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Red Cross Donations 'results outside of normal range'

Julia Carr-Catzel made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

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From: Julia Carr-Catzel

Delivered

Dear Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission,

I am requesting information from the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS).

I was wondering how many people donated 'whole blood' donations (at least three times per annum) to the ARCBS between August 2017-August 2019.

And I was wondering how many of those donors within that period received letters finding their blood was 'outside of normal range'.

The exact wording in the letter is: 'Your health is important to us, and our Biochemistry test on your blood sample shows some results outside of normal range'.

Other key words are: 'immunoglobulin'.

Yours faithfully,
Julia Carr-Catzel
0432 325 296

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From: Advice
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

 

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From: foi
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission


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Dear Ms Carr-Catzel

 

We confirm receipt of your email to the Australian Charities and
Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) sent on 20 August 2019, requesting
information under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act), and
specifically:

 

I am requesting information from the Australian Red Cross Blood Service
(ARCBS).

 

I was wondering how many people donated 'whole blood' donations (at least
three times per annum) to the ARCBS between August 2017-August 2019.

 

And I was wondering how many of those donors within that period received
letters finding their blood was 'outside of normal range'.

 

The exact wording in the letter is: 'Your health is important to us, and
our Biochemistry test on your blood sample shows some results outside of
normal range'.

 

Other key words are: 'immunoglobulin'.

 

As your request was received on 22 August 2019, the 30-day statutory
period for processing your request under the FOI Act commenced from the
day after that date, meaning that you should expect a decision by 20
September 2019. This period may be extended if we need to consult third
parties or for other reasons. We will contact you if this happens. Please
note that charges may apply depending on the size and complexity of your
request. We will obtain your consent to any charges before they are
incurred. We also note your request in relation to a reduction in any fees
and charges.

 

We note that the following information is likely to be relevant to your
request.  Once you have had a chance to consider the below information, we
would be grateful if you could confirm whether you would like to proceed
with your request.

 

Should you wish to proceed with your request, we would also like to
discuss the scope of your request.

 

Secrecy provisions under the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits
Commission Act 2012 (Cth) (ACNC Act)

 

Division 150 of the ACNC Act restricts the use and disclosure of
‘protected ACNC information’. This is defined in s 150-15 of the ACNC Act
as information that:

 

 a. was disclosed or obtained under or for the purposes of the ACNC Act;
and
 b. relates to the affairs of the entity; and
 c. identifies, or is reasonably capable of being used to identify, the
entity.

 

As you can see, this definition is very broad and captures all information
that the ACNC holds about ‘entities’ which was disclosed/obtained under or
for the purposes of the ACNC Act. The secrecy provisions provide that ACNC
officers may only release protected ACNC information about an entity
directly to the entity to whom the information relates, that entity’s
authorised agent (e.g. a lawyer or accountant), or an authorised person
who holds a position in the entity that gives them authority to act on
behalf of the entity.

 

Section 150-25 of the ACNC Act makes it an offence for ACNC officers to
disclose protected ACNC information unless one of the limited exceptions
in the ACNC Act apply.

 

Importantly, the FOI Act does not override the secrecy provisions in the
ACNC Act which means that, in the event that the ACNC holds any documents
about the entity specified in your request, the secrecy provisions are
likely to prevent release of those documents to you unless you can
demonstrate that you are authorised to receive protected ACNC information,
and we are satisfied that disclosure to you is authorised. The ACNC
Operational Procedure on Protected Information details the limited
situations in which protected ACNC information can be disclosed and is
available on our website [1]here.

 

While you have every right to proceed with your request and obtain a
formal decision, we can advise that it is unlikely that the ACNC will be
able to provide you with any documents relevant to your request, due to
the operation of the secrecy provisions in the ACNC Act.

 

If you would like to discuss your request further, please contact me on 03
8632 4970.

 

Kind regards

 

Nicholas Kennedy
Legal Counsel | Legal and Policy | Australian Charities and
Not-for-profits Commission
T (03) 8632 4970 | F 1300 232 569 | E [2][email address] | W
[3]www.acnc.gov.au

[4]cid:image001.png@01D35D43.4747DBC0

 

 

 

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