If you cannot access or complete your survey form (for example, if you’re overseas or due to illness, injury or disability), you can authorise another person you trust to assist you or to complete the survey on your behalf.
A trusted person can be a friend, family member or another person that you trust to complete the form on your behalf.
You do not need to complete a formal process to appoint a trusted person to complete the survey on your behalf.
This is a private arrangement between the eligible Australian and the trusted person – a friend, family member or another person that you trust.
You do not need to notify the ABS on your private arrangement, unless you are nominating them to receive your form on your behalf at a different address, open it, complete it based on your instruction, and return it to the ABS. You can use our online form to request your survey materials be sent to a new address.
Where someone completes a survey on someone else's behalf, the ABS expects that the eligible Australian would:
- Specifically authorise that trusted person to open their postal survey envelope.
- Communicate their survey response to the trusted person so this can be accurately marked on the survey form.
- The trusted person would then seal the form in the Reply Paid envelope and mail it back to the ABS.
A person cannot self-declare or claim themselves to be a trusted person for someone else.
If you are asked to perform the role of a trusted person and do not feel you can complete the survey in accordance with the wishes of the person requesting your assistance, you should decline the request.
The role of the trusted person is not to provide information on the survey or recommend how to respond. The survey is seeking the respondent’s view not that of the trusted person.
Penalties may apply for providing false or misleading information to the ABS.