List of Recommendations

Recommendation 1

The committee recommends that Services Australia distributes the settlement sum in accordance with the Implementation Plan for  Distribution Scheme, as a matter of priority.

Recommendation 2

The committee recommends that following the finalisation of the Implementation Plan for Settlement Distribution Scheme, Services Australia publicly release the following data:
the number of class action Group Members in each category;
the total value of the debts of Group Members, broken down by category; and
the average share of the settlement sum eligible Group Members received.

Recommendation 3

The committee recommends that the Senate adopt the following resolution.
1. That the Senate notes that the Senate Community Affairs References Committee has rejected the Minister for Government Services' explanation regarding public interest immunity claims on several occasions.
2. That there be laid on the table by the Minister for Government Services, by no later than 1pm on Wednesday, 24 November 2021:
revised responses to all questions relating to legal advice and the Income Compliance Program which have been subject to rejected claims of public interest immunity during the Community Affairs References Committee’s inquiry into Centrelink’s compliance program; and
a copy of the Executive Minute to the Minister for Social Services, dated 12 February 2015, as referenced in the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s April 2017 report into Centrelink’s automated debt raising and recovery system; or
a letter confirming that the above responses relating to legal advice and the Executive Minute will be provided in camera to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee by no later than 2pm on that same day.
3. In the event that the Minister again fails to table these documents:
the Senate requires the Minister to attend the Senate at the conclusion of question time on Wednesday 24 November 2021 to provide an explanation of the Minister’s failure to table the documents.
at the conclusion of the Minister’s explanation, or in the event that the Minister fails to provide an explanation, any senator may move to take note of the explanation or the failure to provide an explanation;
any motion under the above paragraph may be debated for no longer than 60 minutes and have precedence over all other business until determined, and senators may speak to the motion for no more than 10 minutes each.

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