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Notice given 26 September 2005

Senator Marshall: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos *1242-*1243)—

(1) For the 2005 calendar year to date, can the names be provided of all legal firms employed by the department to undertake work for the Government on the development or drafting of workplace relations legislation.

(2) For each of the firms listed in the answer to (1) above, can the following information be provided: (a) when did the contract commence and when will it end; (b) what service is the legal firm providing to the Government; (c) has the legal firm seconded staff to the department; if so: (i) how many staff members have been seconded, and (ii) for how long are the staff members seconded; (d) has the legal firm seconded staff to the Minister’s office; if so: (i) how many staff members have been seconded, and (ii) for how long are the staff members seconded; (e) what is the value of the contract; and (f) was there a public tendering process for the contract; if so: (i) when was the process advertised and in which publications, (ii) what details were provided in the tendering advertising and documentation, and (iii) can a copy of the tendering documents and relevant advertising be provided.

*1242 Minister representing the Prime Minister

*1243 Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

*1244  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—For each of the financial years 1999-2000 to 2004-05: (a) what is the number, by postcode, of Disability Support Pension recipients in Western Australia; and (b) can the information be provided by age and gender.

*1245  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Human Services—

(1) Can a list, by postcode, be provided of: (a) the number of recipients of Carer Payment (Adult) in Western Australia; and (b) the number of recipients of Carer Allowance (Adult) in Western Australia.

(2) For the period from 1 January 2005 to the present, can a list, by postcode, be provided of the number of recipients of Carer Payment (Adult) in Western Australia who were moved to the Age Pension on turning 65, for males, or the relevant qualifying age for women.

(3) (a) Are carers who become entitled to the Age Pension able to choose either the Carer Payment or the Age Pension, or are they automatically transferred from the Carer Payment to the Age Pension; and (b) can details be provided of these processes.

*1246  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Family and Community Services—

(1) Can a list be provided, by postcode, of: (a) the number of recipients of Family Tax Benefit Part A in Western Australia; and (b) the number of sole parent recipients of Family Tax Benefit Part A in Western Australia.

(2) Can the department identify the number of sole parent recipients of Family Tax Benefit Part A who are carers of a child with a disability; if so, can a list be provided, by postcode, of the number of sole parents who have children with a disability and who are in receipt of Family Tax Benefit Part A in Western Australia.

(3) Can a list be provided, by postcode, of: (a) the number of recipients of Family Tax Benefit Part B in Western Australia; and (b) the number of sole parent recipients of Family Tax Benefit Part B in Western Australia.

(4) Can the department identify the number of sole parent recipients of Family Tax Benefit Part B who are carers of a child with a disability; if so, can a list be provided, by postcode, of the number of sole parents who have children with a disability and who are in receipt of Family Tax Benefit Part B in Western Australia.

*1247  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Human Services—

(1) Can a list be provided, by postcode, of the number of recipients of Carer Payment (Child) in Western Australia.

(2) Can the department identify the number of recipients of Carer Payment (Child) who are sole parents; if so, can a list be provided, by postcode, of the number of sole parents who are in receipt of Carer Payment (Child) in Western Australia.

(3) Can a list be provided, by postcode, of the number of recipients of Carer Allowance (Child) in Western Australia.

(4) Can the department identify recipients of Carer Allowance (Child) who are sole parents; if so, can a list be provided, by postcode, of the number of sole parents who are in receipt of Carer Allowance (Child) in Western Australia.

*1248  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Family and Community Services—With reference to federally-funded carer support and emergency respite services available in Western Australia:

(1) What is the number of facilities in each of the financial years 1999-2000 to 2004-05, including the facilities that ceased operating.

(2) What is the total amount of funding received in each of the financial years 1999-2000 to 2004-05.

(3) What is the location of each facility in each of the financial years 1999-2000 to 2004-05, including the facilities that ceased operating.

(4) What is the number of clients each facility assisted in each of the financial years 1999-2000 to 2004-05.

(5) What statistical information is collected by the department regarding carers under the age of 18 in Western Australia.

(6) (a) What specific services are available to young people who are carers in Western Australia; and (b) can details be provided of the services that are available.

(7) What statistical information is collected by the department regarding carers over the age of 65 in Western Australia.

*1249  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Family and Community Services—With reference to the 2004-05 Budget measure entitled ‘Compliance Reviews - Expand Data-Matching’:

(1) For each of the financial years 2000-01 to 2003-04, how many reviews of income support payments through data-matching of job placement records held by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR) with Centrelink customer records were carried out.

(2) For each of the financial years 2000-01 to 2003-04, can the outcomes of these reviews be provided, in terms of: (a) the number of reviews which resulted in no change to the payment; (b) the number of reviews which resulted in a reduction to the payment; and (c) the number of reviews which resulted in an increase to the payment.

(3) (a) For each of the financial years 2000-01 to 2003-04, what was the departmental cost of these reviews; and (b) what administrative savings were attributed to these reviews.

(4) (a) How many reviews of income support payments through data-matching of job placement records held by DEWR with Centrelink customer records were carried out in the 2004-05 financial year; and (b) can the outcome of these reviews be provided, in terms of: (i) the number of reviews which resulted in no change to the payment, (ii) the number of reviews which resulted in a reduction to the payment, and (iii) the number of reviews which resulted in an increase to the payment.

(5) What was the departmental cost of these reviews in the 2004-05 financial year.

(6) What administrative savings were attributed to these reviews in the 2004-05 financial year.

(7) In the context of the costing of this budget measure, for each of the financial years 2004-05 to 2007-08, what is the assumed average cost of each additional review.

(8) In the context of the costing of this budget measure, for each of the financial years 2004-05 to 2007-08, what were the assumed outcomes of the reviews, in terms of: (a) the number of reviews which will result in no change to the payment; (b) the number of reviews which will result in a reduction to the payment; and (c) the number of reviews which will result in an increase to the payment.

*1250  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Family and Community Services—With reference to Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A payment:

(1) For each of the financial years 2001-02 to 2004-05: (a) what is the total number of clients in receipt of a FTB Part A payment; (b) how many clients were in receipt of the maximum FTB Part A payment; (c) how many clients were in receipt of a FTB Part A payment that was less than the maximum and above the base rate; (d) how many clients were in receipt of the base rate FTB Part A payment; and (e) how many clients were in receipt of a FTB Part A payment that was less than the base rate.

(2) For the purposes of costing the 2005 Budget measure to increase FTB Part A thresholds: in each of the financial years 2005-06 to 2008-09, what are: (a) the assumed total numbers of clients who will receive FTB Part A payment; (b) the assumed numbers of clients who will receive the maximum FTB Part A payment; (c) the assumed numbers of clients who will receive a FTB Part A payment less than the maximum rate and above the base rate; (d) the assumed numbers of clients who will receive the base rate FTB Part A payment; and (e) the assumed numbers of clients who will receive a FTB Part A payment less than the base rate.

*1251  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Family and Community Services—With reference to the payment of rent assistance:

(1) Why is rent assistance not identified as a line item in the department’s Portfolio Budget Statements, along with other payments, e.g. carer allowance.

(2) Is the cost of rent assistance incorporated into the line item of other payments; if so, which payments.

(3) For each of the financial years 2000-01 to 2004-05, how many clients were in receipt of rent assistance.

(4) For each of the financial years 2000-01 to 2004-05, how many clients were in receipt of rent assistance and each of the following payments: (a) Age Pension; (b) Disability Support Pension; (c) Newstart Allowance; (d) Parenting Payment; (e) Carer Payment; (f) Carer Allowance; (g) Youth Allowance; and (h) Family Tax Benefit.

(5) For each of the financial years 2000-01 to 2004-05, what was the average rent assistance paid to clients in receipt of each of the following payments: (a) Age Pension; (b) Disability Support Pension; (c) Newstart Allowance; (d) Parenting Payment; (e) Carer Payment; (f) Carer Allowance; (g) Youth Allowance; and (h) Family Tax Benefit.

(6) For each of the financial years 2000-01 to 2004-05: (a) how many reviews were carried out on rent assistance payments, and can the outcome of those reviews be provided (i.e. the number resulting in no change, the number resulting in a reduction in payment and the number resulting in an increase in payment); and (b) can details be provided of that review process.

*1252  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Family and Community Services—With reference to the 2005-06 Budget measure entitled ‘Age Pension and Service Pension Registers - improved integrity’:

(1) Why do the figures for this measure in the department’s Portfolio Budget Statement differ from the figures for the same measure in Budget Paper No. 2 (p. 159), even allowing for the inclusion of Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) funding.

(2) What are the assumptions behind the departmental costs and administered savings relating to this measure.

(3) For each of the financial years 2005-06 to 2008-09: (a) how many customers are assumed to have their payment reduced as a result of this measure; (b) what is the assumed average amount of the reduction in each year; and (c) how many customers are assumed to have their payment cancelled as a result of this measure.

(4) (a) Why are the savings predominantly in the first year; and (b) does this represent the numbers of clients who are currently in the system and who are assumed to be claiming payments from both Centrelink and DVA.

(5) Currently, how many clients are assumed to be claiming payments from both Centrelink and DVA.

(6) Do the savings in subsequent years represent the numbers of new clients who will attempt to claim payments from both Centrelink and DVA.

(7) When did the department first become aware that some people were claiming payments from both Centrelink and DVA.

*1253  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Family and Community Services—With reference to the 2000-01 Budget measure entitled ‘Measures to Improve Control of Incorrect Payment and Fraud - Detection’:

(1) For each of the financial years 2000-01 to 2003-04: (a) what were the estimated departmental costs associated with this measure; and (b) what were the estimated administered savings associated with this measure.

(2) For each of the financial years 2000-01 to 2004-05: (a) what were the actual departmental costs associated with this measure; (b) what were the actual administered savings associated with this measure; (c) how many customers had their payment reduced as a result of this measure; (d) what was the average amount of the reduction in each year; and (e) how many customers had their payment cancelled as a result of this measure.

*1254  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Family and Community Services—With reference to the 2001-02 Budget measure entitled ‘Compliance Package  - Detection’:

(1) For each of the financial years 2001-02 to 2004-05: (a) what were the estimated departmental costs associated with this measure; (b) what were the actual departmental costs associated with this measure; (c) what were the estimated administered savings associated with this measure; (d) what were the actual administered savings associated with this measure; (e) how many customers had their payment reduced as a result of this measure; (f) what was the average amount of the reduction in each year; and (g) how many customers had their payment cancelled as a result of this measure.

(2) How does this measure differ from the 2000-01 measure entitled ‘Measures to Improve Control of Incorrect Payment and Fraud  - Detection’, given that both claim to generate savings by improved data-matching between government agencies and tip-offs from the public.

(3) How are the costs and savings generated by this measure different from the costs and savings identified for the 2000-01 measure entitled ‘Measures to Improve Control of Incorrect Payment and Fraud  - Detection’.

(4) Are the costs and savings of this measure in addition to the 2000-01 measure entitled ‘Measures to Improve Control of Incorrect Payment and Fraud  - Detection’.

*1255  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Family and Community Services—With reference to the 2000-01 Budget measure entitled ‘Measures to Improve Control of Incorrect Payment and Fraud  Research and Development Projects’:

(1) For each of the financial years 2000-01 to 2003-04: (a) what were the estimated departmental costs associated with this measure; and (b) what were the estimated administered savings associated with this measure.

(2) For each of the financial years 2000-01 to 2004-05: (a) what were the actual departmental costs associated with this measure; (b) what were the actual administered savings associated with this measure; (c) how many customers had their payment reduced as a result of this measure; (d) what was the average amount of the reduction in each year; and (e) how many customers had their payment cancelled as a result of this measure.

(3) Can a list of the feasibility studies carried out as a result of this measure be provided, including: (a) the date each commenced and finished; (b) the cost of each study; (c) a description of each project; and (d) the result of its evaluation after the first 12 months.

*1256  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Family and Community Services—With reference to the 2001-02 Budget measure entitled ‘Compliance Package - Research and Development’:

(1) For each of the financial years 2001-02 to 2004-05: (a) what were the estimated departmental costs associated with this measure; (b) what were the actual departmental costs associated with this measure; (c) what were the estimated administered savings associated with this measure; (d) what were the actual administered savings associated with this measure; (e) how many recipients had their payment reduced as a result of this measure; (f) what was the average amount of the reduction in each year; and (g) how many recipients had their payment cancelled as a result of this measure.

(2) How does this measure differ from the 2000-01 measure entitled ‘Measures to Improve Control of Incorrect Payment and Fraud - Research and Development Projects’, given that both claim to generate savings through feasibility studies in data-matching and inter-agency activities.

(3) How are the costs and savings generated by this measure different from the costs and savings identified for the 2000-01 measure entitled ‘Measures to Improve Control of Incorrect Payment and Fraud - Research and Development Projects’.

(4) Are the costs and savings of this measure in addition to the 2000-01 measure entitled ‘Measures to Improve Control of Incorrect Payment and Fraud - Research and Development Projects’.

(5) Can a list of the feasibility studies carried out as a result of this measure be provided, including: (a) the date each commenced and finished; (b) the cost of each study; (c) a description of the project; and (d) the result of its evaluation in the second year.

*1257  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Family and Community Services—With reference to the 2004-05 Budget measure entitled ‘Assessment of Income and Assets Held in Trusts and Private Companies’:

(1) For each of the financial years 2004-05 to 2007-08, what are the estimated administered savings relating to the inclusion of income and assets held in trusts and private companies in the means test for pensions and allowances.

(2) In the 2004-05 financial year, how many people receiving a pension or allowance have income and assets held in trusts and private companies.

(3) For each of the financial years 2005-06 to 2007-08, what is the estimated number of claims involving income and assets from trusts and companies that will be assessed as a result of this measure.

(4) In the context of the estimated future savings from this measure, for each of the financial years 2005-06 to 2007-08: (a) what is the estimated number of recipients who will have their payment reduced as a result of this measure; and (b) what is the estimated number of recipients who will have their payment cancelled as a result of this measure.

*1258  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Family and Community Services—With reference to the 2000-01 Budget measure entitled ‘Revised Means Test Treatment of Private Trusts and Companies’:

(1) For each of the financial years 2000-01 to 2003-04: (a) what were the estimated departmental costs associated with this measure; and (b) what were the estimated administered savings associated with this measure.

(2) For each of the financial years 2000-01 to 2004-05: (a) what were the actual departmental costs associated with this measure; (b) what were the actual administered savings associated with this measure; (c) how many claims involving income and assets from trusts and companies were assessed as a result of this measure; (d) how many recipients had their payment reduced as a result of this measure; (e) what was the average amount of the reduction in each year; and (f) how many recipients had their payment cancelled as a result of this measure.

(3) What is the rationale for including income and assets held in, or derived from, private trusts and companies in the income and asset tests for social security payments.

Senator Evans: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos *1259-*1260)—With reference to the impact of the budget measure to increase the threshold for the Family Tax Benefit on the cost of the health care concession cards:

(1) In the context of costing this impact for each of the financial years 2005-06 to 2008-09: (a) what are the assumed numbers of people who will become eligible for a health care concession card; (b) what is the assumed cost in each financial year of these people becoming eligible for the health care concession card; (c) what is the assumed average per capita cost for each financial year of the health care concession cards for the years 2005-06 to 2008-09.

(2) For which concessions are health care concession card holders eligible.

*1259 Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing

*1260 Minister for Family and Community Services