Thursday, 5 January 2017

Centrelink debt letters fine - general manager of Centrelink (video)

Meet Hank, he's the captain of Centrelink. According to him the automated debt recovery clusterfuck is all just fine and dandy. Has full faith in it bla. 

Strange how he's says the debt letters aren't debt letters, especially with private debt collectors being involved.

Also strange that he says it's all fine when Centrelink is now referring people to Lifeline over it on their twitter account. Does he simply consider that collateral damage or something.

He uses a figure of 80% of those sent letters have paid money back as proof of how wonderful the system is. WTF? That means that by his own figures 20% of people haven't, likely because they're disputing the debt. Or 33,800 people out of the 169,000 letters sent. He calls that a success?

I'd dispute the 80% figure anyway. How many people in jobs would want to torture themselves trying to deal with Centrelink to dispute the debt notice? I'd guess many would simply pay it to get Centrelink off their back. How many vulnerable people are scared shitless by the letters and pay it out of fear? How many people simply can't contact Centrelink because either the website is down or the phone lines are clogged?

Watch Hank in la la land. A warning though, you may feel like strangling him during the course of watching.

BTW, the latest is that all of this would have been known at senior levels of gov, including the minister himself Tudge in charge of Centrelink, who still remains on holiday. You'd think with today's technology he could at least give an online video interview to address the matter...
The Department of Human Services source, who is no longer with the agency, told Guardian Australia the risks of using the automated data matching system in such a fashion would have been known at senior levels before it was rolled out. 

“Knowing the process, a risk assessment would have been done,” they said. “The risks would have been discussed at very senior levels. The minister would have been briefed – if he wasn’t, it would be extremely rare.” 

The source said using data matching to detect potential overpayments could work but it needed manual oversight to ensure flaws and inaccuracies were weeded out. The Guardian
The non-threatening non-debt "polite" debt letter :s