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Senate inquiry

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.

Senate inquiry shows Centrelink recipients feel bullied and threatened by the Government

11 April 2017
Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia

The last two days of evidence to the senate inquiry into Centrelink’s automated debt recovery system has raised a myriad of issues and suggests recipients feel bullied by the Government who are pursuing a debt that people may not owe.

Labor calls for Senate inquiry into Centrelink robo-debt mess

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

Labor will refer the Turnbull Government’s robo-debt debacle to a Senate inquiry when Parliament resumes in February, following weeks of mounting public concern and a litany of issues with the program.
Linda Burney, Shadow Minister for Human Services, made the announcement following news that the Turnbull Government now intends to target age and disability support pensioners with the error prone system.

Tasmanians to get their say on Tudge's bungled robo-debt system

26 April 2017
The Hon Linda Burney MP, Shadow Minister for Human Services, ALP Member for Barton

The senate inquiry into Alan Tudge’s bungled robo-debt system will hear first hand from Tasmanians over the next week as hearings are held in Hobart today and Launceston on Thursday.
The inquiry is expected to hear that despite Mr Tudge’s claims that the system is working well, it has actually been a disaster for the most vulnerable Tasmanians.

Centrelink robo-debt program creating a 'climate of fear'

9 March 2017
Sydney Morning Herald

The Australian Taxation Office says the "robo-debt" debacle is not its fault and it is unhappy being publicly linked with Centrelink's controversial debt-recovery program.
Senior ATO officials told a Senate committee investigating robodebt on Wednesday that the ATO simply handed its data on taxpayers over to Centrelink's parent department, Human Services, which then used an automated system to raise debts.

Centrelink debt collection 'aggressive' debt collection tactics under fire in Senate inquiry

8 March 2017
News.com.au

Almost 85,000 welfare recipients were forced to repay Centrelink debts in the two months leading up to Christmas, new figures show.
Department of Human Services secretary Kathryn Campbell defended the need to call in debts over the Christmas period during a senate inquiry into the Centrelink “robo-debt” recovery scheme today.
Ms Campbell also blamed the level of media scrutiny on the scheme in January for escalating public concern and the amount of calls to Centrelink.
Department officials were also asked to address reports that a Centrelink recipient took their own life due to their concern about the debt they owed.

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