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Greens seek advice from Senate Clerk about potential witnesses feeling intimidated in the lead up to the senate Centrelink inquiry

3 March 2017
Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert is today urging Centrelink recipients to make submissions to the Senate inquiry and not to be deterred by the Government's current behaviour in releasing personal information, explaining that giving evidence to a Senate committee is covered by Parliamentary Privilege.

Government using commission only private debt collectors for automated debt recovery program

9 March 2017
Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia

The Senate inquiry into the Centrelink debt recovery process has revealed that the Government is paying private debt collectors commission only to rake back potentially incorrect automated debts from former Centrelink recipients.

Senate inquiry shows Centrelink recipients feel bullied and threatened by the Government

11 April 2017
Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia

The last two days of evidence to the senate inquiry into Centrelink’s automated debt recovery system has raised a myriad of issues and suggests recipients feel bullied by the Government who are pursuing a debt that people may not owe.

Response to claims about the department’s use of external collection agents

22 February 2017
Australian Government Department of Human Services Media Hub

Claims made recently about the Department of Human Services’ use of external collection agents are inaccurate and require clarification.
Agencies who have been engaged by the department to recover debt from people will always ensure their operators clearly identify themselves as calling ‘on behalf of’ the department.

Centrelink is using debt collectors like never before, says Legal Aid

6 January 2017
The Courier

Centrelink is using debt collectors like never before and making snap decisions based on “limited information” since the introduction of a new automated debt recovery system, Victoria Legal Aid has said.
Collectors have been used by the government agency before but never based on such an “inaccurate and blunt” system, Civil Justice, Access and Equity executive director Dan Nicholson said.

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