We are bound by strict confidentiality and secrecy provisions contained in the social security, families, health, child support and disability services law. These provisions limit how we use your information and when and to whom it can be released.
To respond to correspondence or queries we receive from you, we will generally be required to disclose your personal information to our department, the Department of Human Services (the Department).
In addition to the strict confidentiality and secrecy provisions contained in the social security, families, health, child support and disability services law, the Department also has obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act).
The Privacy Act contains 13 Australian Privacy Principles which regulate the way the Department collects, stores, provides access to, uses and discloses personal information.
When the Department collects your personal information it must be reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, one or more of our functions or activities.
The legislation the Department administers authorises the collection of personal information in order to provide you (and where relevant, third parties) with appropriate services and payments.
In addition to requesting information from you, the Department may also obtain information about you and your family from other government agencies and third parties.
Any personal information we receive from a third party is treated the same as if you provided it.
Your personal information will be used in accordance with the Privacy Act. It will not be used for any purpose other than why it was collected. We may use your personal information if:
When your personal information is collected, you will usually be advised of its intended use at the point of collection. Your information may also be used by our other services, as authorised or required by law.
Your personal information will not be disclosed to any other person, body or agency unless:
If you are concerned about how we have collected or managed your personal information, you can call Customer Relations on 1800 132 468 or the TTY phone on 1800 000 567.
You can read more about general privacy, on the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s (OAIC) website.
If you are not satisfied with how we have handled your privacy concerns you can also contact the OAIC directly. The OAIC is independent to us and has the power to investigate complaints about possible interferences with your privacy. It is usually best to contact us first. While it is possible for the first contact to be with the OAIC, they will generally ask us to conduct our own inquiry first and pass any findings on to the OAIC.
If you provide your Tax File Number (TFN), we have an obligation to keep that information secure. Due to the sensitivity we place on TFNs and the legal restraints on their use and disclosure, if you lose your TFN we will not be able to provide it to you. You will have to ask the Australian Taxation Office for a copy of it. We can only provide TFNs under strict conditions as authorised or required by law. In limited circumstances, the Australian Taxation Commissioner can be required by law to provide your TFN to us.