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COMPETITION AND CONSUMER ACT 2010 - SECT 155AAA

Protection of certain information

             (1)  A Commission official must not disclose any protected information to any person except:

                     (a)  when the Commission official is performing duties or functions as a Commission official; or

                     (b)  when the Commission official or the Commission is required or permitted by:

                              (i)  this Act or any other law of the Commonwealth; or

                             (ii)  a prescribed law of a State or internal Territory;

                            to disclose the information.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not allow a Commission official to disclose protected information when performing a function of the Commission described in section 28.

Disclosure to Ministers

             (3)  A Commission official may disclose protected information to the designated Minister.

             (4)  If protected information relates to a matter arising under:

                     (a)  a provision of this Act; or

                     (b)  a provision of another Act;

that is administered by a Minister other than the designated Minister, a Commission official may disclose the protected information to the other Minister.

             (5)  Subsection (4) does not limit subsection (3).

Disclosure to Secretaries etc.

             (6)  A Commission official may disclose protected information to:

                     (a)  the Secretary of the designated Department; or

                     (b)  an officer of the designated Department who is authorised by the Secretary of that Department, in writing, for the purposes of this subsection;

for the purpose of advising the designated Minister.

             (7)  If protected information relates to a matter arising under:

                     (a)  a provision of this Act; or

                     (b)  a provision of another Act;

that is administered by a Minister other than the designated Minister, a Commission official may disclose the protected information to:

                     (c)  the Secretary of the Department that is administered by the other Minister; or

                     (d)  an officer of that Department who is authorised by the Secretary of that Department, in writing, for the purposes of this subsection;

for the purpose of advising the other Minister.

             (8)  Subsection (7) does not limit subsection (6).

Disclosure to a Royal Commission

             (9)  A Commission official may disclose protected information to a Royal Commission.

           (10)  The Chairperson may, by writing, impose conditions to be complied with in relation to protected information disclosed under subsection (9).

           (11)  An instrument under subsection (10) is not a legislative instrument.

Disclosure to certain agencies, bodies and persons

           (12)  If the Chairperson is satisfied that particular protected information will enable or assist any of the following agencies, bodies or persons:

                     (a)  the Australian Bureau of Statistics;

                     (b)  the Australian Communications and Media Authority;

                     (c)  the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority;

                     (d)  the Australian Securities and Investments Commission;

                     (e)  the National Competition Council;

                      (f)  the Productivity Commission;

                     (g)  any other agency within the meaning of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 ;

                     (h)  the Australian Statistician;

                      (i)  the Commissioner of Taxation;

                      (j)  the Australian Competition Tribunal;

                     (k)  the Director of Public Prosecutions;

                      (l)  the Reserve Bank of Australia;

                    (la)  the Clean Energy Regulator;

                    (lb)  the Climate Change Authority;

                    (m)  a State/Territory government body;

                     (n)  a foreign government body;

to perform or exercise any of the functions or powers of the agency, body or person, an authorised Commission official may disclose that protected information to the agency, body or person concerned.

           (13)  The Chairperson may, by writing, impose conditions to be complied with in relation to protected information disclosed under subsection (12).

           (14)  An instrument under subsection (13) is not a legislative instrument.

Disclosure with consent

           (15)  A Commission official may disclose protected information that relates to the affairs of a person if:

                     (a)  the person has consented to the disclosure; and

                     (b)  the disclosure is in accordance with that consent.

Disclosure of publicly available information

           (16)  A Commission official may disclose protected information if it is already publicly available.

Disclosure of summaries or statistics

           (17)  A Commission official may disclose:

                     (a)  summaries of protected information; or

                     (b)  statistics derived from protected information;

if those summaries or statistics, as the case may be, are not likely to enable the identification of a person.

Disclosure authorised by regulations

           (18)  The regulations may:

                     (a)  authorise a Commission official to disclose protected information in specified circumstances; and

                     (b)  provide that the Chairperson may, by writing, impose conditions to be complied with in relation to the disclosure of protected information in those circumstances.

           (19)  An instrument under regulations made for the purposes of paragraph (18)(b) is not a legislative instrument.

Delegation

           (20)  The Chairperson may, by writing, delegate any or all of his or her functions and powers under:

                     (a)  this section; or

                     (b)  regulations made for the purposes of subsection (18);

to a member of the Commission.

Definitions

           (21)  In this section:

"authorised Commission official " means a Commission official authorised by the Chairperson, in writing, for the purposes of this section.

"Commission official " means:

                     (a)  a member, or associate member, of the Commission; or

                     (b)  a person referred to in subsection 27(1); or

                     (c)  a person engaged under section 27A.

"core statutory provision " means:

                     (a)  a provision of Part IV, V, VII, VIII, XI, XIB or XIC; or

                     (b)  the remaining provisions of this Act so far as they relate to a provision covered by paragraph (a); or

                     (c)  a provision of the regulations made under section 172 so far as it relates to a provision covered by paragraph (a) or (b); or

                     (d)  a provision of the Australian Consumer Law (other than Part 5-3); or

                     (e)  a provision of the regulations made under section 139G so far as it relates to a provision covered by paragraph (d).

"designated Department " means the Department that is responsible for the administration of this section (other than subsections (4) and (7)).

"designated Minister " means the Minister who is responsible for the administration of this section (other than subsections (4) and (7)).

"disclose " means divulge or communicate.

"foreign country " includes a region where:

                     (a)  the region is a colony, territory or protectorate of a foreign country; or

                     (b)  the region is part of a foreign country; or

                     (c)  the region is under the protection of a foreign country; or

                     (d)  a foreign country exercises jurisdiction or control over the region; or

                     (e)  a foreign country is responsible for the region's international relations.

"foreign government body " means:

                     (a)  the government of a foreign country; or

                     (b)  an agency or authority of a foreign country; or

                     (c)  the government of part of a foreign country; or

                     (d)  an agency or authority of part of a foreign country.

"information " includes information in a document and information given in evidence.

"protected information " means:

                     (a)  information that:

                              (i)  was given in confidence to the Commission; and

                             (ii)  relates to a matter arising under a core statutory provision; or

                     (b)  information that:

                              (i)  was obtained by the Commission under Part XID or section 155; and

                             (ii)  relates to a matter arising under a core statutory provision; or

                   (ba)  information that was obtained by the Commission under paragraph 60FD(2)(b) or section 60FA or 60H; or

                     (c)  information that:

                              (i)  was obtained by the Commission under section 151AU, 152AU, 152CBB or 152CBH or rules in force under section 151BU; and

                             (ii)  relates to a matter arising under Part XIB or XIC; or

                     (d)  information that was obtained by the Commission under section 118C, 118G, 118NE or 118NI of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 ; or

                     (e)  information that:

                              (i)  was given in confidence to the Commission by a foreign government body; and

                             (ii)  relates to a matter arising under a provision of a law of a foreign country or of a part of a foreign country; or

                      (f)  information that:

                              (i)  was obtained by the Commission under section 155; and

                             (ii)  relates to a designated water matter within the meaning of that section.

For the purposes of this definition, it is immaterial whether the information was given to or obtained by the Commission before, at or after the commencement of this section.

"Royal Commission " has the same meaning as in the Royal Commissions Act 1902 .

"State/Territory government body " means:

                     (a)  the government of a State or Territory; or

                     (b)  an agency or authority of a State or Territory.



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