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Tudge can't be trusted on IT system overhaul

23 March 2017
The Hon Linda Burney MP
The Hon Linda Burney MP, Shadow Minister for Human Services, ALP Member for Barton

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge has announced that Accenture, the company which botched the $800 million overhaul of the Australian Tax Office, has been awarded the first major contract for the “digital transformation” of the Centrelink payment system.
This decision is remarkable given the company’s performance in overhauling the Australian Taxation Office’s IT system led to thousands of complaints and bug reports, including the issuing false debt notices - an issue which has plagued Centrelink is recent weeks.
Despite the fact that confidence in the Centrelink system has already been shaken by Mr Tudge’s bungled robo-debt recovery system, Mr Tudge has refused to provide any detail about tender process or the criteria used for the award of this contract.
Commonwealth procurement rules specify that the department must consider the past performance of tender applicants - it is unclear to what extent this was considered in this contract award process.
The best way to restore confidence in the Centrelink system is through transparency not more secrecy - Mr Tudge should tell the public exactly what criteria he assessed this tenderer on.