Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Friday, 28 November 1986
Page: 4054

(Question No. 4871)


Mr Blunt asked the Minister for Social Security, upon notice, on 12 November 1986:

(1) What sum of overpaid funds was waived by his Department under the social security benefits and pensions amnesty.

(2) What amounts covered by the amnesty were overpaid in each year for each benefit and pension in each State and Territory.

(3) How many cases of overpayments waived by the amnesty were the subject of police investigations in respect of each State and Territory and for each benefit and pension.

(4) Of the cases referred to in part (3), (a) were the clients aware of the police investigation of the overpayment and (b) in how many cases had the decision to lay charges been made and, in these cases, how many clients had not been informed in writing of the decision.

(5) What was the (a) average and (b) individual time taken between when the decision to lay charges was made and when the client was informed in writing of that decision in the cases referred to in part (4) (b).

(6) How many instances of overpayments subsequently waived by the amnesty were brought to his Department's notice by informers other than the recipient of the benefits in respect of each State and Territory and for each benefit and pension.

(7) How many clients were not informed in writing of the (a) overpayments made to them and (b) basis of his Department's knowledge of the overpayment made to them in respect of the cases referred to in part (6).

(8) What was the (a) average and (b) individual time taken from when his Department received advice of an overpayment by an informer other than the recipient of the benefit, and when the client was informed of the overpayment.

(9) Has his Department initiated any research study into the awareness of the amnesty among its clients; if so, (a) who undertook the study and (b) what are the itemised details of its cost.

(10) How many clients who unsuccessfully sought to take advantage of the amnesty have appealed against the refusal to waive the overpayment, and of these (a) what benefit or pension is involved, (b) in which State or Territory does the appellant reside, (c) to what stage has the appeal progressed and (d) what individual sums of money are involved.


Mr Howe —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1 and 2) Where a claimant satisfied the provisions of the Amnesty Legislation there was no debt due to the Commonwealth. Therefore, it was not necessary to calculate or waive amounts received by clients in excess of their entitlements.

(3 to 8) This information was not collected during the Amnesty and consequently is not available.

(9) No.

(10) Appeals specifically relating to the Amnesty are not separately identifiable in the Appeals system. Specific information about this type of case is, therefore, not available.