TIME FOR TUDGE TO COME CLEAN ON ROBO-DEBT AS DHS ADMITS ‘MISTAKES’

14 Jul 2017

Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge needs to stop hiding behind bureaucrats, apologise to people wrongly targeted and give the public assurances that the bungled robo-debt program will be halted until the government can guarantee its flaws are addressed.


SENATOR THE HON. DOUG CAMERON

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS

SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS AND APPRENTICESHIPS

ACTING SHADOW MINISTER FOR HUMAN SERVICES

SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

TIME FOR TUDGE TO COME CLEAN ON ROBO-DEBT AS DHS ADMITS ‘MISTAKES’

Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge needs to stop hiding behind bureaucrats, apologise to people wrongly targeted and give the public assurances that the bungled robo-debt program will be halted until the government can guarantee its flaws are addressed.

Centrelink media spokesman Hank Jongen has been forced to concede in a radio interview that the Department of Human Services (DHS) made ‘mistakes’ with the Online Compliance Intervention (OCI), generally known as the “robo-debt” recovery program.

Given the admission from DHS, it is time for Minister Tudge to front up and say how he will respond to the Senate inquiry that reported nearly a month ago. Most importantly, the Minister needs to assure the public that he will act on Recommendation One:

6.9 The committee recommends the Online Compliance Intervention (OCI) program should be put on hold until all procedural fairness flaws are addressed and the other recommendations of this report are implemented. If these issues are addressed, the OCI should only be continued in its new form after the new One Touch Payroll system is implemented in 2018.

If the bureaucrats can tell the truth, why can’t the Minister? He should concede he’s made a mistake and give the public commitments he will fix this problem.

The Turnbull government has failed repeatedly to deliver the basic services that the Commonwealth is expected to provide. Malcolm Turnbull is too focused on internal divisions and keeping his own job to ensure his Ministers are doing their jobs properly. 

THURSDAY, 13 JULY 2017