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Losing oxygen to leakers and the media, Centrelink’s comms fall back to ‘the facts’

25 January 2017
The Mandarin

The Department of Human Services has rejected speculation that Centrelink’s automated systems generate incorrect assessments of past income and welfare entitlements in 90% of cases, as further serious claims emerge from the agency’s staff.
The new statement is naively headlined “Let’s talk about facts” — ignoring the important context that it’s hard for anyone to know what to believe out of the mix of anonymous claims from staff, the union’s ongoing campaign regarding working conditions and staffing levels at DHS, the online #notmydebt campaign, flat-out denials and semantic arguments from the department, and of course opinions in the media.

Public service bosses missing on Centrelink's robo-debt

25 January 2017
Canberra Times

Senior bosses at Centrelink are not taking responsibility for the welfare agency's "robo-debt" debacle and leaving their department's junior leaders to pick up the pieces, according to front line workers.
Centrelink staff have told their union, the CPSU, that waiting time for reviews of "debts" raised under the controversial data-matching compliance program have now blown out to 50 days when the the agency is demanding that the money is repaid in less than 28 days.

Response to further claims about online compliance activity

19 January 2017
Australian Government Department of Human Services Media Hub

Claims made today about the Department of Human Services’ online compliance activity do not accurately represent how the system works.
General Manager Hank Jongen said the system was designed to identify differences between Australian Taxation Office and Centrelink payment records, and was performing the task as intended.
[...]
“We will continue to work with staff to explain how the system operates and the role they play.”

Whistleblower: Turnbull Government Defrauding Everyday People

19 January 2017
GetUp!

A brave whistleblower is risking their job to expose the shocking inside truth behind the Turnbull Government's bullying debt-threat debacle.
The whistleblower has revealed the flaws in the Turnbull Government's broken data-matching computer that create tens of thousands of false debt threats -- and confirmed that these flaws aren't a mistake, they're the way the system was designed to work.

Centrelink systematically ripping off clients: whistleblower

19 January 2017
The Canberra Times

Centrelink is deliberately ripping-off thousands of Australians caught up in its data matching "robo-debt" program, with managers telling public servants at the agency to enforce debts they know are bogus, according to explosive new claims. 
Another whistleblower has come forward with an insider's account of how the "debts" are being pursued, alleging that glaring errors are being deliberately ignored by Centrelink to allow it to extract money from its clients.

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