Using a cooperative approach
We are committed to making it cheaper for you to comply with the laws we administer by reducing workloads and the time and effort involved. When deciding on the best approach to gather information, we will consider if it is appropriate to use our notice or access powers, or whether it is possible and practical to obtain the information cooperatively by simply requesting it.
We commonly find that holders of information are willing to respond to our requests for information without a notice being sent. This can often lead to a resolution of matters, even in cases where there is a potential risk of litigation.
By working with you in this way we can build good working relationships, minimise the cost and disruption to each party and achieve an acceptable outcome by streamlining the information collection process.
The following factors may be relevant to our decision to use a cooperative approach:
- who has custody or control of the document, and whether they appear willing to respond to a request or if they are subject to confidentiality obligations (such as a bank)
- if it is likely to reduce compliance costs
- if the time needed to issue a notice, and time allowed to comply with it, is likely to be less than if a cooperative approach were used.
The use of a cooperative approach does not imply that a less professional or less organised approach will be taken by us.
We expect you to exercise the same level of diligence and endeavour in meeting our requests for information as you would if we used our notice or access powers. Administrative penalties for false or misleading statements also apply to information given to us voluntarily.