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Centrelink faces sustained criticism over its new automated debt recovery system

2 January 2017
Tom McIlroy

From the article:

Low-income Australians receiving housing support and other welfare services have joined summer criticism of Centrelink, as the agency faces sustained questions about its new automated debt recovery processes.

Welfare recipients who received debt demands for thousands of dollars during the Christmas and New Year period have questioned new automated data-matching systems introduced in July, a key tool as the federal government pursues efforts to recover millions in unnecessary welfare costs.


Human Services Minister Alan Tudge is on leave, but Department of Human Services general manager Hank Jongen said last week the government had confidence in the online compliance systems.

"Over 70 per cent of people who received an online compliance letter since September this year have completely resolved the matter," he said.

"Only 2.2 per cent of customers were requested to supply supporting documentation, which means 97.8 per cent of customers did not need to supply supporting documentation.

"The department is determined to ensure that people get what they are entitled to, nothing more, nothing less."