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Australian Government Security Vetting Agency

Privacy

DS&VS Privacy Statement

The Defence Security and Vetting Service (DS&VS) resides within the Department of Defence, and through the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency conducts security vetting for all Commonwealth agencies (apart from exempt agencies) in accordance with Commonwealth policy and legislative requirements. DS&VS also undertakes activities for Defence security purposes as outlined in the Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF), including the investigation of security threats and incidents.

In performing its functions, DS&VS recognises and respects your privacy and is committed to the Australian Privacy Principles set out in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).

The information collected when submitting the security clearance pack, or in the course of DS&VS performing its functions will be collected, used and disclosed as described below.

How your information will be collected and to whom it may be disclosed

The security clearance process is an assessment of your suitability to access classified government information and as such, is intrusive by nature. Generally, the higher the security level you require, the more sensitive the level of personal information you will be asked to provide. It is therefore impracticable to deal with DS&VS anonymously, or by using a pseudonym. It is also impracticable to collect your personal information from you only and DS&VS may (at all stages of the security clearance process and whilst you continue to hold an Australian Government security clearance), collect information from and disclose your relevant personal information to:

  • you directly;
  • relevant Commonwealth, state or territory agencies (if applicable), in relation to any existing or previous security clearances held by you;
  • the government agency that has sponsored this clearance and any previous government agencies which have employed you or engaged you as a contractor, and any future sponsoring or vetting agencies while you continue to hold an Australian Government security clearance;
  • a government agency investigating any suspected or proven breaches of law or of Australian Government policy, including but not limited to any suspected breaches of the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct and allegations of fraud;
  • your current and previous private employers;
  • your nominated referees;
  • other individuals known to you, but who have not been nominated by you as referees;
  • the Australian Federal Police (AFP), and state and territory law enforcement agencies as appropriate;
  • financial checking agencies;
  • third parties relevant to assessing and monitoring your ongoing suitability to hold and maintain a Australian Government security clearance, such as un-nominated referees and supervisor reports;
  • Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO);
  • other service providers, such as contracted vetting providers, financial institutions and medical or psychological practitioners, used during the clearance process; and/or
  • other sources, such as contracted vetting providers, financial institutions and medical or psychological practitioners, to resolve concerns identified in the vetting process.

The purpose for collecting your personal information

Your personal information will be collected by DS&VS to assist in the assessment of and to monitor your ongoing suitability to access Australian Government official resources. The DS&VS may collect, use and disclose personal information from you, and from other entities, on an as needs basis which includes, but is not limited to:

  • assess your suitability to hold or maintain a security clearance;
  • corroborate previous Commonwealth, state or territory employment, with relevant agencies, including with the Australian Defence Force;
  • corroborate previous non-government employment with private employers;
  • corroborate your residential addresses;
  • clarify personal documents such as birth, marriage and change of name documents;
  • check any naturalisation and/or citizenship documents and international movements. It may be necessary for the DS&VS to contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and/or the Australian Passports Office;
  • check education documentation in relation to schools, colleges, and tertiary institutions;
  • corroborate any overseas travel with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s records;
  • clarify your financial circumstances; and
  • clarify your medical status.

Personal information collected in the course of assessing your suitability to hold the security clearance that is the subject to this application may also be used or disclosed for the purpose of determining your suitability to maintain that security clearance and the assessing of your suitability to hold a security clearance in the future.

It is important to note that failure to provide personal information required for the vetting process may result in failure to obtain a security clearance or termination of employment, where the security clearance is an employment requirement.

Your personal information may also be used in the identification, management and investigation of security threats and incidents and to undertake investigations into suspected breaches of law or of Australian Government policy including but not limited to suspected breaches of the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct and allegations of fraud, which may result in criminal action, disciplinary or administrative action being taken against you or other persons.

Your personal information may also be used or disclosed for the purpose of determining your suitability for employment or service.

Your personal information may also be disclosed to relevant overseas recipients, if you are required to access foreign government resources. That personal information may be disclosed to the recipient in the country where the foreign government is located or a second country where the relevant activities of that government are being carried out. The information that may be disclosed includes your clearance status, your full name and date of birth and your position.

Disclosure of your information

The DS&VS will not use or disclose your personal information to any other person or organisation, other than those listed above, unless:

  • it would reasonably be expected by you that such a disclosure would occur and the disclosure is related, or directly related to your security clearance;
  • disclosure is required or authorised by or under Australian law or a court/tribunal order;
  • a ‘permitted general situation’ exists in relation to the use or disclosure of the information;
  • the use or disclosure of the information is reasonably necessary for one or more enforcement related activity conducted by, or on behalf of, an enforcement body.

A ‘permitted general situation’ is defined in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).

Accessing and updating your personal information

You may make a request for access to your information. This request will be processed free of charge, and if you are seeking correction of your personal information, DS&VS will work with you to ensure that your personal information is updated. Additionally, for security clearance purposes, you are responsible for notifying DS&VS of changes to the information you have supplied.

If you wish to request access to your personal information held by AGSVA, please contact the Director Vetting Governance at SecurityClearances@defence.gov.au.

Alternatively, you may seek a copy of your information through provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 by contacting the Directorate of Freedom of Information at the Department of Defence at FOI@defence.gov.au.

Complaints

Complaints about the handling of your personal information can be submitted to Defence.Privacy@defence.gov.au . Once received, your complaint will be forwarded to the appropriate area within Defence for action.

Further information about Defence's Privacy Policy can be found at http://defence.gov.au/footer/privacy.htm

DOSD

Log on to DOSD >

Click on the above link to access:

  • Security Clearance ePack
  • Security Officer Dashboard
  • Referee report

Contact Us

Security clearance/vetting enquiries
1800 640 450
SecurityClearances@defence.gov.au

Open:
  • Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm (AEST/AEDT)
Closed:
  • National public holidays
  • Canberra Day
  • Adelaide Cup Day
  • Labour Day (SA/ACT)