Terms of Reference

Centrelink’s compliance program, with specific reference to:

  1. the ongoing impact of the Federal Government’s automated debt collection processes upon current and past income support recipients;
  2. data-matching techniques used by Centrelink, including limitations and uncertainties of data-matching techniques and error-handling processes;
  3. the handling of under-payment errors, including the number of payments identified and made through data-matching following an under-payment error;
  4. the use of real-time wages data and other techniques to prevent overpayment;
  5. the capacity and adequacy of Centrelink and the Department of Human Services to deliver the program, including the use of contract staff and the impact of staff performance targets on the program;
  6. the error rates in the issuing of initial letters and debt notices, the causes of these errors and what steps are routinely taken when errors are identified;
  7. the procedures that have been put in place to prevent future errors;
  8. the number of initial letters and debt notices sent out and the number of debts that have been recovered;
  9. the review process and appeals process for debt notices, including the number of reviews and appeals undertaken;
  10. the use and legality of the debt collection processes used by Centrelink and the Department of Human Services;
  11. the use of debt collectors in the compliance program; and
  12. the cost of the compliance program to date, including the projected and actual amount raised from the program.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3515
Fax: +61 2 6277 5829
community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au

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