Friday, 6 January 2017

Labor calls in the Auditor General - Centrelink robo debt letters

Centrelink website says to keep payslips for 6 months, but demands them from 6 years ago
Linda Burney
*Update: New Matilda has been told by Centrelink that it's only 72% where the debt has been "resolved". Has Hank been lying?
According to Centrelink’s statement to New Matilda, “72 per cent of people who received an online compliance letter since September this year have completely resolved the matter.” 

Unless our maths is wrong, that means 28 per cent of people have not resolved the matter. At a rate of 20,000 a week, the number of people affected by unresolved compliance letters must stretch into the tens of thousands. New Matilda  
Labor's shadow human services minister Linda Burney has sent a letter to Australia's Auditor General asking him to investigate the latest gov technology clusterfuck (ie. the robo debt letter debacle). With the gov even at odds with Hank, the Centrelink captain who says that 20% of debts aren't payable, they still continue to back the system. Despite the outrage snowballing across all sectors of the community, the gov still adamantly is saying everything is OK with it.

What other organisation would have the audacity to send out debt notices with a 20% failure rate? What other organisation would tell you to keep your payslips for six months and then demand you produce payslips from six years ago to prove your innocence? What other organisation would terrorise the weak to the point of suicide and then refer them to Lifeline?
Linda Burney, Labor's human services spokeswoman, has written to the Australian National Audit Office requesting they investigate Centrelink's controversial $4.5 billion debt clawback project amid ongoing accusations that it is unfairly targeting people and miscalculating bills. 

The opposition and community groups are maintaining pressure on the government as the new system, enabled by data-matching with Australian Taxation Office information, causes consternation by handing out mistakenly oversized debts and contacting some social security recipients who don't owe Centrelink any money. Sydney Morning Herald