Foreign work authorisation privacy collection notice

This notice is given for the purpose of Australian Privacy Principle (APP) 5, as set out in the Privacy Act 1988.

Defence is an APP entity for the purposes of the Privacy Act 1988 which governs the handling of personal information (including sensitive information).

Defence is responsible for all personal and sensitive information collected under the Privacy Act for the management, and determination of foreign work authorisation (FWA) requests. 

The personal and sensitive information that Defence holds about the FWA individual includes any information requested by way of the FWA request form. This information may be in soft and/or hard copy formats.

For information relating to personal and sensitive information privacy, see the Defence Privacy Policy.

Collection of personal information

The personal and sensitive information held by Defence for the FWA request form includes, but is not limited to: 

  • personal particulars of the FWA individual, such as full name, date and place of birth 
  • contact details such as address, phone number and email address 
  • Australian passport number
  • employment history, including work area, commencement and end date, security clearance information and deployment information
  • details about the role, including the role description, duration and locations of the role
  • description of the military tactics, techniques and procedures that the FWA individual wishes to train.

Authority to collect information

The collection by Defence of personal and sensitive information about the FWA individual is authorised by the Defence Act 1903, which requires the individual to provide the necessary information requested by the FWA request form, in order for the request to be processed.

Purpose of collection

The purposes for which Defence collects personal (including sensitive) information about FWA individuals are:

  • management, including assessment and resolution, of FWA requests
  • responding to matters arising from requests and/or submissions
  • inquiry, management and resolution of submissions about the granting or not granting a FWA
  • responding to matters affecting national security (including individual security clearances)
  • assessing, investigating, resolving and responding to complaints, including those brought to external bodies such as the Defence Ombudsman, Human Rights Commission or Office of the Australian Information Commission.

Consequences if not collected

If Defence does not collect sensitive information about FWA individuals, it may not be able to properly assess the request, and provide a decision. 

If an individual is not granted a FWA, they may be restricted in their ability to access/ability to work overseas and criminal prosecution, as detailed under sections 115A and 115B of the Defence Act 1903. This in turn may have implications for Australia’s national security requirements by way of an increased risk of military secrets being compromised.

Disclosure of personal information to other APP entities

Situations or lines of inquiry may arise throughout the FWA request process, where Defence may need to disclose the personal and sensitive information about FWA individual to other areas within Defence and/or third parties. 

Defence uses and discloses personal and sensitive information that it holds about FWA individual only in accordance with APP 6, as set out in the Privacy Act 1988.

Areas within Defence and third parties where information may be disclosed may include: 

  • Ministers in the Defence portfolio
  • relevant work areas including supervisors, managers and/or commanders in Defence 
  • security and intelligence agencies
  • Defence investigative authorities (as defined in the Defence Incident and Reporting Management Manual)
  • legal enforcement bodies (such as Police)
  • other appropriate Government departments, e.g. Department of Veteran’s Affairs
  • external review bodies, such as Defence Ombudsman, Human Rights Commission or Office of the Australian Information Commissioner or Australian National Audit Office
  • legal providers.

Complaints, corrections and access

The Defence Privacy Policy contains information about how FWA applicants may seek access to the personal and sensitive information that Defence holds about them, and the correction of such information.

The Defence Privacy Policy also contains information about how FWA applicants may complain about a breach of the APPs by Defence, and how Defence will deal with the complaint. 

Further information can also be obtained by contacting

Cross-border disclosure (APP 5.2(i) and (j))

Personal and sensitive information about FWA individual will not be disclosed to persons, bodies or entities outside of Australia.

Privacy statement

Safeguarding Australia’s Military Secrets Privacy Statement (PDF, 170.29 KB)