The Public Solicitor’s Office (PSO) is committed to protecting user privacy.
PSO’s collection, use, disclosure and storage of personal information (as briefly explained below) is therefore processed in accordance with the law.
Why PSO may collect personal information
PSO collects personal information for purposes of performing its constitutional and statutory functions. Some personal information considered too sensitive can only be collected when it is reasonably necessary for the exercise of power or performance of a core function under law.
Type of personal information held by PSO
The type of personal information collected and held by PSO is quite extensive as far as the scope of matters dealt with by the Public Solicitor is concerned. This includes but is not limited to:
- Applicant’s personal contact details – name (subject to anonymity request), date of birth, email, postal address, telephone number and fax number, and details about the application;
- employment details;
- financial or bank account details;
- particulars about your education and training;
- health information; and
- disciplinary details.
How PSO collects personal information
PSO basically collects personal information through:
- the applications for legal aid it has received directly from you or from a third party (representative) on your behalf;
- submissions you made to this website through our online forms (however, no personal information is collected by PSO when you browse our website); and
- other sources such as from other public bodies, individuals or private entities from whom information is sought for investigation purposes.
Protection, use and disclosure of personal information
Access to personal information in PSO is strictly on a work-related basis only.
PSO may use your personal information under lawful circumstances such as the following as per the Public Solicitor’s Act and the Legal Practitioner’s Act:
- assessing and determining how best your application for legal aid should be dealt with;
- legal advice and representation resulting from your application;
- referral of your application (or part of it) to another person or office if the Public Solicitor considers that that person or office is in a better position to assist in resolving your case;
- where you have consented to disclosing your personal information; or
- where a legal proceeding arises out of the operation of the Public Solicitor’s Act.
It is a requirement of law that any information contained in an application made to the Public Solicitor that may identify an individual who is a vulnerable person or a witness for such a person must be deleted from any report or document that is or may become a publicly available.
PSO staff members and lawyers are under Oath not to divulge any information (including personal information) received by them in the performance of their functions to any person except in accordance with the Constitution and the Public Solicitor’s Act.
Unlawful disclosure of information by the Public Solicitor, any of his authorised officers, or staff members is a punishable offence.
PSO therefore has higher regard to protecting your personal information. If you are however concerned about how PSO handles your information, you are welcome to raise the concern with the Public Solicitor in writing or telephone us on (677) 28405 or (677) 28406 and ask to speak with our Office Manager.