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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.”

Digital Transformation Office 'locked out' of robo-debt debacle: Paul Shetler

3 March 2017
Canberra Times

The Prime Minister's Digital Transformation Office was "locked out" of helping with Centrelink's robo-debt, the former head of the agency says.
Paul Shetler, who was handpicked by Mr Turnbull to lead the government's technological revolution, says he and his colleagues first heard about the automatically generated debt program in the media.

The screenshots that show why Centrelink is broken

12 January 2017
news.com.au

The 33-year-old dad from Adelaide received a letter telling him his family tax benefits would be cut if he did not update his details within two weeks. But his repeated efforts to speak to a human between January 5 and 8 all failed.
He wasn’t put on hold, or offered a callback service. The line is supposed to be open Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm. When he visited a branch, he was told to use the phone or website, the latter of which he has been unable to do.

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