Hearing Services Program provider notice 2023-01 – Summons and legal requests for client information

Service providers must not respond to external legal requests for program client information or release client files to external legal entities. Instead, notify us as we facilitate and handle all legal requests for access to client records.

Date published:
Health sector

We have 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 by emailing us. 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, we will contact you to request a copy of the client’s complete record be securely uploaded to our EDW Dropbox within a 7-day timeframe. Please cooperate with our timeframe requests and maintain communication if you foresee the provided timeframe may be problematic.

We 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.


It is essential that client records are well maintained should we request them to assist with legal summons requests or other program requirements.

For more information, refer to the:


Hearing Services Program contact

Contact us for information about the Hearing Services Program.
Program contact
National Relay Service

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