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Family and Community Services and Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment (Debt Recovery) Bill 2001

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1998—1999—2000—2001

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SERVICES AND VETERANS’ AFFAIRS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (DEBT RECOVERY) BILL 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone)

 

FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SERVICES AND VETERANS’ AFFAIRS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (DEBT RECOVERY) BILL 2000

 

Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government

 

OUTLINE AND FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

Amendments relating to the commencement date

 

In order to accommodate amendments made to the Bill by the Senate, systems enhancements will need to be undertaken by Centrelink.   As a result, the existing commencement date is no longer feasible.   Accordingly, a new commencement date of 1 July 2001 is adopted.

 

As various Schedules contain application provisions which operate by reference to the commencement date, those provisions are amended to refer to the new commencement date.

 

Financial Impact:

 

The change to the commencement date means there will be no savings from the measures introduced by the Bill for the year 2000-01.  The savings for other years is unaffected by the change to the commencement date.

 

Schedule 1 - Amendment to the Social Security Act 1991

 

One amendment to Schedule 1 omits a reference to ‘3 months’ and substitutes a reference to ‘90 days’.  A further amendment clarifies that the use of legal proceedings or garnishee action is available where, amongst other requirements, the debtor has entered an arrangement to repay the debt but has failed to comply with that arrangement.

 

There are no financial implications from these amendments.

 

Schedule 3 - Amendment to the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999

 

An amendment is made to Schedule 3 which omits a reference to ‘3 months’ and substitutes a reference to ‘90 days’.

 

There are no financial implications from this amendment.

 



FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SERVICES AND VETERANS’ AFFAIRS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (DEBT RECOVERY) BILL 2000

 

Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government

 

NOTES ON AMENDMENTS

 

 

(Amendments relating to the commencement date)

 

Amendment Nos. 1, 3, 5 to 11, 13 to 24

 

These amendments provide for a new commencement date of 1 July 2001.  As various Schedules to the Bill contain application provisions which use the commencement date as a reference, the amendments also change those provisions so that they correctly refer to the new commencement date.

 

(Amendments relating to the Social Security Act 1991)

 

Amendment No. 2

 

Senate amendment No. 7 provides for paragraph (c) to be inserted into subsection 1229A(4).  At present, the Senate amendment contains 2 references to a period of 3 months.   As a general approach, the Social Security Act 1991 refers to periods in terms of ‘days’ rather than ‘months’.  To ensure consistency, Amendment No 2 substitutes the references to 3 months with references to the period of 90 days.

 

Amendment No. 4

 

Senate amendment No. 13 provides for new subsections 1230C(2) and (3).  The effect of new paragraph 1230C(2)(b) is that, prior to being able to instigate recovery of debts by legal proceedings or garnishee notice as contemplated by section 1230C, Centrelink must first establish that the person who owes the debt has failed to enter into a reasonable arrangement to repay the debt.  As it is currently phrased, the amendment could be read as merely requiring a person to enter an arrangement, without any requirement that the person be complying with the terms of the arrangement.   This would be an undesirable outcome and would also be inconsistent with the approach adopted elsewhere in the Bill.

 

The effect of Amendment No. 4 is that legal proceedings or garnishee action can also be undertaken where the debtor, having entered an arrangement to repay the debt, fails to make a particular payment in compliance with that arrangement.

 



(Amendments relating to the A New Tax System (Family Assistance)(Administration) Act 1999)

 

Amendment No. 12

 

Senate amendment No. 32 provides for paragraph (c) to be added to subsection 78(4).  At present, the Senate amendment contains 2 references to a period of 3 months.  As a general approach, the A New Tax System (Family Assistance)(Administration) Act 1999 refers to periods in terms of ‘days’ rather than ‘months’.  To ensure consistency, Amendment No 12 substitutes the references to 3 months with references to the period of 90 days.