Accessing personal records
The department takes privacy seriously and will only collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.
The Privacy Act gives a person, including an employee or former employee of the department, a general right to access their personal information with some exceptions.
You also have a right to access documents held by the department, including those that contain your personal information under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).
In many cases you can ask to access the personal information we hold about you without the need to make a formal FOI request.
Evidence of identity for requests to access personal information
If you are seeking access to documents that contain your personal information, we require evidence of your identity with your application.
If you are seeking documents containing personal information on behalf of another person, both of you must provide evidence of your identities.
Evidence of identity must clearly show that you are the person whose personal information is being requested. This will include a physical address, as documents containing personal information may be sent to you by registered post rather than by email.
Acceptable identity documents include:
- a passport
- an Australian driver's licence
- any other official identification in the English language which contains your photo, signature and address.
Letter of authorisation for requests made on behalf of another person
If another person is requesting documents on your behalf that contains your personal information, we will require a signed letter of authorisation from you. We will also need proof of your identity and the identity of that other person. The letter must specifically authorise the department to send copies of your documents to that person.
Disability Employment Services personal records
If you are a Disability Employment Services (DES) participant looking for a copy of your personal record, you should contact your DES provider in the first instance. DES providers are required to comply with the DES Grant Agreement which states the provider must allow participants access to records that contain their personal information and provide them with copies of these records if requested by the participant.
Contact DESProgrammeAssurance@dss.gov.au if you have any trouble accessing your file directly from the provider.
National Redress Scheme personal records
If you are a National Redress Scheme Applicant (or a nominee of an applicant) and are seeking access to your personal information, you can contact the National Redress Scheme directly. See the National Redress Scheme contact page for more information.
Former department staff personnel records
You can contact PayAndConditions@dss.gov.au if you are a former staff member seeking access to personnel records containing your personal records.
Other personal information
Email email@example.com for any other enquiries about seeking access to your personal information held by the department.
- Freedom of Information
- Reviews rights for FOI
- Departmental FOI Disclosure Log
- Portfolio Ministers FOI Disclosure Log
- Accessing personal records
- Information Publication Scheme