Privacy Policy


About this policy

We take your privacy seriously and make all efforts to protect your personal information from misuse, interference and loss, and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.

This privacy policy prepared in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 outlines ACIAR personal information handling practices. It contains information about our collection, use, disclosure and storage of personal information, including sensitive information, and how individuals may access and correct personal information that we hold.

ACIAR also assists to facilitate the functions of the Policy Advisory Council (PAC) and the Commission for International Agricultural Research (Commission). This policy also applies to the personal information handling practices of the PAC and the Commission. References in this policy to ‘us’ and ‘we’ should be taken to include the PAC and Commission unless indicated otherwise.


We collect, hold, use and disclose personal information to carry out the Chief Executive Officers (CEO’s) functions or activities under s 5 of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Act 1982 (ACIAR Act).

The CEO’s functions and activities include:

  • Formulating programs and policies with respect to agricultural research that identify and/or solve agricultural problems in developing countries 
  • Commissioning agricultural research in accordance with resulting programs and policies
  • Communicating the results of such agricultural research
  • Conducting and funding development activities related to ACIAR research programs, and
  • Funding international agricultural research centres.

The CEO also collects personal information relevant to their functions and duties as an agency head set out in the Public Service Act 1999 and Public Governance Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and other legislation relevant to their employer responsibilities.

With assistance from ACIAR, the Commission collects, holds, uses and discloses personal information to carry out its functions or activities under s 7 of the ACIAR Act. The Commissions functions are to provide advice to the Minister in relation to formulation and funding of programs, and any other matter the Minister requests.

With assistance from ACIAR, the PAC collects, holds, uses and discloses personal information to carry out its functions and activities under s 18 of the ACIAR Act. These functions include providing advice to the Minister on agricultural problems in developing countries and advising on programs and policies with respect to agricultural research for the purposes of identifying problems of developing countries and finding solutions.

Collection of your personal information

Collecting personal information and sensitive information

At all times we try to only collect the information we need for the particular function or activity we are carrying out. The types of personal information we may collect includes, but is not limited to:

  1. identification information such as your name, date of birth, contact details (personal and/or business), address, drivers’ licence and passport details, telephone and fax numbers and email address
  2. personal information where you apply for a job with us or during your employment with us (including from your referees)
  3. personal information provided when you establish a business, research or other contractual relationship with us
  4. contact and identification details of any third party that you have authorised to negotiate or provide your personal information on your behalf, and/or 
  5. correspondence between you and us.

In certain circumstances, we may also collect sensitive information about you with consent, for example in relation to recruitment of employees, criminal record information (as part of background screening), or health information including details of medical conditions and dietary requirements. Special rules apply to the collection of sensitive information under the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act.

If you do not provide us with the personal information that we (or other relevant third parties engaged by us or working with us) need in order to deliver/perform our functions or as part of an application process, we or they may not be able to provide the appropriate type or level of product or service to you or progress your relationship with ACIAR.

ACIAR collects personal information in the following ways:

  1. directly from the individual to whom the information relates, including through our website, by telephone, in person and in paper and electronic documents (including forms or applications) completed and provided to us
  2. through our representatives, advisers and other third parties, including our professional advisers, government, law enforcement agencies and our partners (in Australia and overseas) and contracted service providers
  3. from our records of ACIAR services to which you have subscribed, and/or
  4. from publicly available sources.


Where possible, we will allow you to interact with us anonymously or using a pseudonym. For example, if you contact us with a general question, we will not ask for your name unless we need it to adequately handle your question.

However, for most of our functions and activities we usually need your name and contact information and enough information to enable us to fairly and efficiently handle your inquiry.

Provision of other individuals’ personal information

If you provide us with personal information about other individuals, we rely on you to have made them aware:

  • that you will or may provide that information to us
  • of the purposes for which we use it
  • of the types of third parties to whom we may disclose it
  • of how those individuals may obtain access to personal information relating to them.

Where the personal information is sensitive information, we rely on you to have obtained the relevant individual’s consent. If you have not done so, you must tell us before you provide the relevant information.

Collecting through our website

While every effort is made to secure information transmitted to our website, there is a possibility that this information could be accessed by a third party while in transit.

Information collected

When you visit our website, our server logs the following information:

  • all access to the website and website pages
  • the type of browser and operating system you are using
  • the address of the referring site (for example, the previous site that you visited)
  • your public IP address
  • the date and time of your visit, and
  • the address of the pages accessed, and the documents downloaded.

This information is used only for statistical analysis and systems administration purposes. No attempt is made to identify users or their browsing activities, except in the unlikely event of an investigation by a law enforcement agency.

Recording of email addresses

From time to time, ACIAR may collect and record email addresses from you for the purposes of providing you with updates on ACIAR activities and/or upcoming events. ACIAR will only record your email address and add it to a mailing list with your consent. ACIAR will not disclose your email address to any third-party organisation without your consent except where required by law. If you are on a mailing list, you will also be provided with the option to unsubscribe with each mailout.


A cookie is an electronic token that is passed to your browser which passes it back to the server whenever a page is sent to you. Our server generates one cookie which is used to keep track of the pages you have accessed while using our server. The cookie allows you to page back and forwards through the web site and return to pages you have already visited. The cookie exists only for the time you are accessing our server.


Search terms you enter when using our search engine are collected but are not associated with any other information that we collect. We use these search terms to ascertain what people are looking for at our site, and to improve the services that we provide.

Collecting personal information through our website

Electronic forms may be used on this site to gather personal information for purposes directly related to ACIAR activities or functions. When we do so we will let you know the purpose for which the information is being collected (including if the information is to be published), and the legal authority for the collection if it is authorised or required by or under law.

As there are risks associated with using the Internet as a transmission medium, when we use electronic forms to collect information, we will also provide you with other options for providing the information - for example, a paper form and mailing address.

Social networking websites

We use social networking services including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube to communicate with the public about our work. When you communicate with us using these services, we may collect your personal information, but we only use it to help us to communicate with you and the public. The social networking service will also handle your personal information for its own purposes. These services have their own privacy policies, and these can be found on their websites.

Publishing personal information

We will only publish personal information on this site if it has been collected for this purpose with your knowledge or if you have consented to the disclosure. When giving such consent you should be aware that information published on this site is accessible to millions of users from all over the world, that it will be indexed by search engines and that it may be copied and used by any web user. This means that, once the information is published on this site, we will have no control over its subsequent use and disclosure.

Use and disclosure

Use and disclosure of personal information

ACIAR uses and discloses personal information for the purpose for which it was collected or for a directly related secondary purpose. For example, information collected as part of an ACIAR project may be used as part of the operations and development of that project, as part of the ACIAR Capacity Building Program in developing ACIAR alumni network or in evaluating and assessing the effectiveness of, and otherwise developing our policies in respect of, out projects.

We may also use or disclose personal information we collect for secondary purposes that are otherwise permitted under the Privacy Act, including where:

  •  you provide your consent
  • you would reasonably expect the use or disclosure, and the secondary purpose is related, or in the case of sensitive information, directly related, to the primary purpose
  • the use or disclosure is required or authorised by law or court order, and
  • the use or disclosure is reasonably necessary for one or more enforcement related activities conducted by, or on behalf of, an enforcement body.

We disclose personal information to third parties located in Australia or overseas where we believe such disclosure is necessary to assist us in providing our products and services or to perform our functions. We may disclose your personal information to:

  • our external professional advisers
  • other government agencies and departments
  • our business partners and service providers we engage to support or assist us to perform our functions and duties, including in connection with delivering our projects
  • anyone to whom we are required to disclose information by or under Australian law, and
  •  with your consent, other entities.

Cross-border disclosure

ACIAR core functions and purpose often require the sharing of data and information overseas. This means that there is a high chance that your personal information may be used or disclosed outside of Australia by ACIAR or its program partners and contracted service providers.

ACIAR does not disclose your personal information to any overseas recipient unless one of the following applies:

  • the recipient is subject to a law or binding scheme substantially similar to the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), and the individual can access mechanisms for protecting their privacy
  • you have consented to the disclosure after being expressly informed that we will not be taking reasonable steps to ensure that the overseas recipient does not breach the APPs, and
  • it is required or authorised by law.

Security, Accuracy, Access and Correction

Security of your personal information

We will take reasonable steps to protect any personal information we hold from misuse, interference and loss and to protect it from unauthorised access, modification and disclosure.

If we become aware of a data breach or possible data breach, we will act in accordance with our Data Breach Response Plan. We will notify the Australian Information Commissioner and affected individuals of any data breaches which meet the criteria for an ‘eligible data breach’ as required by the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme (established under Part IIIC of the Privacy Act).


We will make all reasonable efforts to ensure the personal information we hold is accurate and up to date. We will undertake regular checks of our personal information holdings to ensure quality and accuracy.


You can request access to the personal information we hold about you. You can submit your request in writing to the email or postal address listed below.

ACIAR employees can request access to their personal information directly from Manager Human Resources.

We may, in accordance with general freedom of information principles, limit access to documentation requested when:

  • Access would unreasonably impact another individual’s privacy
  • Documents are subject to confidentiality obligations (such as a written reference for employment), legal privilege or contain commercially or legally sensitive information.

We will respond to your request for access within 30 days of receipt.


You can request that personal information we hold about you be corrected, including amending, deleting or adding to a record, to ensure the information is accurate, up to date, and complete.

We may request proof of your identity to ensure accuracy of a requested change.


If you wish to complain to us about how we have handled your personal information you should complain in writing to the email or postal address below. If you require assistance in lodging a complaint, you can contact us.

If you make a privacy complaint to us and are not satisfied that the matter has been resolved, you can lodge a formal complaint with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). Further information about making a privacy complaint to the OAIC is available at:

Contact us

To request access or correction to your personal information, or to make a complaint, please contact us via:

Email: [email protected]
Postal address: GPO Box 1571 Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 (02) 6217 0500