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5.6 Methods used to Request Information
- telephone - may be used initially to establish contact and background information, but any phone conversation should be supported by documentary evidence and a record of the conversation placed on the pensioner's file
- letters - sent through normal mail channels
- letters - sent via person-to-person registered mail (receiver's signature required for collection), registered mail or Express Post (allows tracking of delivery but no signature required on collection)
- lettergrams - if the reply is urgent and the person could not be contacted by telephone
- facsimile – however, note that privacy will be breached if the request is sent to the wrong fax number, and the quality of some fax paper is substandard, so documents sent through the mail are required to support the faxed information
- counter interviews - the pensioner(s) may present for interview, or may be requested to attend an interview with the documents required to investigate the case
- country visits - for pensioners who live in areas too far to travel to a counter interview at a State office
- home visit - by the officer undertaking the overpayment investigation or an investigation officer.
Note:e-mail and the Internet are unsecured environments. Therefore information should not be requested via e-mail under any circumstances. In general, the sender of an e-mail cannot be assured that:
- the intended recipient will receive the e-mail
- only the intended recipient received the e-mail; and
- no one read or changed the contents of the e-mail en route.