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Tudge fudging the numbers on Centrelink robo debt debacle

12 January 2017
The Hon Linda Burney MP, Shadow Minister for Human Services, ALP Member for Barton

The Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge, still isn’t across the detail of his bungled robo debt recovery program, contradicting his senior minister and his own department.
Linda Burney, Shadow Minister for Human Services, raised concerns following a number of confused and inconsistent statements made by Mr Tudge since he returned from holidays just this week.

Centrelink: Letter claims staff told to ignore errors in data-matching program

19 January 2017
ABC News

Centrelink staff working on the agency's controversial debt claw-back program have been told to ignore errors in calculations and push through debts they know are incorrect, according to an anonymous letter written by a person claiming to be a Centrelink compliance officer.
Activist group GetUp! released the eight-page letter it received from a person claiming to have worked on Centrelink's automated data-matching project, known as the Online Compliance Intervention.

Centrelink outside the law on robo-debt recovery

28 February 2017
Brisbane Times

People pursued by Centrelink over its controversial "robo-debts" are being denied the protection of Australian consumer law, a Parliamentary inquiry has been told.
The welfare agency is exempt from laws and guidelines covering debt collection by private businesses, "even the much maligned banks", according to the chief executive of Victorian community organisation Family Care, David Tennant.

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.

The wait continues at Centrelink and tips to navigate it

17 February 2017
The Age

Centrelink's phone lines are about to get better… no really, they're meant to, but you just have to wait a little longer for it to happen.
That's the line I'm getting from the Department of Human Services, which has copped a hammering in recent weeks over the government's controversial robo debt recovery scheme and its high error rates in clawing back overpaid welfare payments.

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