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Scott Morrison Warned Robodet Plan Will Be Illegal Without Changes, Investigation Hears

Scott Morrison was warned that the robodet scheme would be illegal without significant changes, but his department nevertheless pushed the program forward.
A social services official told the Royal Commission: Calculating welfare recipient debt from average income was not legal and, if challenged, could not stand up in court.
Its legal advice said the scheme, which was implemented in 2015, had “an element of reversal of evidence” and therefore would not stand up to legal scrutiny.
A Royal Commission is investigating how the plan has progressed .

Former Secretary of Human Services Kathryn Campbell was scrutinized at the Robodebt Royal Commission. sauce: AAP / Mick Tsikas

Morrison was Minister of Social Services when the scheme was created in 2015 and Prime Minister when it was withdrawn in 2019 after it was ruled that the Average Income Act method of calculating debt was illegal. .

Human Services Secretary Kathryn Campbell told the committee she knew the law needed change to use average earnings instead of actual earnings in 2015, but that Social Services, not her department Said he was in charge of this issue.
The former prime minister is due to present evidence to the commission next Wednesday and his lawyers are making the application on his behalf. .
Justin Gregory, a senior attorney who assists the Royal Robodet Commission, said that Ms Campbell and other welfare officials believe it is more important to have beneficiaries involved in the system than it is to calculate debt accurately. He claimed that he thought
He presented Mr. Campbell with evidence suggesting that he was not worried about using the income average method to make an error in his debt figures, rather than using it to create non-existent debt. I asked.

“I’ve been having trouble getting citizens to participate in the system,” she replied.

Beneficiaries were obliged to submit payslips to the government so that their debts could be accurately calculated.
Campbell also told the commission that legal advice from the Social Services Department could use income equalization as a “last resort.”
Holmes said it would not be accurate to say that the recipient was being used in such a manner if the recipient did not respond to payslips, and the department may have contacted the employer before taking action. said.
Earlier, the Commission had heard that the Federal Ombudsman had agreed to voluntarily present evidence at a third hearing block scheduled early next year.
Ombudsman Officer Louise MacLeod will make a statement to the Commission.
The Ombudsman was in the commission’s field of vision earlier this week.Evidence reveals that senior Human Services officials were given the opportunity to “effectively co-write” one of their reports to the scheme. made it

Department figures will later be relied on reports as proof that the scheme was working properly.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/scott-morrison-warned-robodebt-scheme-would-be-illegal-without-changes-inquiry-hears/4plop5a8e Scott Morrison Warned Robodet Plan Will Be Illegal Without Changes, Investigation Hears

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