6.3.7 Restricted Access to Certain Information

Context

The personal information of all parents and carers in the child support scheme is protected under the secrecy provisions in child support legislation, as well as under privacy legislation. However, in certain circumstances DHS will provide an additional level of protection to personal information.

Act references

CSA Act section 150

CSRC Act section 16

Privacy Act 1988

Allocation of restricted access (RACS) status

DHS's usual procedures are sufficient to protect personal information in most cases. In some cases, however, an additional level of protection is warranted. DHS has arrangements to limit access to information about a person where the unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, that person's information could:

  • cause personal harm,
  • have a negative effect on the person who, by virtue of their profile in the community, generates a high level of interest in their personal affairs,
  • have a significant negative effect on community confidence in DHS's delivery of the scheme,
  • assist individuals or groups to commit fraud, or
  • have a negative effect on DHS's business outcomes.

DHS will consider all relevant information when deciding if it is appropriate to classify a person's information as RACS. This includes whether a person specifically asked for special protection and any special protection that other government agencies have provided for that person's information.

Administration & access to personal information

The classification of a person's information as RACS means that information on file is placed under higher security. Information held is reclassified, limiting the number of officers who can access the information.

This means that where a person's personal information is classified as RACS they may experience some short delays in obtaining responses from DHS to their requests for access.

Last reviewed: 21 September 2015