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Senate committee recommends robo-debt be put on hold and drastically overhauled

21 June 2017
Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia

A Senate Committee report into the Government’s Centrelink Online Compliance Intervention (robo-debt) program has called for it to be put on hold until of the procedural fairness flaws in the program are addressed. The Committee a says the Government should re-assess all debts determined through the use of income averaging and that a redesigned system should include a robust risk assessment process.

Robo-debt And Denial: The Protocols Of Centrelink

21 June 2017
New Matilda

This is the third feature in Ben Eltham’s 2017 investigation into Centrelink’s robo-debt program. The first article in the series was published in January, and the second article in March.
Centrelink’s sprawling data-matching empire is opaque, error-prone and almost completely impossible to understand, writes Ben Eltham. And it’s expanding across government programs and agencies.
[...]
After listening to weeks of harrowing testimony, Siewert has found the Senate Inquiry a draining experience.
“You come out of those hearings and you feel really drained. The evidence we hear is very distressing – hearing of people’s experiences and feeling their sense of powerlessness and despair.”

Senate inquiry calls for Centrelink robo-debt system to be suspended until fixed

21 June 2017
Guardian

A Senate inquiry has called for Centrelink’s controversial automated debt recovery system to be suspended until its many flaws can be resolved.
The inquiry released its report on Wednesday night, which made 21 recommendations for fixing the robo-debt system.
The inquiry has urged all debts calculated using the error-prone “income averaging” process to be reassessed. It also called for a redesign of the system with a robust risk assessment process.

Centrelink robo-debt 'abject failure' and arguably unlawful, Victoria Legal Aid says

11 April 2017
Guardian

Scathing assessment comes as system again put under the microscope, this time by external auditors PwC Australia.
Victoria Legal Aid has described Centrelink’s robo-debt system as an “abject failure” which is an arguably unlawful response to the government’s self-inflicted budget problems.

Debt collectors posing as Government department just another line of deceit

22 February 2017
Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia

A report of a debt collection agency portraying itself as a Government department is just another underhanded and nasty tactic being used as part of the Government’s automated debt recovery program, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

Government using commission only private debt collectors for automated debt recovery program

9 March 2017
Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia

The Senate inquiry into the Centrelink debt recovery process has revealed that the Government is paying private debt collectors commission only to rake back potentially incorrect automated debts from former Centrelink recipients.

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