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Service charter

The purpose of this service charter is to describe to the public, and to the aviation, maritime and health communities, the service experience that can be expected in dealing with AusCheck and its staff. We have a responsibility to inform people about their rights and responsibilities, including the right to expect high standards of service and behaviour from AusCheck staff.

This service charter sets out our feedback process, so that you can let us know how well we are implementing our service levels and how we can improve our service to you. This service charter also sets out our complaints handling procedure so that you can let us know if you are dissatisfied with the standards of service you have received, or are unhappy with a decision made by AusCheck staff. We believe that it is in everybody's interests to resolve complaints efficiently and effectively.

This service charter forms part of AusCheck's strategic planning and reporting system, which is based on AusCheck's business plan. It has been prepared in consultation with staff, other relevant agencies and AusCheck clients.

We will seek stakeholders' views annually on this service charter's effectiveness, and use that information to improve our services. Reports on our performance against this service charter are included in the Attorney-General's Department annual report.

Our mission

To provide fast, fair and reliable background checking services to enhance national security and to advance national interests.

Our vision

To deliver excellence in national background checking services.

Our values

Our shared commitment to AusCheck's vision to enhance national security includes values of:

  • customer service orientation
  • reliable, efficient and consistent service and advice
  • best practice business processes
  • ongoing process and service delivery improvement through regular evaluation
  • cost-effective service for industry
  • protection of personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988
  • dedication to timely, quality service - internally and externally
  • active participation with government and industry in policy setting and Implementation
  • integrity and professionalism
  • respect and courtesy
  • fairness and consistency
  • teamwork.

Our services

AusCheck's major functional services are to:

  • provide fast, fair and reliable background checking services
  • maintain an accurate database of background check applicants and cardholders, with appropriate data integrity features.

Our conduct

The community has a right to expect high standards of service based on sound ethical values. AusCheck staff must:

  • act honestly and with integrity
  • act with care and diligence and be sensitive to the needs of clients
  • maintain a close focus on results and a strong commitment to accountability and continuous improvement.

In any dealings with us you can expect to be treated with courtesy, fairness and respect.

Who this service charter is for

The community as a whole benefits from AusCheck's activities, and while AusCheck is ultimately answerable to the Australian Government, the primary groups with whom we have ongoing dealings are:

  • operators of air and maritime services who are approved as issuing bodies
  • operators of facilities that handle SSBAs who are approved as registered entities
  • background checking partners
  • government bodies
  • industry associations
  • individuals who are the subject of a background check.

Our standards of service

As an organisation, AusCheck is committed to the provision of professional and consistent standards of service. We will treat your dealings with us as in confidence and:

  • act in a helpful and professional manner
  • provide an accurate, concise and well-considered reply in plain English
  • provide system access of 99 per cent agreed availability time. Agreed availability means we will notify our stakeholders of planned outages, eg for system maintenance
  • acknowledge 100 per cent of all applications in one business day
  • complete AusCheck's part in the background checking process in five business days or less 98 per cent of the time (ie excluding time awaiting responses from checking partners or the person being checked, noting that the full background checking and decision making process typically takes four to six working weeks)
  • where requested, provide an update of application progress within 28 business days, where completion within five business days is not possible
  • tell you before commencing work if there is a fee for the services you have requested and provide an estimate of the overall fee
  • where we are unable to assist, do our best to refer you to the most appropriate agency.

Your rights as an individual

In addition to the right to be treated in a professional and impartial manner at all times, you have the right to:

  • provide comment before an adverse finding is made
  • ask for additional time to provide comments before an adverse finding is made
  • lodge an appeal against an adverse decision that affects you
  • lodge a complaint about AusCheck
  • privacy and confidentiality of personal information
  • access documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Your rights as an issuing body or registered entity

In addition to the right to be treated in a professional and impartial manner at all times, you have the right to:

  • access services, facilities and information in a manner which meets your needs
  • seek clarification of a decision that affects you
  • lodge a complaint about a service provided by AusCheck.

Your responsibilities as an individual

You can help us to provide you with the best available service by:

  • being honest, courteous and professional in your dealings with us
  • advising us of the most appropriate contact details for you, including your relevant title and reference number if applicable
  • making yourself aware of, and ensuring that you comply with, relevant legislative requirements including the obligation to self-report convictions for security-relevant offences
  • providing timely and accurate information to us
  • providing feedback to us on the quality of our services.

Your responsibilities as an issuing body or registered entity

You can help us to provide you with the best available service by:

  • being honest, courteous and professional in your dealings with us
  • advising us promptly of any changes to your contact details and key personnel
  • making yourself aware of, and ensuring that you comply with, relevant legislative requirements
  • providing feedback to us on the quality of our services
  • supporting us in our endeavours to improve national security.

Feedback and complaints

We welcome your feedback on the quality of the services we have provided so we can improve our service to you. If we do not meet our stated standards or service or you have any other concerns we ask that you take the following steps:

  • identify the problem – determine what the exact nature of the problem is
  • talk to the officer responsible – discuss the matter with the officer you have been dealing with
  • if you are not satisfied with their response, ask to talk with their supervisor
  • if you still have concerns, contact the Assistant Secretary, AusCheck.

AusCheck's decisions where a review or appeal mechanism already exists

Decisions AusCheck makes may be subject to review or appeal under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1997, or by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The AusCheck Service Charter does not replace these existing mechanisms. For information on how to appeal a decision that AusCheck has made, refer to the Aviation and Maritime Security Identification Card schemes or National Health Security scheme page on this website.

If you are not satisfied with our complaints service, you may contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman on 1300 362 072.