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Centrelink: Labor refers minister to Australian Federal Police over alleged privacy breaches

2 March 2017
SMH

Labor frontbencher Linda Burney has referred Human Services Minister Alan Tudge to federal police over allegations he broke social security laws by releasing the personal information of a Centrelink recipient to the media.
Ms Burney, Labor's human services spokeswoman, described the case as "shocking".

Labor asks AFP to investigate minister

2 March 2017
The Mercury

Labor has asked federal police to investigate whether the minister responsible for Centrelink broke the law in sharing private information without consent.
Opposition MP Linda Burney has asked the AFP to investigate whether Human Services Minister Alan Tudge acted illegally in releasing an individual's personal Centrelink details to the media.

Department of Human Services defends release of personal information of blogger critical of Centrelink

2 March 2017
ABC News

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has defended the release of a welfare recipient's personal and protected information to a journalist, insisting it was proportionate and legal.
The release has been criticised by the Federal Opposition and lawyers who believe it may have a chilling impact on welfare recipients who would otherwise criticise the Government.

Centrelink debt: agency defends monitoring welfare complaints on social media

2 March 2017
Barossa Herald

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge is getting regular updates from his department on welfare recipients who are "criticising or unhappy with the system", a senate estimates committee has been told, as Centrelink staff trawl social media to keep an eye on people complaining about their treatment by the agency.
On Monday, department chiefs were interrogated about the decision to release the personal financial information of a Centrelink recipient to a journalist for an article published in The Canberra Times.

Funding cut to catch fraud, but most vulnerable targeted with flawed robo-debt mess

2 March 2017
The Hon Linda Burney MP, Shadow Minister for Human Services, ALP Member for Barton; Clare O’Neil MP, Shadow Minister for Justice, ALP Member for Hotham

Senior public servants have revealed that the Turnbull Government will cut funding which is meant to help catch serious criminals exploiting Centrelink, while Alan Tudge continues to target the most vulnerable with his error prone robo-debt system.

Labor refers Tudge's release of personal information to the AFP

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

Labor has asked the Australian Federal Police to investigate revelations that the Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge, or his office, sent confidential Department briefs about a former Centrelink client to journalists.
Mr Tudge’s conduct is totally unacceptable. The confidential briefings reportedly contained details on the individual’s relationship and tax history.
Alan Tudge has serious questions to answer. At best, his conduct is unethical. At worst, it is illegal.

Tudge releases unauthorised documents, & where are the “leading” feminists?

2 March 2017
No Place For Sheep

Andie Fox is a single mother, chosen by Tudge as a scapegoat to distract from his astronomical incompetency. As I’ve noted in earlier posts, the power imbalance between Alan Tudge, Paul Malone of Fairfax, and Andie Fox is incalculable. As I’ve also noted before, there are thousands of complainants Tudge could have chosen to attack, however, he chose a single mother, one woman because, I suggest, he imagined her to be an easy target, and we know how the LNP feel about single mothers.
And yet not one leading feminist has seen fit to speak out about Ms Fox’s plight.

Centrelink: Alan Tudge cites legal guidelines department now says are 'not relevant'

1 March 2017
The Guardian

Australia’s human services minister, Alan Tudge, relied on legal guidelines in parliament to justify the release of personal information to the media that his own department now says are irrelevant.
Tudge was criticised in parliament on Tuesday for releasing the personal details of welfare recipient Andie Fox, who was critical of Centrelink’s handling of her debt. Lawyers and welfare groups have already warned that the decision to release Fox’s details was legally debatable.

Tudge's explanation for data breaches was irrelevant according to his own spokesperson

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

A spokesperson for the Department of Human Services has reportedly dismissed Alan Tudge’s comments to the Parliament justifying his decision to leak private information as “not relevant”, meaning that the Minister still hasn’t explained whether the data breaches were legal.
[...]
Instead of targeting ordinary Australians to cover up his robo-debt disaster, Mr Tudge should get on fixing his broken system.

Coalition exposes own hypocrisy in claim to public interest leak

1 March 2017
Pirate Party Australia

In an epic violation of trust, Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge has intentionally given out a Centrelink client’s personal information to Fairfax media, as a part of a political campaign to discredit and silence Australians speaking out against the nightmare of Centrelink’s debt recovery program. The article, published by Fairfax media, contained personal information that was used to “correct the record”, but only serves to highlight the abuse of power within Federal Government departments who would rather be seen to silence criticism than fix the issue at hand.

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