Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Ombudsman agrees to investigate Centrelink as the shit hits the fan (video)

The Commonwealth Ombudsman has agreed with independent MP Andrew Wilke to investigate Centrelink over it rouge auto debt notice scam, which is sending out thousands of debt notices to the poor and vulnerable based on incorrect maths.
The Tasmanian MP said the Commonwealth Ombudsman had agreed to his request to investigate the matter, which has come under criticism from the Labor Party and others for targeting some innocent recipients of social security payments with a flawed data-matching calculation, sometimes years after payments had been received. Sydney Morning Herald
This comes at a time when the shit is literally hitting the fan at Centrelink. With irate clients coming in rope-able about being threatened with jail over fake debt letters, the gov's response has been to tender for someone to train Centrelink staff in "Advanced Customer Aggression Training". At fuck knows what cost to the taxpayer.
Beleaguered Centrelink staff will soon receive "Advanced Customer Aggression Training" as the government agency continues to face a public backlash over its new controversial debt recovery regime.

A total of 170,000 Australians have received debt notices from Centrelink over the past six months as a result of an automated system which crosschecks information from various government agencies.

The Department of Human Services, which has responsibility for the welfare agency, has recently sought private contractors to provide "Advanced Customer Aggression Training Services".

In a contract tender released just before Christmas the Department said it was "seeking providers suitably qualified to deliver a high quality of Advanced Customer Aggression Training Services to the Department's Customer Facing Staff, Team Leaders and Managers". ABC
I dunno how much worse it could get for the customers. Already if you raise your voice in there in exasperated frustration they simply threaten to throw you out or remove you from the desk to calm down; like it's all your fault for getting angry about not being able to eat because of their fucking around. I've seen at least one person at a Centrelink office escorted out by the police and told to go home. Makes you wonder what sort of "aggression training" are they talking about? 

As if that's not bad enough, people are now presenting to Andrew Wilke's office in a suicidal state over these debt notices, scared shitless of what the gov is calling a "polite" letter but in reality is one threatening jail. 
"I've had people who have approached me who have been frightened, absolutely scared, people who are paying this money because they are so frightened by this very official letter, " Mr Wilkie said on Wednesday. 

"I've had four people now approach me in my office who I would describe as presenting as suicidal and in all those cases we've taken what action we thought was appropriate." Sydney Morning Herald