The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Disclosure of information by Centrelink


An officer (1.1.O.10) may under certain circumstances disclose information obtained in the performance of their duties. This includes the Secretary, the Head of a Commonwealth department or authority, or to an authorised person (1.1.P.80) to whom the information relates.

Information provided by the Secretary

The Secretaries of DSS and the Department of Education generally have the power to delegate authority to disclose information through Centrelink and authorised officers within Centrelink.

When providing certificates and information, the Secretary must act according to the relevant guidelines made under the FA legislation. These guidelines are determined by the Ministers for DSS and the Department of Education.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 168 Disclosure of information by Secretary, section 169 Guidelines for exercise of Secretary's disclosure powers

Guidelines for exercise of Secretary's disclosure power

The Ministers for DSS and the Department of Education are to determine guidelines for the exercise of the Secretary's power to provide certificates and information for the purposes of FA(Admin)Act section 169, and may revoke or vary those guidelines.

A determination made under these guidelines is a legislative instrument.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 169 Guidelines for exercise of Secretary's disclosure powers

Officer's declaration

An officer must make a declaration about the disclosure of information in a form approved by the Minister or the Secretary, if required to do so by the Minister or the Secretary for the purposes of FA law.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 170 Officer's declaration

Protection of certain documents from production to court

An officer must not, except for the purposes of the FA law, be required to produce or disclose any document to a court, tribunal, authority or person that has the power to require the production of documents or the answering of questions.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 167 Protection of certain documents etc. from production to court etc., section 166 Offence: offering to supply protected information

Policy reference: FA Guide Power to obtain information

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