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RoboDebt must go: Community sector calls for end of Centrelink’s auto debt recovery program and the bullying of victims

8 February 2017
Australian Council of Social Service

A consortium of leading organisations from Australia’s community sector is calling on the government to immediately pull the plug on Centrelink’s RoboDebt, cease the intimidation and bullying of Centrelink clients and their families caught up in the automated debt recovery debacle, and provide a commitment that people’s protected information will not be publicly released.

Robo-debt And Denial: The Protocols Of Centrelink

21 June 2017
New Matilda

This is the third feature in Ben Eltham’s 2017 investigation into Centrelink’s robo-debt program. The first article in the series was published in January, and the second article in March.
Centrelink’s sprawling data-matching empire is opaque, error-prone and almost completely impossible to understand, writes Ben Eltham. And it’s expanding across government programs and agencies.
After listening to weeks of harrowing testimony, Siewert has found the Senate Inquiry a draining experience.
“You come out of those hearings and you feel really drained. The evidence we hear is very distressing – hearing of people’s experiences and feeling their sense of powerlessness and despair.”

Senate inquiry calls for Centrelink robo-debt system to be suspended until fixed

21 June 2017

A Senate inquiry has called for Centrelink’s controversial automated debt recovery system to be suspended until its many flaws can be resolved.
The inquiry released its report on Wednesday night, which made 21 recommendations for fixing the robo-debt system.
The inquiry has urged all debts calculated using the error-prone “income averaging” process to be reassessed. It also called for a redesign of the system with a robust risk assessment process.

Centrelink crisis: more than a third of debts overturned by appeals tribunal

30 May 2017

More than a third of Australian welfare debt recovery decisions have been overturned by the independent tribunal that oversees Centrelink.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has set aside 960 Centrelink debt decisions out of 2,699 appeals lodged between March 2016 and March 2017, while a further 132 were “varied”.
The majority of the decisions are likely too early to relate to the government’s controversial “robo debt” measure but Guardian Australia understands tribunal members are concerned about the looming workload caused by the government’s use of the automated system.

Tasmanians to get their say on Tudge's bungled robo-debt system

26 April 2017
The Hon Linda Burney MP, Shadow Minister for Human Services, ALP Member for Barton

The senate inquiry into Alan Tudge’s bungled robo-debt system will hear first hand from Tasmanians over the next week as hearings are held in Hobart today and Launceston on Thursday.
The inquiry is expected to hear that despite Mr Tudge’s claims that the system is working well, it has actually been a disaster for the most vulnerable Tasmanians.

Tasmanian pensioners fear they’ll fall victim to Centrelink mistakes

18 March 2017
Courier Mail

Tasmanian pension recipients fear they will be caught up in Centrelink’s controversial debt recovery process.
More than 58 per cent of respondents to the Sunday Tasmanian’s survey of pensioners say they hold concerns about the automated system, which has been criticised for targeting individuals inaccurately.
Only 15 per cent said they had no concerns, while 36 per cent described themselves as very concerned.


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