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Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Page: 3026

Human Services

(Question No. 596)


Senator Abetz asked the Minister representing the Minister for Human Services, upon notice, on 12 April 2011:

With reference to the answer provided to question no. HS 11 taken on notice during the 2010-11 additional estimates hearings of the Community Affairs Legislation Committee, on 24 February 2011:

(1) Who, stating their name, was responsible for not authorising the request.

(2) How many hours of work were required to obtain the two dates summaries of 31 January 2011 and 24 February 2011


Senator Arbib: The Minister for Human Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Mr Grant Tidswell PSM, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Centrelink.

(2) Ten hours were spent in obtaining the two summaries of 31 January 2011 and 24 February 2011 in response to question no. HS 10, which requested the number of "recipients" of the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment. The term "recipients" refers to people whose claim was granted.

Question no. HS 11 requests data regarding the claims "made" for each day. The term "made" refers to a person lodging their claim.

Centrelink cannot automatically extract the date claims were lodged by claimants. In order to produce a data set of the number of claims lodged by claimants on each day, Centrelink would need to manually refer to each individual customer record. This would require substantial resources, given that we have processed in excess of 700,000 claims.

The data available to Centrelink for automatic extraction includes when a claim is registered by Centrelink staff to begin processing. Centrelink aims to process as many claims as possible on the day they are lodged and the date the claim is registered is often the same date it was lodged by claimants, however we cannot guarantee that this is always the case.

In consultation with your office it has been agreed for Centrelink to provide you with data for each day regarding the number of claims registered for processing.