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Government knew about discrepancies in data-matching system before reducing human oversight

12 January 2017
Christopher Knaus
Guardian

The government drastically reduced human oversight of Centrelink’s data-matching system despite holding internal analysis showing that 15% of detected discrepancies were not debts owed by people.

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“Minister Tudge says the system ‘is working’. Not for those calling my office day in and day out. How many people are paying false debt while they are waiting for review?”

Burney questioned whether the 85% figure included debts later found to be baseless, and called on the government to release the analysis and the business case in full.

Tudge said the system continued to operate in largely the same way it had for years. He said people were given multiple chances to explain any discrepancy.