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Robo-debt is not "working well" according to Ombudsman

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

The robo-debt system has been plagued by poor administration and a failure of Centrelink to communicate adequately with customers, according to the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s report into the system released this morning.
The damning report comes despite the Minister’s insistence earlier this year that “the system is working well”.
The Ombudsman finds that the litany of problems in the robo-debt system “could have been mitigated through better project planning and risk management at the outset”, raising serious questions about Alan Tudge’s oversight of his department.
According the report key external stakeholders were not consulted during the planning process.
While some changes have been made to Tudge’s robo-debt system, the Ombudsman is clear they don’t go far enough.
The Minister has no-one to blame but himself - according to the Ombudsman all of these issues could have been avoided with proper planning and consultation.
This report makes it plain - customers can’t get clear information, the Department of Human Services didn’t provide adequate staff training and there was a total failure of planning and transparency.
The Minister simply didn’t do his job and the community is paying the price.