What to do if you get a section 158 notice

Child care providers may get a section 158 notice if we think you have information, documents or records that will help us administer Family Assistance Law.

On this page:

What is a section 158 notice?

A section 158 notice is a legal document requiring you to provide information, documents or records to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

A section 158 notice is an important legal document. You should read it carefully.

Why did I get the notice?

Family Assistance Law gives officers of the department the authority to request information, documents or records to help administer the law.

We may send you a section 158 notice if we think you have information, documents or records that will help us. For example, we may ask for information, documents or records about:

  • provider or service approvals
  • entitlements to family assistance payments.

We may request information, documents or records from:

  • a current or former approved child care provider or service
  • an individual (for example, a family member or educator)
  • organisations (for example, state regulatory authorities, law firms, registered training organisations).

The notice may also require you to give information in person.

How do I respond?

You must follow the instructions in the notice.

The notice will include the following details:

  • what you need to do
  • when you need to do it by
  • what information, documents or records you should provide
  • how to provide it
  • contact details of the issuing officer.

We are unable to accept responses via external file share sites such as Dropbox and Google Drive.

Do I have to respond?

It is an offence under Family Assistance Law to refuse or to fail to comply with a section 158 notice. There may be serious legal consequences if you refuse or fail to comply with one.

However, the offence:

  • only applies to the extent to which the person is capable of complying with the notice
  • does not apply if the person has a reasonable excuse for not complying with the request.

What if I need help?

You should contact the issuing officer if you need more information or believe you are unable to comply with anything in the notice.