar, for release of information that would not raise any potential public interest concerns.

The NRSCH may impose conditions in the use or disclosure of information that is released in response to an informal request.

Disclosure of information under Section 26 of the National Law

If the information sought is not published by the NRSCH or available by informal
request, a Registrar may disclose information under the provision of Section 26 of the
National Law.

In accordance with Section 26 of the National Law, information obtained by Registrars in the exercise of their functions may be disclosed if it is made:

  • in connection with the administration or execution of the National Law or any other law; or
  • with the consent of the person/ provider from whom the information was obtained; or
  • with other lawful excuse.

Registrars will assess each request for the disclosure of information under Section 26 on a case by case basis.

Information sharing

Registrars have specific statutory requirements under the Community Housing Providers National Law including:

  • to provide information about the registration of entities and information about the compliance of registered community housing providers with community housing legislation – Section 10 (1)(f)
  • to share information and to cooperate with Registrars of other participating jurisdictions for the purposes of community housing legislation – Section 10 (1)(g)
  • to provide information and advice to the relevant Minister and Housing Agency in relation to the registration of entities and the regulation of registered community housing providers and any other matter under community housing legislation - Section 10 (1)(h).

Registrars are also required to collect and share information whilst exercising specific functions under the National Law, including:

  • maintaining a Register of NRSCH registered providers jointly with Registrars of other participating jurisdictions assessing suitability of providers for registration
  • determining the appropriate tier of registration
  • monitoring compliance of providers
  • investigating complaints about compliance with relevant legislation
  • determining whether to exercise enforcement powers and whether to cancel registration – for example, when enforcement activity has been initiated by a lead registrar that may raise issues regarding compliance in another jurisdiction that need to be assessed.

Last updated:

22 Jul 2022

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