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Note to Centrelink: Australian workers’ lives have change

11 January 2017
The Conversation

Centrelink’s new automated data-matching system is a source of ongoing controversy. It has resulted in a significant increase in the number of current and former welfare recipients assessed as having been overpaid and required to repay debts.
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But debt problems do not really appear to be the fault of IT failure or the inappropriate use of big data. Rather, they appear to reflect an over-simplistic application of policy to the complexity of workers’ lives in a flexible labour market.

Why Centrelink should adopt a light touch when data matching

10 January 2017
The Conversation

A properly designed income-matching system can help to identify anomalies, but the information needs to be appropriate and fit for purpose. The current exercise is using information in a way that it was not designed to be applied, without properly adjusting for the technical and policy differences between the tax and social security system.

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