188.8.131.52 Exchanging Information within Centrelink
The Commonwealth has the power to obtain information about an individual or a group of individuals for the purposes of verifying information provided to Centrelink. It may be necessary for information about an individual to be exchanged between government agencies for the purposes of administering FA law.
Example: If an FA individual (1.1.R.07) moves to another state or territory of Australia (1.1.A.120), information about their personal circumstances may need to be transferred to the Centrelink office nearest to their new location.
Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 154 General power to obtain information, section 156 Obtaining information about a person who owes a debt to the Commonwealth, section 157 Obtaining information to verify claims etc.
Protection from use of conflicting information
Situations may occur where the information provided by an individual on an application may conflict with information about that individual held for FA purposes.
Example: An individual may state on an application that they were 'living together' with the named parent (1.1.P.10) of their FTB child for a particular period, when they had previously advised that they were single during that period. This 'new' information may not be used for reviewing the individual's social security entitlements (1.1.S.70).
Unauthorised access & use of information
Penalties can be imposed if officers (1.1.O.10) access or use information that is not required for the performance of their duties.
Policy reference: FA Guide 184.108.40.206 Offences & Penalties