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Monday, 22 October 1984
Page: 2101

Senator CROWLEY —My question is to the Minister for Social Security. I had a recent inquiry from a constituent concerning the fact that the Department of Social Security in South Australia would not take verification of his identity from an interstate office of that Department, which happened to be Queensland, or accept the identification accepted by the Queensland office for the further payment of unemployment benefit. The South Australian office would, however, accept school records or gaol records. Will the Minister comment on whether this is an aberration of his Department's practice or whether such matters of identification are standard practice throughout the Department?

Senator GRIMES —I was informed by Senator Crowley and others that there was a difficulty in that the Department in one State-I believe that State is South Australia-did not accept the verification of identity which had been provided and was accepted by the Department in another State, which State I believe was Queensland. The matter of identification is difficult enough, as Senator Crowley and I am sure all other honourable senators know. Governments of all persuasions have been wrestling with the difficulty of providing satisfactory standard identification procedures. Therefore, I am certainly disconcerted to find that the standards required in one State are not accepted within the same Department in another State.

I have drawn this matter to the attention of the relevant officers in the Department. I have not yet had a reply as to just how this situation arose, but I assure the honourable senator that I will get a reply very soon or will want to know why not. I hope this matter can be resolved with ease. We need standard procedures and procedures which clients and departmental officers can understand and accept.