The Senate inquiry into Alan Tudge’s bungled robo-debt disaster has handed down a scathing report of the system, finding that it was doomed from its inception despite claims from the government that the system was “working well”.
Social services minister says debt recovery system criticised in Senate inquiry is tackling ‘a massive amount of overpayments’ to claimants
A senate inquiry in to Centrelink's controversial robo-debt recovery scheme will reveal its findings later today.
The federal government has rejected a damning report into the Department of Human Services' 'robodebt' program that recommended it be immediately and indefinitely halted.
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.”
A Senate inquiry into the so-called robo-debt saga handed down its final report on Wednesday evening, after conducting hearings across the country.
The committee urged the government to put the program on hold until "a fundamental lack of procedural fairness" was addressed.
It handed down 21 recommendations aimed at fixing the "broken" program.
But Human Services Minister Alan Tudge, who is responsible for Centrelink, has shot down the report.
Government-contracted debt collectors allegedly threatened to garnish a student’s wages unless she immediately paid $500 for a Centrelink debt that was in dispute, a Senate inquiry has heard.
‘As any normal person would, I panicked and paid $500 using my credit card,’ postgraduate student says
An ombudsman’s report on the roll out of Centrelink’s automated debt recovery service has identified multiple failures that placed unreasonable burdens on welfare recipients and staff.
The self-initiated investigation was announced in January after months of complaints that the problem-riddled system was sending incorrect debt notices to people.
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.
Australian Privacy Foundation tells Senate inquiry into ‘robo debt’ scandal there is no evidence guidelines were followed.