Defence collects personal information for the purposes of providing a range of member and family support services. This includes assessing and evaluating issues that might affect the wellbeing of an Australian Defence Force (ADF) member or their family, to administer a range of support programs, and to provide support during a crisis or emergency.
When collecting member and family personal information Defence complies with the Privacy Act 1988, which regulates the manner in which Defence collects, handles, stores, maintains, provides access to, uses and discloses personal information. Defence will only collect, use or disclose personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act.
Information may be collected via written reports or letters, specialist reports, interviews, phone conversations, Defence forms or emails.
The type of information collected by Defence depends on the circumstances, nature of request, and the service being delivered.
Defence may request information on:
- family circumstances
- social support structures.
Defence may request information from:
- an ADF member
- the family of an ADF member
- medical practitioners
- allied health workers
- command and military agencies
- community services or agencies
- teachers or educators
- government departments.
This information may be recorded in a Defence report, case notes, case plan, or a transition support separation plan, and filed in a customer file in Defence's records management system.
It is important to note that Defence collects only that information which is related to services delivered. These services include:
- critical incident and casualty support
- mobility support
- absence from home support
- community capacity building
- working with Command
- transition support.
Use and disclosure of information
Who has access to the information, and under what circumstances, depends on the situation, and the nature of the request for services.& Information may be used by:
- an ADF member's Commanding Officer
- other military agencies such as service career managers including to support individual preparedness for operations.
Defence will only use and disclose information for the purpose it was collected. If required for a use other than for that related to the primary purpose of collection, express consent will be sought from the person concerned.
Defence may sometimes be required to disclose personal information to certain domestic agencies when required by law, court/tribunal order or when a permitted general situation exists.
In the unlikely event that personal information needs to be disclosed to an overseas entity Defence will take all reasonable steps to ensure that information is only handled by those organisations that can practically provide an assurance/expectation of limited exposure.
Accuracy of information
Defence endeavours to ensure the information collected, used and disclosed is accurate and correct. Failure to provide sufficient and accurate information may result in:
- Defence being unable to provide accurate information and advice to Defence decision makers, and/or other agencies/organisations
- Defence being unable to provide the services or support require.
Where applicable, Defence will take all reasonable steps to inform of the information provided in reports prepared for Command. At this time information owners can correct any inaccuracies or note differences. Where the information provided to Command cannot be provided, this is explained at the time.
Access to information
Breaches of privacy
If personal information has been mishandled, information owners have a right to raise concerns at any time via firstname.lastname@example.org or the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. ADF members can also refer a complaint through normal Command channels.