Australian Government - Department of Health and Aged Care - Office of Hearing Services
Hearing Services Program
Australian Government Crest, Department of Health, Hearing Services

Contracted Service Provider Notice

Summons and Legal Requests for Client Information
(CSPN - 202301)

The Hearing Services Program has recently become aware of several South Australia Employment Tribunal (SAET) summonses and other legal requests for clinical records of program clients, where the program’s requirements for responding to these requests have not been appropriately followed by some providers.

Client records are owned by the Commonwealth and protocols for responding to legal summons requests and handling of client information must be followed in accordance with the program’s requirements.

Program protocol for legal requests

The program will facilitate the legal request and will liaise directly with you and the requesting legal entity to obtain and provide the requested client record.

If the SAET or a legal firm contacts you to request the clinical information of a program client, you MUST refer this request in the first instance to the program at You should NOT respond to the request directly or release the client’s information to the requesting legal entity.

Upon receipt of a legal request for client information, the program will contact you to request a copy of the client’s COMPLETE record be securely uploaded to the program’s EDW Dropbox within a 7-day timeframe. Please cooperate with the program’s timeframe requests and maintain communication if you foresee the provided timeframe may be problematic.

The program must follow strict guidelines for the appropriate handling and release of Commonwealth information including seeking client consent, identification checks and an internal legal review of the client file before releasing Commonwealth information to external bodies.

Record keeping

It is essential that client records are well maintained should they be requested by the program to assist with legal summons requests and/or other program requirements.

For additional information, refer to the:  

06 March 2023

Download this CSPN 2023-03 Summons and Legal Requests for Client Information