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Not good enough: Labor slams Centrelink robo-debt changes

16 February 2017
SMH

Labor has dismissed the Coalition's effort to soften its controversial Centrelink "robo-debt" policy, with an opposition frontbencher demanding a government apology for those targeted by the program.
Human Services Minister Alan Tudge announced on Tuesday evening that Centrelink, which has been sending private debt collectors to pursue debts raised under contentious data matching policy, will no longer demand payment for debts that are under review.

Privacy Commissioner 'making inquiries' after Centrelink leaked personal information to journalist

28 February 2017
ABC News

The Government's privacy watchdog wants answers from bureaucrats who provided a Centrelink client's personal details to a journalist in a bid to counter her public criticisms.
Public servants have also told ABC News they are concerned the disclosure could inadvertently breach the privacy undertakings of other departments who share their data with Department of Human Services (DHS).

Centrelink debt system: government knew of error risks 'for decades'

17 February 2017
Guardian

The man who led the first audit of Centrelink data-matching in 1999 says the government has known for decades that the process was prone to error without human oversight.
John Mayger, a retired auditor with the Department of Social Services, said his audit showed that detecting overpayments through data-matching was problematic without a high degree of staff vetting to provide an effective balance.

Eric Abetz says Centrelink’s robo-debt system has 'let down' Australians

2 February 2017
The Guardian

The Liberal senator Eric Abetz said Centrelink’s debt recovery system has “let down the Australian people”, while refusing to rule out support for Labor’s proposed Senate inquiry.
Sustained criticism over the system’s tendency to issue bogus debts to vulnerable Australians continues to place pressure on Liberal politicians in Tasmania.

Centrelink scandal: Labor and Greens likely to force inquiry into debt recovery system

7 February 2017
The Guardian

Labor and the Greens have proposed a wide-ranging Senate inquiry into the Centrelink debt scandal, which would examine how the system went “so dismally wrong at the expense of struggling Australians”.
The Labor senator Doug Cameron and the Greens senator Rachel Siewert gave notice of their proposed inquiry to the Senate on Tuesday afternoon and it is likely to pass a vote on Wednesday, with One Nation and the Nick Xenophon Team previously expressing support.

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