Centrelink debt notices - Turnbull govt reaches new levels of arse clown-ness

Dry Rot

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It's really hard to recall such a litany of mistakes, unfairness and complete foolishness in Federal govt policy and administration as the recent Centrelink debt notices scandal.

Peter Martin takes you through just how incredibly silly this new scheme is - worth reading the lot and the links

http://www.smh.com.au/comment/centrelinks-robodebacle-is-a-litany-of-inhuman-errors-20170103-gtl77k.html

Some background

The Centrelink robo-debt debacle won't cost as many jobs, but its impact will be worse. It'll dwarf that of the bungled census, for which the Prime Minister declared that heads would roll. In the lead-up to Christmas tens of thousands of Australians received notes embossed with the Centrelink logo telling them the income their employer had reported to the Tax Office was different to the income they had reported to Centrelink. Unless they explained why within 14 to 21 days, they would have an assessment made against them and be hit by a 10 per cent recovery fee.
Two examples of gross foolishness

One of their stupidest mistakes is to calculate fortnightly income by dividing annual income by 26. If the figure is too high the robots say someone wasn't entitled to benefits during the weeks they received them, even if during those weeks the person earned nothing. In other words, they misapply the law. Another is that they are not too bright. If the name of an employer is spelt one way by the Tax Office and another way by Centrelink, the robots assume it's a different employer and that it's undeclared income. In other words, they shouldn't have been let loose.
An in depth look at one arse clown mistake in the system

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jan/03/centrelinks-debt-mistake-theres-no-way-i-could-explain-to-them
 

Fire

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Oh wow this is amature shit. Like seriously, if a uni student designed this system they'd fail the assignment.

How could no one see this was an issue?? This is not how centrelink works on a basic level. The fact the government says it has faith in the system is damning.

Was this system made in house or outsourced?
 
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VineyIsLORD

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This is what happens when you remove a whole bunch of red tape. And then start taking your advice from the private sector and economic yes men like the IPA.

And then find out some of that red tape served a purpose and the private sector knows sweet FA about running government and the IPA are unqualified to give opinion on economics.
 

szhengd

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This is an absolute fiasco, and could bee the beginning of the end of the Turnball government. Even news corp have been attacking them over this stuff up. Amazing that for a govt that touts innovation, it's three biggest failures have come from poorly implemented innovation ( Census, ATO lost files and now Centrelink)
Bodes ill for the future
 

Maggie5

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It's really hard to recall such a litany of mistakes, unfairness and complete foolishness in Federal govt policy and administration as the recent Centrelink debt notices scandal.

Peter Martin takes you through just how incredibly silly this new scheme is - worth reading the lot and the links

http://www.smh.com.au/comment/centrelinks-robodebacle-is-a-litany-of-inhuman-errors-20170103-gtl77k.html

Some background



Two examples of gross foolishness



An in depth look at one arse clown mistake in the system

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jan/03/centrelinks-debt-mistake-theres-no-way-i-could-explain-to-them
From the examples I have read or heard about, the majority of the people that have received letters have not only tried to do the right thing and at the same time worked rather than staying in the system.
It is a farce...
Contract to D&B - $20M then two other companies $2.5M each, cost of program? Recouped to date $300 yet have cut Centrelink staff to the bone and they have not had a pay increase for 4 years. Be kind to the staff, not their fault.
Apparently they are looking to recoup some $4B in over payments, gee if they fixed up the tax system, they could easily get that from Apple and others.
 
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Bleeeeeeeeep

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From the examples I have read or heard about, the majority of the people that have received letters have not tried to do the right thing and at the same time worked rather than staying in the system.
It is a farce...
Contract to D&B - $20M then two other companies $2.5M each, cost of program? Recouped to date $300 yet have cuts Centrelink staff to the bone and they have not had a pay increase for 4 years. Be kind to the staff, not their fault.
Apparently they are looking to recoup some $4B in over payments, gee if they fixed up the tax system, they could easily get that from Apple and others.
To hard and costly, but hopefully one day we will see a government with big enough balls to do so.
 

Herne Hill Hammer

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From the examples I have read or heard about, the majority of the people that have received letters have not tried to do the right thing and at the same time worked rather than staying in the system.
It is a farce...
Contract to D&B - $20M then two other companies $2.5M each, cost of program? Recouped to date $300 yet have cut Centrelink staff to the bone and they have not had a pay increase for 4 years. Be kind to the staff, not their fault.
Apparently they are looking to recoup some $4B in over payments, gee if they fixed up the tax system, they could easily get that from Apple and others.
o_Otypo?
 

Ratts of Tobruk

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This is what happens when you remove a whole bunch of red tape. And then start taking your advice from the private sector and economic yes men like the IPA.

And then find out some of that red tape served a purpose and the private sector knows sweet FA about running government and the IPA are unqualified to give opinion on economics.
I get what you mean about removing 'red tape' in terms of removing the experienced public servants or increasing their work-load so things like this are more likely to be missed, but the actual process isn't really the removal of red tape. Rather it's outsourcing a bunch of bureaucracy to the payment recipient.

I can see how that appeals to all sorts of right-wingers, and it's something that has existed in Centrelink for a long time. They create paperwork, bump people off payments, create appointments, etc. - all presumably to make the process of being on welfare more unpleasant. So in this case, the recipient has to go check what they did earn back then, call Centrelink, and relay the discoveries of their grunt work alongside Centrelink staff who have to check it too.

The savings on staff would be minimal considering the IT implementation to 'discover' the false debts.

And since they can already compare declared income against tax Group Certificates, so this is purely a gamble that someone may have under-reported initial payments before going off Centrelink. For that they spammed everyone, with a process that could still miss actual culprits (e.g. if you didn't work for a full year, diving by 26 would likely over-estimate the average income).

Then there's the 10% recovery fee threat, which Tudge said he was unaware of... It smacks of a senior LNP politician over-seeing it. Peter Martin:
There were clues on the Tuesday before the election. That's when Porter and Treasurer Scott Morrison said they had found billions to pay for their promises. Through "the smarter use of technology" they were going to "improve the capability for the identification and recovery of debt owed to taxpayers".
 

Herne Hill Hammer

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There's a thought going around that the Government knew this would happen but were prepared to cop the flack because the majority without the means or knowhow to fight it would just pay up and it's more money for their coffers.

They replayed the 4Corners story last Monday on all of the overseas tax dodges/shell companies. No Government would ever go after them because it's against their own interests.
 

Pessimistic

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Company v Personal taxation seems to be the battlefield of today. Not really a fair fight, and the only concern is there'd be no suckers left to pay their inflated prices? sheesh.
 

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Ok Boomer

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This could honestly sink Turnbull for good. Inexplicable how he can defend this especially around Christmas. Not that I disagree with recouping over-payments, it should be done, but the system actually has to work and calculate things correctly. It is clear that errors are occurring. Throwing that grub Christian Porter under the bus won't cut it either.

Turnbull has been the biggest flop, perhaps forever. He could have lead the government for years if he has just moved the party slightly to the center, had some political courage, even as far back as the GST debate 12 months ago, and didn't give air the the right of the party, while also showing some fight against Labors negative campaigns. Paul Keating and John Howard as PM's wouldn't have let the opposition get away with stuff like mediscare or an equivalent, they would have ripped them to shreds. He doesn't even have the balls to advance a republic anymore. He is officially worse than Abbott, and that is sickening to type. LEAD MALCOLM FFS.
 

HairyO

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There is nothing wrong with the automated system. People on benefits should prove they are actually entitled to receive those benefits.

The problem is with the claimed debt being sent off to a debt collector before the individual has had reasonable time to prove they were not overpaid. This is the truly disgraceful part.

There should be more time provided, especially given the number of notices being sent out which has flooded an already overburdened Centrelink system.

Other than that I have no problem, because the only issue is for those who have been overpaid.
 

GreyCrow

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There is nothing wrong with the automated system. People on benefits should prove they are actually entitled to receive those benefits.

The problem is with the claimed debt being sent off to a debt collector before the individual has had reasonable time to prove they were not overpaid. This is the truly disgraceful part.

There should be more time provided, especially given the number of notices being sent out which has flooded an already overburdened Centrelink system.

Other than that I have no problem, because the only issue is for those who have been overpaid.
Also with the Christmas/New Year period of shut downs. I have been lucky my old company ( who shut down in July) still had the records from 2014.

Go in Monday and hand in the paperwork. See what happens.
 

Bollox

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Empathy ? Why the hell would/should they have empathy ?
Next you'll be asking for it from the ATO.

If its attracting whinging from the dissaffected, welfare advocates, and scab media...u can be sure its going along just nicely.

Send the invoices out.

If 10% of complaints are genuine...thats perfectly ok so that the 90% of professional cheats sucking off the teat are invoiced.

Never been a welfare cheat born that didnt have an excuse and sob story for everything.
 

Herne Hill Hammer

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If its attracting whinging from the dissaffected, welfare advocates, and scab media...u can be sure its going along just nicely.

Send the invoices out.

If 10% of complaints are genuine...thats perfectly ok so that the 90% of professional cheats sucking off the teat are invoiced.

Never been a welfare cheat born that didnt have an excuse for everything.
The professional cheats, of which, in my experience there are many, will be the ones that aren't getting pinged.

They know how the system works inside and out!
 

Extortion Threat

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Sickening to do this around Christmas. They obviously know the system doesn't work properly but since it affects poor people/people who can't defend themselves they don't give a shit.
 

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