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Tuesday, 11 September 2018
Page: 23

Senator McALLISTER (New South WalesDeputy Opposition Whip in the Senate) (13:43): Senator Storer's amendment goes to monitoring and evaluation. This has been a very significant issue in this debate so far, because you have already paid $1.6 million to a company called ORIMA Research, which provided an evaluation of the existing trial sites that a range of experts have essentially described as useless. The Auditor-General has said that the information was of such poor quality that it is not actually possible to say whether or not the trial was effective in any way. Their words, in particular, were:

… monitoring and evaluation was inadequate. As a consequence, it is difficult to conclude whether there had been a reduction in social harm and whether the card was a lower cost welfare quarantining approach.

Given that the evaluation process to date has been of such poor quality and has yielded so little information about whether this program is of any value whatsoever, what can you tell us about changes to the department's practice in terms of monitoring and evaluation that could provide any assurance at all that further monitoring and evaluation will produce anything of value?