Information on vulnerability index definition and number with this marker

LJ made this Freedom of Information request to Services Australia

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Dear Department of Human Services,

In an interview with Tom Tilley from Triple J Hack on 21 February 2017, Minister Alan Tudge said, "Now, if a person that we know is vulnerable and they've got a vulnerability indicator on their file, they will not be sent any sort of notice. They simply are not covered…"

Well, as I said, if they've got any sort of vulnerability index written on his file, then they don't get sent these notices.


The Freedom of Information request is for clarification and information on:

1. What constitutes "vulnerability"?

2. What is the description and definition of the Vulnerability index and descriptions of individual index items?

3. How many people on the Centrelink system have this marker on their file currently? How many people on the Centrelink system had this marker on their file at any time in 2016 calendar year?

4. Please provide workflow information on the process that this marker gets added to a file, what can trigger it and by whom?

5. When and how can the vulnerability marker be updated, change or expire? Which markers expire and how is does this occur? Manual or automatic? How are reviews conducted before expiration?

6. Which agencies and individual roles have access to this information? Including external agencies such as debt collectors?

Yours faithfully,

Lyndsey Jackson

Alex Sadleir left an annotation ()


2 Attachments

Dear Lyndsey


Please find attached correspondence in relation to your Freedom of
Information request (LEX 27725).




Authorised FOI Decision Maker

Freedom of Information Team

FOI and Litigation Branch | Legal Services Division

Department of Human Services

[1][email address]


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LJ left an annotation ()

The response I got was that I'm not asking for specific documents there for no comply right?

On the whole the vulnerability indicators have general information online, and I'd seen that - and thanks to Alex for the additional links.

3-6 aren't covered though. But from the Departments response I need to ask for a specific document no?

Bill Tarte left an annotation ()

Your requests seem like things that would be in a documents so prefacing each section with something like "any document that contains or describes XXX" should cover it. Most other agencies respond with a suggestion to do something similar to that when general questions are asked through FOI (or work on administrative access but that isn't the DHS way it seems).