Consultation period

7 November 2022 - 9:00 am To 16 December 2022 - 5:00 pm

Financial Counselling Industry Funding Model – Privacy Notice

DSS Engage Consultation – Collection Notice

Your personal information is protected by law, including under the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act).

The Department of Social Services (Department, we, us), collects personal information about individuals for a range of purposes to enable it to carry out its functions. More information about how we handle your personal information is set out in our Privacy Policy.

This privacy collection notice is designed to ensure you are aware of certain matters in relation to the Department’s collection of your personal information, as required by the Privacy Act.

What is the purpose of this Consultation?

The Department is currently inviting participants to provide their views on the consultation for the Financial Counselling Industry Funding Model (Consultation).

We have designed the Consultation to obtain the views of stakeholders to help inform the key design aspects of the Financial Counselling Funding Model (funding model) ahead of the establishment of the funding model.

As part of this Consultation, you will be asked to provide information, including personal information. It is your choice what personal information you provide to us, as you can nominate ‘prefer not to say’ in your submission through (Engage). We ask you to provide us with some personal information to assist with the analysis of submissions, and to help inform the design of the funding model by understanding the views and preferences of particular stakeholder groups.

We note that any submissions directly emailed to the Department may include your identity details (such as name and email address) or sensitive information. The Department’s intention is for participants not to be identified nor reasonably identifiable. However, this may not always be possible due to various factors (e.g. free text boxes and the nature of the questions asked). Where we are able to identify you or another person from your submission, or if you provide unsolicited sensitive information, we will handle your submission in accordance with the Privacy Act.

We may collect, or have already collected, your information (including any personal information) for one or more of the above purposes. This notice is designed to ensure you are aware of the purpose and certain matters in relation to that collection, as required by the Privacy Act.

What is ‘personal information’ and ‘sensitive information’?

‘Personal information’ is information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable. This applies whether the personal information is true or recorded in a material form. For example, personal information can include an individual’s name, signature, residential address, phone number, email address, date of birth, photographs, employment information, location information from mobile devices and internet protocol addresses.

‘Sensitive information’ is a subset of personal information. It includes information or an opinion about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of associations or unions, sexual orientation or practices, criminal record, or health, genetic or biometric information.

Who is collecting your personal information?

Your personal information is being collected by the Department and by Services Australia, who will be assisting the Department with some of the information technology aspects of the Consultation.

What personal information we collect

Through your participation of the Consultation, we will collect a range of your personal information including:

  • identity details including name, email address, location; and
  • stakeholder type, such as whether you are making the submission as an individual or as someone representing an institution.

A ‘prefer not to say’ option will be available to you when completing a submission through Engage.

We ask that you do not provide us with any sensitive information about you.

You will also be asked whether you would like your submission to be published with identifying information (including name or name of organisation), anonymously, or not at all.

How we collect your personal information

Your personal information relating to your personal views will be collected if you choose to participate in the Consultation. We will do this by collecting information from:

  • your responses to the Engage Consultation; or
  • you directly through an email submission.

Why we collect your personal information

Your personal information is collected to assist with the analysis of Consultation submissions to help inform the design of the funding model.

If you do not provide your personal information, we may not be able to consider your views as part of the design on the funding model.

Some of the information collected by us from our targeted or public consultations or surveys has research value in developing policies that extend beyond the specific consultation or survey for which it was originally collected. Where this is the case, the information that we collect from this consultation may be used for our other research purposes. In doing so, we will apply the Australian Privacy Principles to the handling of any personal information.

Who we disclose your personal information to

We may disclose your personal information to the following people, organisations or third parties:

  • the contracted consultant who will assist the Department with the analysis of the submissions to help inform the design of the funding model;
  • Services Australia, for the purposes of assisting the Department to administer Engage and providing the Department with other information technology services; and
  • other parties where the disclosure is authorised by law.

All entities contracted by us are subject to strict confidentiality, privacy and security obligations.

When making a submission, we ask you if you consent to your submission being made public on Engage and if you consent to your name being included in the publication of your submission. If you agree, the information you provide in your submission (including personal information) may be published and be made publicly available on Engage. Public submissions and details of their author may also be referenced by the Department in public forums and documents.

If you do not want your submission or personal information to be published on the website, we will still be able to consider your views if we have the appropriate information.

Where you have agreed to your submission being published with identifying information or anonymously, we may redact parts of your response before disclosing your submission. This may occur in circumstances where your submission:

  • contains information that is not relevant to this Consultation;
  • contains certain personal or sensitive information;
  • could potentially defame others or is offensive in nature; and/or
  • contains operationally sensitive information.

No information about you will be disclosed overseas unless your submission is published on Engage (which is publicly available).

Storage of your personal information

Storage of personal information (and the disposal of information when no longer required) is managed in accordance with the Australian Government records management regime, including the Archives Act 1983, agency-specific records authorities and general records authorities. This ensures your personal information is held securely by the Department.

All personal information collected by the Department via Engage is stored on Services Australia’s cloud storage, on servers located in Australia. Services Australia and the Department retains effective control over any personal information held on our cloud, and the information is handled in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles.

Any information disclosed to the external consultant will be handled in accordance with the Privacy Act and stored in accordance with agreed security protocols.

More information

The Department’s Privacy Policy contains more information about how we handle personal information, how you can access personal information that we hold about you, and how you can seek correction of that personal information. It also contains information about how to make a complaint about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles, as set out in the Privacy Act.

If you have any concerns or questions, you can contact us at

Confirmation and consent

By providing your personal information as part of your Consultation response, you consent to the Department collecting your personal information and handling your personal information in accordance with this collection notice and the Department’s Privacy Policy.