Centrelink staff have been too afraid to communicate their concerns about Centrelink’s botched debt recovery program, according to evidence given at a Senate Inquiry today.
Labor and the Greens have proposed a wide-ranging Senate inquiry into the Centrelink debt scandal, which would examine how the system went “so dismally wrong at the expense of struggling Australians”.
The Labor senator Doug Cameron and the Greens senator Rachel Siewert gave notice of their proposed inquiry to the Senate on Tuesday afternoon and it is likely to pass a vote on Wednesday, with One Nation and the Nick Xenophon Team previously expressing support.
Labor and the Greens are set to force a Senate inquiry into Centrelink's controversial automated debt recovery system, an issue that had dogged the federal government for more than two months.
The Senate will vote on a motion to establish a wide-ranging probe on Wednesday as the government continues to defend data-matching of records held by government agencies to recover millions in overpayments to welfare recipients.
Centrelink's controversial debt-recovery program will be investigated by a Senate committee to determine why thousands of Australians were incorrectly told they needed to repay money.
Many members of the community will gain some comfort from the news that the Commonwealth Ombudsman will indeed investigate Centrelink’s controversial debt recovery system. I, and I understand my colleague Senator Nick Xenophon, had been pressing the Ombudsman for such an inquiry so this is a victory for common sense and appropriate oversight of government policy.
Centrelink's debt recovery system will be scrutinised by a Senate inquiry, as Liberal MPs join Labor and social services groups in complaining about the automated welfare crackdown.
Centrelink's automated debt-recovery program is likely to face a Senate inquiry, with Labor vowing to move a motion when Parliament returns next month.
Earlier, this week the Social Services Minister Christian Porter told me that Centrelink's automated compliance system was 'working incredibly well'.
But the stories of the distress caused by what many see as debt recovery notices keep coming in.
South Australia Senator Nick Xenophon says he's been inundated with complaints about Centrelink debt letters and referred the matter to the ombudsman late last month.
The bungled Centrelink debt-recovery controversy has again come under fire with a Perth woman claiming she was hounded to pay back more than $26,000 she allegedly didn't owe.
The Commonwealth Ombudsman has launched an independent investigation into the Centrelink debt recovery scheme, which was been described as a "diabolical" failure by industry experts.