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Appendix B

Plain language statement

This information sheet is for you to keep

Principal Researcher: Mr David Rees

Project Title: Alternative Remittance Systems (ARS)

The aim/purpose of the research

The aim of this study is to examine the nature and usage of ARS in Australia.

I am conducting this research to find out what forms of ARS are used in Australia, why people use ARS, to what extent are ARS providers registered in Australia and whether the level of registration can be improved, to what extent ARS services are used for criminal purposes such as money laundering and the financing of terrorism and how can any such use be minimised.

Why did you choose this particular person/group as participants?

You have been contacted by a social research consultant (or) an ethnic community organisation. If it is an ethnic community organisation, this organisation is no longer involved in this study and your individual responses will not be sent back to the organisation.

Possible benefits

The benefits of this research are that many aspects of ARS will be understood in greater detail and that some of the concerns expressed about perceived misuse of ARS may be alleviated. From your perspective, it would be of benefit to both you and your community if the ARS process was better understood.

What does the research involve?

The study involves focus groups and/or structured interviews.

How much time will the research take?

It is expected that participation in a focus group (that is a discussion of up to ten people meeting together with a person to lead the discussion) may take a number of hours and an individual interview may take up to one hour.

Inconvenience/discomfort

We do not anticipate that you will experience any level of inconvenience and/or discomfort as a result of participating in the interviews. We are seeking only general information about ARS and any information we collect will not be able to identify you or your business in any way. If law enforcement agencies obtain a lawfully-issued warrant we would be required to let them have access to our notes of the interview, but these notes would not contain your name or other identifying information. You are free to stop the interview at any time if you are uncomfortable with proceeding.

Payment

You will receive no payment of any kind for taking part in this research.

Can I withdraw from the research?

Involvement in this study is completely voluntary—you are under no obligation to participate. If you do decide to participate you may withdraw at any stage or avoid answering questions which you feel are too personal or intrusive, or which cause you discomfort. You are not obliged to provide any reason for such withdrawal.

Confidentiality

Your identity will not be linked at any time to any specific information contained in any report produced as a result of this study. In responding to any lawful request for information gathered during focus groups or interviews, your name and other identifying information will not be able to be disclosed.

Storage of data

The data will be securely stored at the Australian Institute of Criminology. A report of the study may be submitted for publication, but individual participants will not be identifiable in such a report.

Use of data for other purposes

The data that you supply will only be used in connection with this particular research. This research may involve papers that are made available to the general public.

Results

If you would like to be informed of the aggregate research finding, please contact David Rees on 02 6260 9256 or at david.rees@aic.gov.au. If you would like counselling/debriefing facilities and trained personnel please contact <insert name> on <insert telephone number>.

If you would like to contact the researcher about any aspect of this study, please contact the Principal Investigator: If you have a complaint concerning the manner in which this research on Alternative Remittance Systems is being conducted, please contact:
Mr David Rees Secretariat
Phone: 02 6260 9256 AIC Research Ethics Committee
Fax: 02 6260 9293
Email: david.rees@aic.gov.au

Thank you.

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