The Commonwealth Ombudsman’s report on Centrelink’s dodgy robo-debt recovery system confirms what the community has been saying all along. It’s further proof that the program is deeply flawed and the Government should immediately abandon it.
The Ombudsman’s office confirmed in their report that Centrelink’s debt letters were unclear, that customers had enormous problems collecting old payslips and that they were unable to get satisfactory answers from Centrelink staff when they queried a debt.
The report also found that a number of these problems could have been avoided with better planning and that the Government did no modelling on how many debts were likely to be over-calculated.
This must surely be the final straw for this disastrous program which is terrorising thousands of Australians. Minister Alan Tudge should take this opportunity to shut the program down and replace it with one that is timely, accurate and fair. If he won’t then the Prime Minister should intervene.
I wrote to the Ombudsman on 21 December 2016 requesting such an inquiry.