188.8.131.52 Responsibilities of Nominees
Responsibilities of nominees
When a nominee is appointed, the nominee is required to act in the best interests of the principal.
Centrelink must be satisfied that a proposed nominee understands the responsibilities they are taking on and appears capable of carrying them out.
Particular scrutiny should be given to requests where the nominee:
- runs a boarding or rooming establishment, or
- does not live in the same residence, or in close proximity to the individual.
A nominee is required to advise of any matter that affects their ability to act as a nominee. Any nominee arrangement must be reviewed as soon as any allegations of misuse of the payment are received.
Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 219TJ Notification by nominee of matters affecting ability to act as nominee
Disclosure of information
Information in relation to the individual's FA payment/s may be disclosed to their appointed nominee as if they are the individual.
Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 168(4) Disclosure of information by Secretary, section 3(1)-'protected information'
The payment nominee must keep a record of the expenditure of the individual's payments in case the arrangement needs to be reviewed. In the instance that a review is deemed necessary, a notice needs to be sent to the nominee requesting a statement to be made regarding the disposal by the nominee of money paid under family assistance law to the nominee on behalf of the individual.
The nominee is obliged to comply with this request under legislation. If they fail to do so penalty provisions apply.
Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 219TK Statement by payment nominee regarding disposal of money
Policy reference: FA Guide 184.108.40.206 Payment Nominees
In most cases, where an individual is required to perform an act for purposes of FA law, this can be actioned by the correspondence nominee on behalf of the individual.
However, in some instances an individual must act or attend on their own behalf, such as when attending a medical examination. In these instances a correspondence nominee may also be advised of the details regarding the requirement of the individual to personally act. This advice to the nominee is to assist (where required) the nominee to facilitate the individual's actions.
Example: An individual is severely mentally incapacitated and needs to attend a medical examination. They may require facilitation by a third party (the nominee) in order to ensure the individual attends the examination appointment. The nominee can attend with the individual if the individual wishes. However, in the instance of a medical, psychiatric or psychological examination, the nominee can be excluded at the request of the examiner.
Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 219TG Actions of correspondence nominee on behalf of principal
Policy reference: FA Guide 220.127.116.11 Correspondence Nominees
Cancellation of arrangements
The nominee or the individual can cancel a nominee arrangement at any time. The cancellation must be in writing to the Secretary. However, extreme care should be taken in the instance of a nominee that is a power of attorney or legally appointed guardian.
Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 219TE Suspension and cancellation of nominee appointments