Fergusons will only collect personal information if it is reasonably necessary for the conduct of our practice as providers of accounting services. If it is reasonable and practicable to do so, we will collect personal information about you only from you. However, in the course of providing accounting services it is often necessary to collect personal information from various sources, including government agencies. If we collect personal information about an individual from a third party, we will where appropriate request the third party to inform the individual concerned that we are holding such information and of how we will use and disclose it, and of his or her rights to contact us to gain access to and correct and update it. However, we will not make any such request of third parties in special circumstances, where it would not be practicable to do so.
- Use and disclosure
In general, we will not use or disclose personal information about you otherwise than for the purpose of providing and offering accounting services, for a purpose which you would reasonably expect, a purpose authorised by law, or some other purpose disclosed to or authorised by you. Various laws, including the Corporations Act 2001, the Bankruptcy Act 1966 and the Real Property Act 1886 require the collection and disclosure of certain information, depending on what is appropriate in particular matters. We will as far as possible maintain personal information in confidence, but it may be necessary for the information to be disclosed to other organizations in the course of our providing accounting services, or in accordance with the conduct of our practice. These other organisations may include other accounting firms, conveyancers, or government departments such as the Lands Titles Office, ASIC or AFSA expert consultants or advisers, our auditors, external consultants and other organizations providing services to us. Fergusons may use personal information about you for direct marketing, but you may at any time express a wish not to receive any further direct marketing communications. Fergusons may also use or disclose personal information about you to avoid, lessen or prevent a serious emergency or crime, in which case we will make a written note of such use or disclosure.
- Information security
Fergusons will take reasonable steps to protect the personal information it holds from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure and to destroy personal information following a period of storage.
- Data quality, access and correction
If Fergusons holds personal information about you, it will provide you with access to the information on request by you except in the special circumstances referred to in the Privacy Act 1988, including where disclosure would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of another individual? the information would reveal a commercially sensitive decision-making process or we are prevented by law from making disclosure. In order to provide accounting services to you, generally, the responsible practitioner will take instructions at the commencement of a matter and supplement and update this information as it appears necessary throughout the conduct of the matter. However, if we hold personal information about you and you are able to establish that the information is not accurate, complete and up-to-date, we will take reasonable steps to correct it. We will provide reasons for any refusal to correct personal information, and, if you ask us to associate with the information a statement claiming that the information is not accurate, complete or up-to-date, we will take reasonable steps to do so.
Fergusons will not adopt as its own identifier of you or use or disclose an identifier of you which has been assigned by a government agency, unless allowed by the National Privacy Principles set out in the Privacy Act 1988. An identifier is a number assigned to an individual to identify uniquely the individually but does not include an individual’s name or ABN.
Where Fergusons provides accounting services to you, we will generally require the disclosure of your identity and specific circumstances for the purpose of checking for any conflict of interest and providing appropriate advice. For those reasons, we see that it is unlikely to be lawful and practicable for you to enter transactions with us without identifying yourself.
- Transborder data flows
If we at some stage need to transfer personal information about an individual outside Australia, then (except where the National Privacy Principles do not require us to do so) we will seek the individual’s consent to the transfer of the information if we believe that the overseas third party is not subject to, or has not agreed to comply with? privacy obligations equivalent to those which apply to us.