4.4.10 Security notice issued
This topic explains the impact of a security notice being issued on security grounds in relation to an individual in receipt of FA or an FTB child, as well as information on review and appeal processes.
Issuing of a security notice
The Minister for Home Affairs (the Minister administering the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979) may issue a security notice in relation to a person if the person has had:
- their Australian passport cancelled, or their passport application refused, by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, or
- their visa cancelled by the Minister for Home Affairs.
Before issuing the security notice, the Minister must consider:
- the extent, if any, to which they are aware that any payments of FA of the person are being, or may be, used for a purpose that might prejudice the security of Australia or a foreign country, and
- the likely impact on any dependants the person has if the Minister were to issue a security notice.
In these cases, the Minister will issue a security notice naming the person in writing to the Minister for Social Services. The Minister for Social Services must provide a copy of the security notice to the Secretary of DSS and the Chief Executive Officer of Services Australia.
Once issued, a security notice remains in force until it is revoked. The Minister for Home Affairs may give the Minister for Social Services a written notice revoking the security notice at any time. The Minister for Social Services must provide a copy of the revocation notice to the Secretary of DSS and the Chief Executive Officer of Services Australia.
Impact of a security notice on a person
If a security notice has been issued in relation to a person, the person is not eligible for FA payments and no FA payments can be paid to them while the security notice is in force. In general, this means any FA payments being paid to the person when the security notice is issued should be cancelled. In limited cases, the FA payments can be paid to a payment nominee of the person, instead of being cancelled, if the security notice recommends this.
If the person named in the security notice is aged less than 19 years on the day the notice is given, the person cannot be considered an FTB child, a regular care child or a client of an approved care organisation while the security notice is in force. This means, any FA payments being paid to another individual or approved care organisation in respect of the person should be cancelled.
If FA payments are cancelled as a result of a security notice, the Secretary of DSS (or their delegate) must take reasonable steps to notify the person of the cancellation. Where a person’s payment and/or card has been cancelled and the security notice is later revoked, the Secretary of DSS (or their delegate) must take reasonable steps to notify the person of the revocation.
If FA payments are directed to be paid to a payment nominee, the payment nominee is appointed by the Secretary and must use the payments in accordance with a written direction of the Secretary. The nominee must adhere to all legislative requirements of payment nominees (188.8.131.52), as modified by the FAAct section 57GI.
Review & appeal of security notices
The decision to issue a security notice is made by the Minister for Home Affairs and not an officer under the FA legislation. As a consequence, decisions made under the relevant provisions to pay or not to pay FA are taken not to be decisions of an officer under the FA legislation therefore they cannot be reviewed under the FA(Admin)Act Part 5.
Act reference: FAAct Division 7 Loss of family assistance for individuals on security grounds