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What is a legal authority

Find out what a legal authority is and how it affects information sharing.

What is a ‘legal authority’ for information sharing

All information sharing must be permitted by legislation. A legislative provision that permits the sharing of information is referred to as the ‘legal authority’.

There are various legislative provisions that permit the sharing of information. Each provision permits the sharing of information for a specific purpose. More than one provision may permit your intended information sharing activity — you’ll need to identify the legal authority that best fits your information sharing activity.

Some legal authorities have specific parameters and restrictions for the information sharing they permit, such as:

  • only between specific types of agencies
  • restricted categories of information
  • for specific purposes only. 

Check that a legal authority exists for your proposed information sharing. This gives everyone confidence that you’re sharing personal information legally and appropriately — that is, yourself, your agency, the receiving agency or organisation, and the public.

What legal authority to use for your information sharing activity

Note: Before you share information check with your privacy, information sharing or legal team on the appropriate legal authority for your proposed information sharing activity.

Download and print this guidance

A PDF of the legal authority guidance is available to download and print.

Legal authority to share information [PDF 364KB]

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