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'Reasonably clear' Alan Tudge's office broke law in Centrelink case, says Labor legal advice

3 April 2017
Guardian

Labor-commissioned legal advice says it is “reasonably clear” that the government committed a criminal offence when it released the personal details of welfare recipient Andie Fox.
The opposition recently engaged one of Australia’s leading criminal barristers, Robert Richter, QC, to consider the release of Fox’s protected information by the office of human services minister, Alan Tudge, in February.

Centrelink inquiry told 'income averaging' creating incorrect welfare debts

6 April 2017
Guardian

Forcing welfare recipients to disprove their own debts has made the error-prone, previously rare practice of “income averaging” commonplace, welfare advocates say.
The National Social Security Rights Network has used its submission to the “robo-debt” Senate inquiry to provide a forensic and detailed account of the problems with the new system.

Centrelink debt scandal: report reveals multiple failures in welfare system

10 April 2017
Guardian

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.

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.

Centrelink debt furore: police won't investigate release of welfare recipient's data

8 May 2017
Guardian

The Australian federal police has said it will not investigate allegations the minister responsible for Centrelink unlawfully shared the private details of a welfare recipient with the media without their consent.
The human services minister, Alan Tudge, was told by federal police on Monday they would not be investigating the claims any further.

New privacy code for public servants after Centrelink 'robo-debt' debacle

18 May 2017
Guardian

A new privacy code will be developed for Australia’s public service in the wake of Centrelink’s “robo-debt” debacle, it was announced on Thursday.
An investigation is also being restarted to figure out how the minister for human services, Alan Tudge, was able to send internal departmental briefings to a journalist about a welfare recipient’s personal circumstances.
Timothy Pilgrim, the Australian privacy commissioner, said the new privacy code will be developed for Australia’s public service, with help from Martin Parkinson, the secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, to be implemented in 2018. He made the announcement on Thursday, during the final day of public hearings in a Senate inquiry into Centrelink’s automated debt recovery system.

Tudge locates, won't release legal advice on Andie Fox case

29 May 2017
Crikey

The office of Human Services Minister Alan Tudge has refused to release more than a dozen documents related to his decision to release personal information on a critic of his robo-debt notice system on the grounds it is legally privileged and would disclose personal information.
After months of searching, Crikey finally managed to track down the advice Tudge was relying on when his office released the personal information of blogger Andie Fox to a Canberra Times journalist, but now his office won’t hand it over.

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.

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.

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