G. Compliance package

G1. Compliance package - Measures to improve control of incorrect payment and fraud - research and development projects

Implementation

Random sample surveys will commence on 1 July 2000.

Feasibility studies will start between July and December 2000, with each study continuing for two years.
 

What's New

There will be two measures to improve the control of incorrect payment and fraud. The first, random sample surveys of the age pension and youth allowance customer populations, will establish a benchmark for incorrect payment and will assess the effectiveness of the current control framework.

The second measure is a suite of feasibility studies to pilot additional data-matching and inter-agency activities to test their cost-effectiveness.
 

Background


The random sample surveys will establish customer entitlement to age pension and youth allowance payments, in the same way that surveys have been conducted of Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment Partnered and Disability Support Pension customers. The random sample data collected will also provide more information on how incorrect payments occur following-on to the identification of new controls or policy change.

The feasibility studies are aimed to test the cost effectiveness of new areas of risk. They will focus on addressing the risks associated with undisclosed income, particularly in the cash economy industries, superannuation income and incorrectly declared residency status.

This initiative is being conducted in accordance with agreed guidelines between the former Department of Family and Community Services, Centrelink and the Privacy Commissioner.

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G2. Compliance package - Measures to improve control of incorrect payment and fraud - detection

Implementation

New data-matching with employment records and increased reviews of rent assistance will commence 1 July 2000.
 

What's New

The measure will introduce a number of activities to improve detection of incorrect payment and fraud by:

  • increasing data-matching reviews and enhancement of data-matching detection systems to improve the quality of matches;
  • amending the Data-Matching Program (Assistance and Tax) Act 1990 to extend the period for matching of income details between the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and Centrelink from 2 to 4 years; and
  • linking the public information recording ('tip-off') systems between the ATO and Centrelink.

Background

Data-matching with employment records held by Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business will identify customers who have obtained work through the Job Network but have failed to advise Centrelink. The extension of current internal data-matching will identify customers who have failed to correctly advise of their rent liability.

At present, matching of income details under the Data-Matching Program (DMP) is limited to the two most recently completed financial years. However, as a tax assessment can be delayed beyond this period, matching is being extended from 2 to 4 years in alignment with the period for ATO taxable income reassessments. There will be no matching of any additional personal details.

Exchange of information supplied to the ATO and to Centrelink from the public will enable improved detection of customers without entitlement to income support payments. The exchange of data with the ATO will enhance Centrelink's ability to identify customers who have failed to advise of income or change in circumstances.

This initiative is being conducted in accordance with agreed guidelines between the former Department of Family and Community Services, Centrelink and the Privacy Commissioner.

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G3. Compliance package - Measures to improve control of incorrect payment and fraud - deterrence - publicity campaign to encourage customer compliance

Implementation

Implementation will occur from 1 August 2001
 

What's New

The Government will conduct a multi-media campaign which will seek to increase the level of voluntary compliance with social security law.

The target audiences for the campaign will be:

  • Centrelink customers - who will be encouraged to 'do the right thing' and report their circumstances honestly to Centrelink; and
  • the general public - who will be assured that the Government is active in encouraging Centrelink customers to do the right thing to help maintain the integrity of the social security system.

Background

Because the Australian social security system is highly targeted with complex eligibility rules, payment integrity is in part reliant on customers voluntarily disclosing all the personal and financial circumstances that may affect their entitlement.

The publicity campaign is intended to let people know what their obligations are and to encourage compliance, particularly in relation to obligations to notify changes in circumstances.

This voluntary compliance is an essential part of the Government's comprehensive, long-term Strategy for preventing, detecting and deterring incorrect payment.

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