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The “Robodebt” scheme was a policy initiative designed by the Australian Government under the leadership: Organizations Assignment, RMIT, Singapore
Assessment 3 – Problem-solving case study
“Senior Executive action in the aftermath of the Robodebt scandal”
The “Robodebt” scheme was a policy initiative designed by the Australian Government under the leadership of the Coalition (the Liberal National Party) Government. The scheme was designed to “claw back” excessive welfare payments made to members of the Australian community receiving welfare payments. People receiving welfare payments are unemployed and typically amongst the most disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community.
The scheme acquired the name “Robodebt” because a central feature was the use of an algorithm to determine if people on welfare had been “overpaid”. Those people identified as owing the Government money were then pursued to pay back the amount determined by the algorithm. The problem with this approach was that the algorithm used an income-averaging methodology, which led to incorrect conclusions about the debts people owed the Government. This meant that many people were chased for debts that they did not owe. Welfare recipients chased for debt also had very little recourse in terms of challenging these debts or speaking to a human being to help establish the facts about their income and correct the record. It was subsequently established by the Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme that this was extremely distressing for many people. A summation of the Commissioner, Catherine Holmes, from the ABC:
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