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Requesting screen notes, documents and phone recordings from CSA

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Hi All,

I know I've read something about this topic somewhere however I am having problems trying to find it.

How do I go about requesting copies of screen notes, letters, documents, phone recordings etc from CSA?  Do I just ask them for it or do I need to go through FOI?  Are the any sections of the CSA Act that directly deal with this topic and outline what I can/cannot request?

Cheers

HakNBakR

  
FOI
Thanks Janus
Before you go into FOI, I have been successful in getting all of the CUBA (or what other name it is called) screen dumps of CSA's dealings with me (but not the other party) - useful if you want to check all records of their conversations with you. There is no charge, but the CSA officers hate getting this info for you as it is time consuming… but too bad, how sad, after all they are all essentially public servants and you are a member of the public!

Don't believe any bluff that you have to go FOI to get this info. Challenge them. You have the right under the privacy legislation.

Requesting screen notes, documents and phone recordings from CSA

how did you go about this valere??
Depends what you want, but the other way is to appeal to SSAT and get a complete copy of both party's correspondance around a particular event. Then cancel the SSAT appeal if you don't want to push it. CSA just provide everything from what I can see. They no longer take part in the SSAT process, so it's not like they can add anything at the hearing.
For the CSA screen dumps - I just rung up and asked.

dm900 is right about the information being sent out to you in preparation for a SSAT appeal - fascinating reading - warts and all. And you can always withdraw your appeal after receiving the documents!

Best thing with the SSAT info, depending on what info you are after, CSA only edit out case numbers, tax file numbers - that sort of thing, and the case officers at SSAT are either too stupid or too lazy to edit out the parties' identifying information like they should. To protect yourself, write a letter when you lodge your SSAT appeal asking that info such as tax agent details, your tax agent's client number, names and dates of bith of the members of your second family (if you have repartnered), rental property addresses etc are removed from all of your CSA documents prior to them being sent out to the other party. Also, if you have to send in documents to SSAT, you are in control of what is and is not edited out - have your 'whiteout' or thick black pen handy and don't be afraid to use it.

Unfortunately the privacy legislation or the legislation covering SSAT in child support matters does not cover the misuse or disclosure of your personal or identifying information by the other party - can lead to identiy theft I know, but no department or agency wants to do anything about this as 'too hard'.
valere said
 To protect yourself, write a letter when you lodge your SSAT appeal asking that info such as tax agent details, your tax agent's client number, names and dates of bith of the members of your second family (if you have repartnered), rental property addresses etc are removed from all of your CSA documents prior to them being sent out to the other party. Also, if you have to send in documents to SSAT, you are in control of what is and is not edited out - have your 'whiteout' or thick black pen handy and don't be afraid to use it.
  This is very good advice, valere. When we lodged a SSAT appeal, CSA sent out spouse tax information (is automatically included in payer's tax return when you tick the box "do you have a spouse" on the tax return form), as well as our private health insurer including member number, as well as tax agents name, contact details and our customer number!!! Needless to say I was furious that my income information was passed on to payee, and I had to ring up our Private Health insurance and the tax agent to advise them that privacy had been breached and had to establish a password with them. We complained to the Privacy Commissioner and guess what, the law apparently only requires CSA to take out the tax file number and the case number, as far as I remember. It was argued that CSA have to supply everything that is relevant to SSAT. Well, surely tax agent name and private health insurance has nothing to do with the case, but guess what, our complaint was knocked back because we could not convince the Privacy Commisioner that this info was not relevant. Go figure!! Unbelievable….really makes you loose trust in Government Departments to know what is right and what is wrong….
Babushka said
Well, surely tax agent name and private health insurance has nothing to do with the case, but guess what, our complaint was knocked back because we could not convince the Privacy Commisioner that this info was not relevant. Go figure!! Unbelievable….really makes you loose trust in Government Departments to know what is right and what is wrong….

Obviously the Privacy commissioner would then have no objection supplying such information about them-self, so that it can be published here, there and everywhere, according to the Privacy Commissioners interpretation of the legislation.
Mike, it sure would be interesting to see their reaction when asked for the same information. From memory, I do not think I ever saw the written legislation and what it actually says. They kept referring to something, but who knows what legislation they are referring to. It feels like they throw big words around to intimidate people and then they go away with their complaint. May be we should have taken this further. I guess at that point we had had enough of CSA and the likes......
I know we are vearing from the topic, but the Privacy legislation nor any Child Support legislation DOES NOT apply to any documents released to the other party during the lead up to a CSA or SSAT appeal - believe me I have made enquiries on this and the only response I have got is that this matter will only be considered during the next child support legislation policy review.

In honest truth that sucks as the other party can give or release your information to whoever they like and even do a bit of identify theft and there is nothing stopping them.

Like Babushka, the same thing happened to me in the type of information that was released and I know that the other party got their partner to ring up and pretend it was me.

Orders preventing disclosure by a party can only made during the CSA and/or SSAT hearing process and the Privacy Commissioner is unable to do anything about information being disclosed to other people by a party in the lead up to the hearing as the privacy legislation does not apply when any agency such as CSA or SSAT release the info you have given them or what information they have received from other sources eg. the ATO to the other party and they in turn pass on or spread the gossip.
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