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Social Security Appeals Tribunal—Report for 2013-14


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ISSN: 1035-7750

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l e t t e r o f t r a n s m i t ta l 31 October 2014

The Hon. Kevin Andrews MP Minister for Social Services Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Minister,

In accordance with clause 25(1) of Schedule 3 of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, I present to you the Annual Report of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal covering the Tribunal’s operations for the year ended 30 June 2014.

Yours sincerely,

Jane Macdonnell

Principal Member

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1 THE YEAR IN REVIEW Principal Member’s overview 2

CHAPTER 2 OVERVIEW OF THE SSAT Role and functions 5

Organisation of the SSAT 6

CHAPTER 3 PERFORMANCE Overview 9

Outcomes of applications for review 9

Performance measures and results 12

Complaints 22

CHAPTER 4 MANAGEMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY Governance 24

External scrutiny 24

Human resource management 24

Purchasing 27

Consultants 27

Contracts 27

Other information 27

CHAPTER 5 FINANCIAL STATEMENTS 30

CHAPTER 6 APPENDICES APPENDIX 1 - Members of the SSAT as at 30 June 2014 47

APPENDIX 2 - SSAT staffing as at 30 June 2014 51

APPENDIX 3 - Application processing statistics 52

APPENDIX 4 - Application outcomes 55

APPENDIX 5 - Workplace health and safety 58

APPENDIX 6 - Environmental performance reporting 59

APPENDIX 7 - Legal services expenditure statement 60

APPENDIX 8 - Corrections to last year’s report 61

APPENDIX 9 - Decisions of interest 62

APPENDIX 10 - Access to justice activities 67

APPENDIX 11 - Contact details 69

GLOSSARY 71

LIST OF REQUIREMENTS 72

INDEX 75

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CHAPTER 1 THE YEAR IN REVIEW

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PRINCIPAL MEMBER’S OVERVIEW The 2013-14 year was another busy year for the Social Security Appeals Tribunal (SSAT).

The number of applications for review by the SSAT again increased in the reporting period (by 2%) to 12,489. The average cost of finalisation of an application for review again fell slightly to $2,176.

As some applications for review by the SSAT cover multiple decisions, the SSAT finalised applications for review of 14,013 decisions. In so doing, the SSAT held 703 directions hearings and 10,205 hearings. These figures do not include further hearings of applications which were adjourned to accord fairness to a party.

The SSAT was constituted by a single member for 90% of the hearings of reviews in the reporting period (up from 86% in the previous year). It continued to be more common for the SSAT to be constituted by two members to hear reviews of child support decisions than of other decisions.

Applications for review of decisions made by officers employed in the Department of Human Services’ Centrelink offices rose by 3% whereas applications for review of decisions of delegates of the Child Support Registrar fell by 5%.

There were changes in the profile of applications to the SSAT for review of Centrelink decisions of which the most material was an increase in the number of applications for review of decisions about family tax benefit.

The SSAT’s average time for finalisation of an application for review of a Centrelink decision fell from 8.3 weeks to 7.5 weeks, and for child support reviews from 12.7 weeks to 12.5 weeks. The number of statutory appeals against decisions of the SSAT made on reviews about child support rose from 38 to 46. However, the success rate fell from 17%1 the previous year to 5%.

1 The success rate was reported as 20% last year but was 17% due to the SSAT being notified outside the last reporting period of some judgments delivered in 2012-13.

These achievements are due to the dedication of members and staff of the SSAT and I commend them for it.

The SSAT continues to pursue ways to further enhance attainment of its statutory objective of providing a mechanism of review that is fair, just, economical, informal and quick and to enhance awareness and understanding of that mechanism.

In September-October 2013, the SSAT launched a new intranet site to assist members and staff, and a new internet site to assist persons to make applications for review and to prepare for a hearing. Visitors to the SSAT’s internet site can view a mock directions hearing and a mock hearing of a child support review. They can also view comparative data on the SSAT’s performance for each quarter from 1 July 2013.

Since 28 May 2014, an application for review by the SSAT can be lodged online via the SSAT’s website. The SSAT expects that this option will become increasingly popular and increase the efficiency of case management.

The Department of Human Services was unable to commence sending the relevant papers for reviews of Centrelink decisions to the SSAT by electronic transfer during the reporting period (as I had foreshadowed in last year’s report) but such transfer of papers in an indexed and fully searchable electronic form is now in the test phase.

During the reporting period, the SSAT continued its community education activities about the right of review by the SSAT and the review process. However, there has been no increase in the number of applications for review made to the SSAT by persons identifying as indigenous.

At 1 July 2014, the SSAT had 127 members of which seven part-time members are inactive but have not resigned. Eighty-eight per cent of the SSAT’s members are part-time and akin to sessional members.

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In the course of 2013-14, the SSAT farewelled the following members with gratitude for their contribution to the SSAT’s achievements:

Rhonda Bradley (Deputy Principal Member WA/SA)

Glynis Bartley (Senior Member NSW/ACT)

Karen Peacock (Senior Member NSW/ACT)

Troy Barty (Full-time member VIC)

David Barker, Linda Blue, Meredith Boroky, Moira Brophy, Jane Deamer, William Kennedy, Maxine Lacey, Wayne Mitchell, Linda Rogers, Kim Rosser, Gregory Tillett (Part-time members NSW/ACT)

Stavros Georgiadis (Part-time member SA)

Clare-Maree O’Brien (Part-time member VIC)

Robert Fitzgerald (Part-time member WA)

No appointments were made to the SSAT during the reporting period, other than the two appointments made shortly after the end of the last reporting period as reported in last year’s annual report.

Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the SSAT. In that time, the SSAT and the law which it must apply has experienced much change but the SSAT has never lost sight of the fact that it exists for its users who include some of Australia’s most disadvantaged people.

The most significant challenge for the SSAT in 2014-15 is continuing to build on its performance while preparing for the tribunal amalgamation and policy changes announced by Government in its recent Budget. The SSAT is responding to that challenge by progressively moving from management of its workload on a geographic basis to a national subject matter basis. Reviews will be classified into three streams each of which will be headed by a Deputy Principal Member. This management

model offers increased specialisation and thereby increases in efficiency and consistency of decision-making. It is realisable through the commitment and leadership displayed by the three Deputy Principal Members and the Registrar throughout the reporting period.

As the SSAT is not an Executive Agency pursuant to the Public Service Act 1999 (nor a prescribed agency under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997), the “Requirements for Annual Reports” issued under the former Act do not apply to the SSAT. However, in preparing this Annual Report, the SSAT has had regard to the “Requirements for Annual Reports” (particularly to the principles underlying annual reporting requirements) and followed those requirements where practicable.

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CHAPTER 2 OVERVIEW OF THE SSAT

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ROLE AND FUNCTIONS Establishment The Social Security Appeals Tribunal (SSAT) was established by Ministerial Instruction in 1975 and by the Social Security Act 1947 in 1988. The SSAT’s existence was continued by the Social Security Act 1991 and then by the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999.

The SSAT’s role is to undertake merits review of those decisions in respect of which jurisdiction is conferred on the SSAT. Merits review requires the SSAT to make the legally correct decision and, where more than one decision would be legally correct, the preferable decision on the evidence and material which is before the SSAT.

In carrying out its statutory functions, the SSAT is required to pursue the objective of providing a mechanism of review that is fair, just, economical, informal and quick.

The SSAT is within the portfolio of the Minister for Social Services, in the Department of Social Services (DSS). The Principal Member is required to give the Minister a report of the operations of the SSAT during the year.

Jurisdiction The SSAT reviews decisions made under the Social Security Act 1991, Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999, A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999, Paid Parental Leave Act 2010, Student Assistance Act 1973, and the Farm Household Support Act 1992.

The SSAT also reviews decisions about entitlement to health care cards, and decisions regarding the amount of arrears of service pension payable under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 where the veteran’s partner was receiving a social security payment.

The reviewable decisions made under these Acts are made by officers of the Department of Human Services (DHS) employed in Centrelink offices. These decisions are referred to in this report as “Centrelink decisions”. Except where otherwise indicated in this

Annual Report, decisions under the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 are included in “Centrelink decisions”.

The SSAT also reviews decisions made under the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 and the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988 by officers of DHS employed in offices known as the Child Support Agency (CSA). These decisions are referred to in this Annual Report as “child support decisions”.

The SSAT cannot review a Centrelink decision unless that decision has been reviewed by an authorised review officer ( ARO). It is the practice of Centrelink to treat an application to the SSAT for review of a decision, which has not been reviewed by an ARO, as a request for review by an ARO.

The SSAT cannot review a child support decision unless that decision has been the subject of an objection and a decision on the objection has been made by the Child Support Registrar. It is not the practice of the CSA to automatically treat the application to the SSAT for review of a decision, which has not been reviewed by an objections officer, as an application for review by an objections officer.

The CSA sometimes rejects an objection on the basis that it is not “valid”, and adopts the view that the SSAT has no jurisdiction. However, the SSAT may decide to conduct a hearing for the purpose of deciding whether it has jurisdiction.

Powers The powers exercisable by the SSAT, or its Principal Member, for the purposes of a review are set out in the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999, the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988 and the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010.

In reviewing a decision, the SSAT is not bound by legal technicalities, legal forms or rules of evidence and must act as speedily as a proper consideration of the review allows. In determining what a proper consideration requires, the SSAT must have regard to its

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statutory objective of providing a mechanism of review that is fair, just, economical, informal and quick.

The SSAT may exercise the powers and discretions of the decision-maker (subject to some exceptions).

Unless an application for review by the SSAT is discontinued, withdrawn or dismissed, the SSAT must make a decision to affirm, vary or set aside the reviewable decision.

Where the SSAT sets aside a decision, the SSAT may either substitute a new decision or send the matter back to Centrelink or the CSA (as the case may be) for reconsideration in accordance with any directions or recommendations of the SSAT.

ORGANISATION OF THE SSAT Membership The SSAT is composed of its members who are appointed by the Governor-General on a full-time or part-time basis (with the exception of the Principal Member who must be appointed on a full-time basis). Appointments are usually made for a term of five years. Members may be reappointed. Appointments and reappointments usually take effect from 1 January or 1 July each year.

At 30 June 2014, the SSAT comprised the Principal Member, three full-time Deputy Principal Members, one full-time Senior Member, 11 full-time members and 113 part-time members, seven of whom were not available to hear reviews.

The names and qualifications of the members of the SSAT are listed in Appendix 1.

Principal Member The Principal Member of the SSAT is responsible for the overall operation and administration of the SSAT.

The Principal Member is required to monitor the operations of the SSAT and to take reasonable steps to ensure that decisions of the SSAT are consistent and that the SSAT efficiently and effectively performs its functions. The Principal Member may give directions to increase the efficiency of the operations of the SSAT and as to the arrangement of business of the SSAT.

Deputy Principal Members Deputy Principal Members assist the Principal Member in the operation and administration of the SSAT. On expiry of the appointment of the Deputy Principal Member responsible for the operations of the SSAT in Western Australia and South Australia on 31 March 2014, the Deputy Principal Member in Queensland took on that responsibility.

TABLE 2 DEPUTY PRINCIPAL MEMBERS AT 30 JUNE 2014

State Deputy Principal Member

NSW / ACT Suellen Bullock

VIC / TAS Irene Tsiakas

QLD / NT / WA / SA Jim Walsh

Senior Members Since the expiry on 31 March 2014 of the appointments of the two Senior Members in New South Wales, the SSAT has had only one Senior Member who is located in South Australia.

TABLE 1 TRIBUNAL MEMBERSHIP, 30 JUNE 2014

Category of member Full-time Part-time Total (Women)

Principal Member 1 - 1 (1)

Deputy Principal Members 3 - 3 (2)

Senior Members 1 - 1 (0)

Members 11 113 124 (73)

TOTAL 16 113 129 (76)

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Staff

Registrar The Registrar of the SSAT is not a statutory office and is a Senior Executive Service Band 1.

Clause 24 of Schedule 3 to the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 stipulates that any staff required to assist the SSAT are to be persons appointed or employed by the Secretary (to DSS) under the Public Service Act 1999 and made available for that purpose to the SSAT. In practice, employees are engaged in exercise of power delegated by the Secretary to the Registrar.

See Appendix 2 for staffing information.

Registries The Registrar is located in the SSAT’s National Office in Melbourne. The National Office is responsible for management of finances, premises, assets, information technology, and related services. The National Office also houses a member support unit which provides research assistance, case law and legislative amendment alerts, conference papers and materials to members.

The SSAT has a registry in the capital city of each State. The District Registrars report to the Registrar.

Funding of the SSAT Funding for the SSAT’s operational costs (member remuneration, staff salaries, property, information technology and other administrative expenses) and capital costs is provided by DSS. The SSAT is subject to annual productivity dividends.

Administrative arrangements Subsection 10(1) of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 permits the Secretary of DSS and the Principal Member to agree on administrative arrangements to further the objectives of Part 4 of that Act (“Review of Decisions”). No arrangements are in place in relation to the SSAT’s review of decisions. However, in carrying out administrative functions delegated by the Secretary, SSAT staff use DSS’s payroll and financial systems.

FIGURE 1 SSAT ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE

Principal Member The Principal Member of the SSAT is responsible for the overall operation and administration of the SSAT.

The Principal Member is required to monitor the operations of the SSAT and to take reasonable steps to ensure that decisions of the SSAT are consistent and that the SSAT efficiently and effectively performs its functions. The Principal Member may give directions to increase the efficiency of the operations of the SSAT and as to the arrangement of business of the SSAT.

Deputy Principal Members Deputy Principal Members assist the Principal Member in the operation and administration of the SSAT. On expiry of the appointment of the Deputy Principal Member responsible for the operations of the SSAT in Western Australia and South Australia on 31 March 2014, the Deputy Principal Member in Queensland took on that responsibility.

TABLE 2 DEPUTY PRINCIPAL MEMBERS AT 30 JUNE 2014

State Deputy Principal Member

NSW / ACT Suellen Bullock

VIC / TAS Irene Tsiakas

QLD / NT / WA / SA Jim Walsh

Senior Members Since the expiry on 31 March 2014 of the appointments of the two Senior Members in New South Wales, the SSAT has had only one Senior Member who is located in South Australia.

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CHAPTER 3 PERFORMANCE

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The SSAT is not an agency for the purposes of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997. For that reason, the DSS Portfolio Budget Statement does not contain an “outcome” for the SSAT.

The SSAT’s output is the finalisation of applications for review. Most applications for review by the SSAT are finalised by a hearing.

OVERVIEW The SSAT finalised more applications for review than it received during the year.

TABLE 3 APPLICATIONS BY TYPE, 2013-14

Centrelink Paid parental leave Child support Total

Applications received 10,454 157 1,878 12,489

Applications finalised 10,649 153 1,936 12,738

Decisions reviewed* 11,920 157 1,936 14,013

* Some applicants seek review of multiple decisions in the one application.

The total number of applications for review made to the SSAT in 2013-14 was 206 (2%) more than in 2012-13.

OUTCOMES OF APPLICATIONS FOR REVIEW The outcomes of applications for review are summarised below, and the outcomes for the previous two years are included to allow comparison. Further details are included in Appendix 4.

Centrelink reviews (excluding paid parental leave) The SSAT received 10,454 applications for review of Centrelink decisions in 2013-14. This is a small increase (2.5%) over the number of applications received in the previous reporting period.

TABLE 4 OUTCOMES OF CENTRELINK REVIEWS

Applications for review of Centrelink decisions 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14

Applications received 9,988 10,199 10,454

Applications finalised 9,530 10,389 10,649

Decisions reviewed* 10,633 12,507 11,920

Decisions affirmed^ 55% 60% 59%

Decisions varied/set aside^ 23% 20% 22%

Not reviewable / withdrawn / dismissed^ 22%1 20%2 19%3

On hand at 30 June 1,745 1,585 1,463

* Some applications in this jurisdiction include more than one decision. ^ Figures are given as a percentage of decisions of which review sought (rather than of applications for review). 1 Not reviewable 10%; withdrawn 8%; dismissed 4%. 2 Not reviewable 4%; withdrawn 4%; dismissed 12%. 3 Not reviewable 10%; withdrawn 6%; dismissed 3%.

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Figure 2 shows the main reasons for setting aside or varying Centrelink decisions.

FIGURE 2 REASONS FOR CHANGE OF CENTRELINK DECISIONS (EXCLUDING PPL)

Paid parental leave (PPL) reviews The SSAT received 157 applications for review of PPL decisions by claimants.

The SSAT finalised 153 applications relating to 157 PPL decisions during the reporting period, and affirmed the reviewable decision in 71% of the reviews.

TABLE 5 OUTCOMES OF PPL REVIEWS

Applications for review of PPL decisions 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14

Applications received 106 113 157

Applications finalised 87 123 153

Decisions affirmed^ 76% 75% 71%

Decisions changed (varied/set aside)^ 6% 11% 11%

Not reviewable / withdrawn / dismissed / not categorised^ 18%1 14% 2 18%3

On hand at 30 June 24 13 17

^ Figures are given as a percentage of decisions reviewed. 1 Not reviewable 5%; withdrawn 13%. 2 Not reviewable 1%; withdrawn 4%; dismissed 9%. 3 Not reviewable 12%; withdrawn 4%, dismissed 2%.

66%

25%

8% 1%

New information

Error of fact

Error of law

Special circumstances

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Child support reviews The SSAT received 1,878 applications for review of child support decisions in 2013-14, a decrease of 5% on applications received in the previous reporting period.

The SSAT finalised more applications (1,936) than it received.

TABLE 6 OUTCOMES OF CHILD SUPPORT REVIEWS

Applications for review of child support decisions 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14

Applications received 2,060 1,972 1,878

Applications finalised 2,227 1,900 1,936

Decisions affirmed^ 24% 24% 27%

Decisions changed (varied/set aside)^ 40% 41% 44%

Not reviewable / withdrawn / dismissed^ 36%1 35%2 29%

On hand at 30 June 414 423 327

^ Figures are given as a percentage of decisions reviewed. 1 Not reviewable 19%; withdrawn 10%; dismissed 7%. 2 Not reviewable 13%; withdrawn 6%; dismissed 16%. 3 Not reviewable 11%; withdrawn 13%; dismissed 5%.

The percentage of decisions affirmed by the SSAT is a little higher than in previous years. The fall in the number of applications for review which were withdrawn or dismissed (because the decision was not reviewable or for one of the other grounds in subsection 100(1) of the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988) resulted in the slight increase in the percentage of decisions which were set aside or varied.

Figure 3 shows the main reasons why the SSAT varied or set aside decisions of the Child Support Registrar.

FIGURE 3 REASONS FOR CHANGE OF CHILD SUPPORT DECISIONS

New information

Error of fact

Error of law

Special circumstances

41%

33%

13%

13%

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The main reason why decisions were not reviewable by the SSAT was that the applicant had not lodged an objection to the decision so that there had been no review of the decision by the Child Support Registrar. Of the remaining decisions which were not reviewed by the SSAT, the application in respect of those decisions was dismissed because it was withdrawn by the applicant, or the applicant and the other party failed to respond to correspondence from the SSAT or to attend a scheduled hearing.

PERFORMANCE MEASURES AND RESULTS The SSAT’s objective, as stated in the various Acts which confer jurisdiction on the SSAT, is to provide a mechanism of review that is fair, just, economical, informal and quick.

Economy As there is no fee for making an application for review to the SSAT, the economy of the mechanism of review is necessarily judged from the cost of the SSAT’s operations.

In addition to its base funding less efficiency dividends, funding is allocated to the SSAT for the estimated number of reviews which it will receive as a result of new policy. The SSAT received a net increase of $193,000. This increase was less than the full year effect of increases in the remuneration of members (determined by the Remuneration Tribunal following its 2012 review of remuneration of public offices and its 2013 annual review) and of staff (under the SSAT Enterprise Agreement 2012 to 2014). Nevertheless, the SSAT was able to operate within its funding of $29.117m.

Further information regarding the SSAT’s operating costs is contained in the Financial Statements which commence at page 30. Excluding unfunded depreciation, the SSAT had an operating surplus ($1.4m excluding depreciation and amortisation).

Cost of a review The SSAT’s cost per application for review is calculated by dividing the SSAT’s expenditure of $27.717m (excluding depreciation and

amortisation) by the number of applications finalised (12,73 8). The result is $2,176 per application for review (which is a 2% decrease compared to 2012-13).

However, this method of calculating the cost of a review results in an understatement of the costs of applications that are finalised by a hearing because the average cost is skewed by the number of applications which were finalised without a hearing.

The method also results in a substantial understatement of the costs of applications for review of decisions about child support (particularly of decisions on applications for a determination to depart from administrative assessment), which consume much more time from both SSAT members and staff than most Centrelink decisions.

While most reviews of Centrelink decisions are heard by a single member, the SSAT is more frequently constituted by two members for reviews of child support decisions (31% of reviews), particularly those involving an application for departure from administrative assessment. A directions hearing is also usual in such reviews.

The Department of Human Services (Centrelink) continued to work on ways to improve its provision of relevant documents to the SSAT and electronic transfer of indexed documents in an electronically searchable form is now being tested. A reduction in document handling and in the number of cases in which incomplete documentation is provided to the SSAT will improve the cost and timeliness of reviews.

Timeliness The SSAT must pursue a mechanism of review that is quick (among other things).

The Secretary of DHS must “send” the Principal Member a statement about the decision under review, and the documents which are relevant for the purposes of the review, within 28 days of receipt of the SSAT’s notification of receipt of the application for review.

In reviewing a decision, the SSAT is required to act as speedily as proper consideration of the review allows. The SSAT must give its reasons for decision within 14 days of making the decision.

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TABLE 7 PERFORMANCE AGAINST TIME STANDARDS

Step Standard 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14

Acknowledgement letter to applicant 5 days 100% 100% 100%

Receipt of documents from DHS (Centrelink) 28 days1 97% 99% 99%

Receipt of documents from the Child Support Registrar 28 days1 74% 96% 98%

Receipt of documents to directions hearing (child support reviews) 2 weeks² 4.6 3.6 3.9

Directions hearing to hearing (child support reviews) 6 weeks³ 8.9 7.5 7.1

Receipt of documents to hearing (Centrelink reviews) 2 weeks² 5.9 4.4 4.1

Last day of hearing/date of receipt of further material to making of decision (child support reviews) 1 week 3.14 0.42 2.0

Last day of hearing/date of receipt of further material to making of decision (Centrelink reviews) 1 week 1.6 4 0.04 1.3

Making of decision to giving reasons for decision 14 days >99% >99% >99%

Registration to finalisation (Centrelink reviews) 10 weeks 8.2 8.3 7.5

Registration to finalisation (Child support reviews) 15 weeks 14.2 12.7 12.5

1 The Secretary must “send” the documents within 28 days. 2 These are the minimum times for steps in a review in which the applicant (and any other party) is ready to proceed and fully co mplies with any directions. 3 This time can be abridged if the parties fully comply with directions given at the directions hearing. 4 These times wrongly included the time taken to give reasons for the decision.

The SSAT is seeking to achieve an average time of eight weeks from registration to finalisation by hearing for Centrelink reviews, and an average time of 14 weeks from registration to finalisation for child support reviews. Earlier receipt of relevant documents from the Department of Human Services and the more frequent delivery of oral decisions would enable reviews to be completed more quickly.

Informality In reviewing a decision, the SSAT is not bound by legal technicalities, legal forms or rules of evidence.

The SSAT conducts its hearings in rooms which do not have the formality of a court room. SSAT members elicit evidence by asking questions of applicants and any other parties. The Secretary and Child Support Registrar do not participate in hearings unless ordered by a delegate of the SSAT Principal Member to provide oral submissions. Such orders are made infrequently and such participation is limited to the making of submissions. The representative of the Secretary or the Child Support Registrar is not permitted to question a party.

Fairness The SSAT ensures that parties have received a copy of all of the material which is before the SSAT at the hearing, or which is received by the SSAT (and to be taken into account) after the hearing.

In child support reviews, it is common for a party to object to the other parent being given a copy of his or her material. The SSAT Child Support Review General Directions 2012 require that a copy of a relevant document given to the SSAT by a party be given to the other party but permit a party to request the SSAT not to disclose information in a document. The request must be refused if withholding the information from the other party could adversely affect the fairness of the review.

A copy of documents obtained by the SSAT in exercise of powers of the SSAT Principal Member must also be given to the parties to a child support review but require the obliteration of further information in some cases (such as tax file number and certain other numbers) and further information (such as a party’s residential address and other contact details if there is a family violence

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order to protect that party or the information is not publicly available and there is a history of family violence).

The SSAT ensures that the parties to a child support review get an equal opportunity to present their case at the hearing irrespective of whether one of the parties is legally represented. The representative is not permitted to question a party or witness but may ask the SSAT to put a particular question to the party or witness.

Where necessary to afford a fair hearing, the SSAT arranges the services of an interpreter (usually qualified at NAATI Level 3) to assist an applicant or other party at no cost to that person. The SSAT engaged an interpreter on 693 occasions at a cost of $157,853 in the reporting period compared to $175,319 in the previous year. The most common languages in which interpreting services were required were Arabic and Turkish. Interpreting was also provided in AUSLAN for hearing impaired parties.

FIGURE 4 (L-R) Ian Phillips, SSAT; Mark Shepley and Amanda Tsoundarou, Welfare Rights Centre; Jennifer Lock, AAT; David Thomas, DHS; Roula Karzis-Wyatt, SSAT; Amy Abagtsheer, Brain Injury Network SA; and Karen Leon, DHS meet in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, South Australia.

TABLE 8 INTERPRETER STATISTICS 2013-14

Hearing location Interpreters used Cost

NSW & ACT 389 $87,654

QLD & NT 23 $1,544

WA & SA 69 $11,393

VIC & TAS 212 $57,261

TOTAL 693 $157,853

Justice

Access to justice The SSAT seeks to improve access to justice through meetings, presentations, and other activities to raise awareness of the availability of review by the SSAT. A list of these activities on a State by State basis is included as Appendix 10.

During 2013-14, the SSAT particularly focussed on presentations to providers of services to indigenous persons in light of the low number of applications for review by the SSAT from persons identifying as indigenous. However, there has been no increase in the number of such applications for review.

The SSAT’s redeveloped internet site, which was designed to better inform prospective applicants of the way in which the SSAT conducts a review, ‘went live’ in October 2013. The SSAT created videos to illustrate key aspects of a typical directions hearing and a hearing in a review of a decision about child support, which are accessible from the website.

During the reporting period, Legal Aid NSW increased its duty lawyer service in the SSAT’s Sydney registry from one to two mornings a week. Appointments for the service are made through the SSAT which must receive authorisation from the party to make available the hearing papers to the duty lawyer. The authorisation is necessary because a hearing by the SSAT is private and the SSAT’s file is not accessible by a non-party (unlike most courts and tribunals). Due to the limited availability of the legal aid service, the SSAT notifies persons most in need of advice of that service. In

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this respect, the SSAT follows the approach of courts under pro bono legal assistance schemes.

During the reporting period, at the invitation of the SSAT, Victoria Legal Aid and Legal Aid Queensland respectively commenced a weekly duty lawyer service in the SSAT’s Melbourne and Brisbane registries.

In 2014-15, the SSAT will invite the legal aid bodies in South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia to provide such a duty lawyer service in its registries in those States. National Welfare Rights has expressed interest in working with its members and the SSAT to provide greater access to advice for applicants seeking review of Centrelink decisions.

All of the SSAT’s premises are wheelchair accessible. The SSAT provides teletypewriter and hearing loop services as well as AUSLAN interpreting on request. Applicants and other parties are invited to advise the SSAT of any special needs.

In addition to its hearings in all capital cities, the SSAT held hearings in Newcastle, Wollongong, Canberra, Mount Gambier and Bunbury.

The SSAT also held hearings via video conference with parties in Albury, Armidale, Batemans Bay, Bathurst, Bega, Bridgetown, Broome, Bunbury, Bundaberg, Burdekin, Byron Bay, Cairns, Campbelltown, Cannonvale, Casino, Coffs Harbour, Condoblin, Cooktown, Cooma, Cootamundra, Darwin, Deniliquin, Dubbo, Finley, Forbes, Forster, Geraldton, Gilgandra, Gladstone, Gosford, Grafton, Griffith, Gunnedah, Hervey Bay, Kempsey, Kingaroy, Lismore, Lithgow, Mackay, Maryborough, Moruya, Mudgee, Mullumbimby, Muswellbrook, Nyngan, Orange, Parkes, Port Macquarie, Rockhampton, Tamworth, Taree, Toowoomba, Townsville, Tumut, Ulladulla, Wagga, Wauchope, West Wyalong and Yeppoon.

PHOTO: PENNY CLAY PHOTOGRAPHY

FIGURE 5 (L-R) Rachelle Johnston, Solicitor, Legal Aid NSW; Suellen Bullock, Deputy Principal Member NSW/ACT; Catherine Cudmore, District Registrar NSW/ACT; and Jackie Finlay, Solicitor, Legal Aid NSW meet to discuss the legal advice service in the Sydney registry.

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Apart from facilitating access to the duty lawyer service, the SSAT does not arrange legal assistance but provides details of community legal centres to those seeking legal assistance.

Correct and preferable decision A “mechanism of review” that is fair and just assists the SSAT to make the legally correct decision, and the preferable decision where more than one decision would be legally correct. The SSAT makes its decision on the evidence and material which is before the SSAT. It is not limited to the evidence and material which was before the decision-maker.

There are no objective and quantitative measures of whether the SSAT’s decisions are correct or preferable on the information before the SSAT. However, the SSAT monitors the outcome of judicial review and further merits review as an indication of whether it is making the correct or preferable decisions.

The avenues for further review depend on the Act under which the reviewable decision was made.

Further merits review - Centrelink decisions The decision of the SSAT on the review of a Centrelink decision can be the subject of a further application for merits review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). Having risen by 30% in 2012-13, the number of applications for review by the AAT of decisions of the SSAT rose by 7% in 2013-14.

The AAT changes some decisions of the SSAT to give effect to an agreement between the parties. These are referred to as decisions set aside or varied by consent in Table 9. As that table shows, the percentage of decisions of the SSAT which are set aside or varied after the AAT has reviewed the decision (which is referred to as “on review”) remained constant in the reporting period.

Decisions of the AAT are published on AustLII. Of the 92 published decisions in which the AAT reviewed a decision of the SSAT and then varied or set aside the SSAT’s decision in the reporting period, the SSAT has identified nine decisions as involving an error in interpretation or application of the law by the SSAT. Those nine decisions amount to 2% of the 449 decisions of the SSAT reviewed by the AAT.

TABLE 9 APPLICATIONS TO THE AAT FOR REVIEW OF SSAT DECISIONS IN CENTRELINK CASES

Number and outcomes of applications to the AAT 2011-12^ 2012-13^^ 2013-14^^^

Number of applications to the AAT 1,435 1,874 2,0041

Applications finalised by the AAT 1,433 1,684 1,966

Decisions set aside/varied by consent (as % of total applications finalised) 21% 16% 17%

Decisions affirmed on review ² (as % of Centrelink decisions reviewed) 75% 80% 80%

Decisions set aside/varied on review²(as % of Centrelink decisions reviewed) 25% 20% 20%

Decisions set aside/varied on review²(as % of total applications finalised) 6% 4% 5%

Source: The AAT. ^ Includes 3 applications for review of PPL decisions (which were withdrawn or dismissed). ^^ Includes 20 applications for review of PPL decisions (which were withdrawn or dismissed). ^^^ I ncludes 1 application for review of a PPL decision which was affirmed and 16 which were withdrawn or dismissed. 1 The increase was in applications for review of decisions about DSP and overpayments/debt recov ery. 2 “On review” means by a decision of the AA T other than a decision by consent.

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TABLE 10 OUTCOMES OF APPLICATIONS BY THE SECRETARY TO THE AAT FOR REVIEW OF SSAT DECISIONS IN CENTRELINK CASES

Outcomes in 2013-14 Year lodged TOTAL

2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14

Withdrawn 1 1 9 11 22

Dismissed by consent 0 0 0 1 1

Dismissed by operation of law 0 0 0 2 2

Set aside by consent 0 1 3 2 6

Set aside after hearing 0 0 3 6* 9*

TOTAL 1 2 15 22* 40*

* These figures are inflated because the Secretary lodged 5 applications in respect of 2 decisions of the SSAT .

In the remainder of the cases in which the AAT set aside or varied a decision of the SSAT (after review), the AAT took a different view of the evidence or was given evidence by a party which had not been provided to the SSAT. In cases involving disability support pension (DSP), the applicant or the Secretary frequently obtain further medical evidence for the purposes of the review by the AAT.

The SSAT has previously reported that it received no information about its decisions which were varied or set aside by the AAT with the consent of the parties. On occasions, applicants for review by the SSAT of decisions about debts have told the SSAT that they have sought review by the SSAT for the sole purpose of being able to apply for review by the AAT where they expect Centrelink will reduce the debt. From information provided by the AAT, there was an increase in the reporting period of the number of applications for review by the AAT of decisions about debts (24%). The majority of these applications for review (59%) were settled by the Secretary.

In early 2013, the President of the AAT put in place a procedure whereby if the Secretary (through DHS) conceded that the SSAT made an error of law, the Department would lodge a statement of the error of law with the proposed consent orders and a copy of that statement would be given to the SSAT. To date, the SSAT has not received such a statement.

Applications to the AAT made by the Secretary Each year, DHS publishes the number and success rate of applications made by the Secretary for review by the AAT of a decision of the SSAT.2 From the AAT’s decisions published on AustLII, it appears that only a small fraction of the number of these reported applications by the Secretary are decided by the AAT after a review. The SSAT has been unaware of which of its decisions were changed without a hearing by the AAT.

In 2012-13, the AAT’s decisions on seven applications by the Secretary (out of the 48 applications reported by DHS) were published. In 2013-14, the Secretary lodged 54 applications for review by the AAT of decisions of the SSAT and the AAT finalised 40 such applications for review as set out in Table 10.3

Of the six decisions of the SSAT which were set aside by the AAT after a hearing in 2013-14, only two turned on an issue of statutory interpretation (the meaning of the expression “living with” for the purposes of the Baby Bonus): Secretary, Department of Social Services v McGee [2014] AATA 53; Secretary, Department of Social Services v Lwin [2014] AATA 332. These two decisions of the AAT determined five applications for review by the Secretary.

2 DHS Annual Report 2012-13, Tables 61 and 62, page 199. 3 Information provided by the AAT .

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In the third case, the SSAT was constituted by a medically qualified member who found that the impairment of the applicant for DSP attracted the requisite 20 points. The Secretary obtained a specialist report and, on that new evidence, the AAT found that the person had 10 points: Secretary, Department of Social Services v Bunworth [2014] AATA 348.

In the fourth case, the advice given to the person by Centrelink about a compensation preclusion period was a significant issue and the Secretary called four customer service officers to refute the person’s account: Secretary, Department of Social Services v Muir [2013] AATA 831.

In the fifth case, part of a debt was waived by the SSAT on the basis of special circumstances and the AAT took a different view of the evidence: Secretary, Department of Social Services v Ruzicka [2014] AATA 341.

In the remaining case, the AAT found that arrears of totally and permanently incapacitated pension paid by a superannuation fund to the applicant and spent by her in the purchase of a house prior to her claim for DSP, should have been treated as income over the 52 weeks from the date of their receipt: Cole & Anor v Secretary, Department of Social Services & Anor [2013] AATA 536.

As decisions made by the AAT by consent are not published, the SSAT ascertained from the AAT details of the six cases in which the decision of the SSAT was set aside by consent and a decision was substituted. Those cases are summarised below:

• Case 1: Centrelink refused Ms B’s claim for DSP lodged, on 2 July 2012, on the basis that one medical condition was not fully treated and stabilised and the other attracted 5 points. The SSAT, constituted by two members one of whom was a medical practitioner, found on the basis of the medical evidence before it that both of the applicant’s medical conditions were fully treated and stabilised, and attracted a total of 25 impairment points under Tables 2, 3 and 4. The SSAT found that Ms B had a continuing inability to work because of her impairments as she had undertaken

a program oversighted by Interwork Inc. commencing on 11 March 2009 and that program met the guidelines in section 6 of Part 3 of the Social Security (Requirements and Guidelines - Active Participation for Disability Support Pension) Determination 2011. Interwork Inc. had advised Ms B to apply for DSP. On 13 February 2013, the SSAT set aside the reviewable decision and sent the matter back to the Chief Executive Centrelink for reconsideration in accordance with the direction that Ms B satisfied paragraphs 94(1)(a), (b) and (c) of the Social Security Act 1991 and had done so since the date of claim.

On 4 April 2014, the AAT set aside the SSAT’s decision as “the parties agree that the decision of the ARO was the correct and preferable decision, that is, the respondent was not qualified for DSP on, or within 13 weeks of, 2 July 2012”.

• Case 2: Centrelink refused Ms D’s claim for DSP lodged, on 19 June 2012, on the basis that her medical conditions did not attract 20 points or more. The SSAT, constituted by a medical practitioner, found on the basis of the medical evidence, the applicant’s evidence and the opinion of the job capacity assessor (a physiotherapist) that Ms D’s back condition affected her lower limb function and mobility. Her condition attracted 10 points under each of Tables 3 and 4, total 20 points. Ms D’s referral to a Disability Employment Service was finalised on 26 July 2012 when she exited from that service on the basis that further participation was not likely to be of any benefit. The SSAT found that the requirements of subsection 5(4) of the Social Security (Requirements and Guidelines - Active Participation for Disability Support Pension) Determination 2011 were met. Applying clause 4 of Schedule 2 to the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, the SSAT reasoned that Ms D’s claim is taken to be made on 27 July 2012 and she therefore qualified for DSP within the 13 weeks after the day she lodged her claim. On 8 May 2013, the SSAT set aside the decision under review and sent it back to the Chief Executive Centrelink for reconsideration in accordance with the

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direction that Ms B satisfied paragraphs 94(1)(a), (b) and (c) of the Social Security Act 1991 and had done so since 27 July 2012.

On 18 December 2013, the AAT set aside the decision of the SSAT on the basis that “the parties agreed that the Respondent did not satisfy s 94(1)(c) of the Social Security Act on the relevant claim date4 and that she therefore did not qualify for DSP”.

• Case 3: Mr E’s claim for DSP, made on 30 September 2010, was rejected on the basis that his medical conditions were not fully diagnosed, treated and stabilised. The SSAT was constituted by a medical practitioner who found on the report of the treating doctor (dated 24 September 2010) and the evidence of the applicant that he had chronic injuries to the neck and lumbar spine which had reduced his range of movement of the neck by 50% and the lumbar spine by 50%; the conditions were fully diagnosed, treated and stabilised; his impairment attracted a rating of 10 points under Table 5.1 and 10 points under Table 5.2; his functional capacity was most likely to remain unchanged over the next two years; and his medical conditions prevented him from doing any work or training of 15 hours a week or more for at least the next two years. On 20 April 2011, the SSAT set aside the reviewable decision and sent the matter back to the Chief Executive Centrelink for reconsideration in accordance with the direction that Mr E’s claim be reassessed on the basis that he satisfies paragraphs 94(1)(a), (b) and (c) of the Social Security Act 1991 and had done so since the date of claim.

On 19 June 2014, the AAT set aside the decision of the SSAT by consent because “the parties agreed that the Respondent did not satisfy paragraphs 94(1)(b) and (c) of the Social Security Act 1991 as at the date of

4 The expression “relevant claim date” is defined in s 3 of the Social Security (Requirements and Guidelines - Active Participation for Disability Support Pension) Determination 2011 as “in relation to a person and his or her claim for disability support pension, means the date on which the claim is made or is taken to have been made by the person”.

his claim for DSP of 30 September 2010 (or within 13 weeks of that date); and was not qualified to receive DSP in the period from 30 September 2010 to 26 July 2013”.

• Case 4: Mr P’s claim for DSP on 25 January 2013 was rejected on the basis that he was subject to a compensation preclusion period from 14 April 2004 to 22 May 2018. Mr P had accepted an amount assessed by the Claims Assessment and Resolution Service for the purposes of section 95 of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW). The SSAT characterised the payment as a settlement to which paragraph 17(3) (a) of the Social Security Act 1991 applied so that the compensation part of the lump sum was limited to 50% even though the assessment contained a larger amount for economic loss. This meant that the preclusion period had ended when Mr P lodged his claim for DSP.

By consent, on 20 August 2013, the AAT set aside the decision of the SSAT and in substitution decided that:

(a) t he applicant is subject to a lump sum preclusion period running from 14 April 2004 to 22 May 2018;

(b) special cir cumstances warranting exercise of the discretion under section 1184K of the Social Security Act 1991 exist such that the compensation preclusion period ends on 1 January 2013.

• Case 5: Centrelink decided that payment of DSP to Ms J was precluded from 11 April 2007 to 16 January 2018. The SSAT found that there were special circumstances which warranted the discretion in section 1184K of the Social Security Act 1991 being exercised to allow part of the compensation payment to be disregarded. On 20 March 2013, the SSAT set aside the reviewable decision and substituted a decision to treat the compensation payment as not having been made for the period that would allow Ms J to be paid DSP from 14 February 2013.

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By consent, on 20 August 2013, the AAT set aside the SSAT’s decision and substituted the following decision:

Pursuant to section 1184K of the Social Security Act 1991, so much of the compensation payment made to [Ms J] is to be disregarded so as to allow [Ms J] to be paid a compensation affected payment such as disability support pension from 1 July 2015.

• Case 6: Centrelink cancelled Ms R’s parenting payment with effect from 27 March 2012 on the basis that she was a member of a couple with Mr G (whose income and assets affected her eligibility to be paid parenting payment even at the partnered rate). Ms R applied to the Secretary for review of that decision on 15 March 2012 and the decision was affirmed on 18 May 2012. Ms R applied to the SSAT for review on 3 April 2013. The SSAT set aside the decision and substituted a decision “that Ms Rae’s parenting payment was incorrectly cancelled on 9 March 2012 and that she continued to be entitled to parenting payment from this date on the basis that she was not a member of a couple”.

On 28 August 2013, the AAT set aside the decision of the SSAT “that the decision takes effect from 9 March 2012 and substituted a decision that the decision takes effect from 3 April 2013 consistent with s 152(4) of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999”.

Further merits review - child support (care percentage)

The decision of the SSAT on the review of most child support decisions cannot be the subject of further merits review by the AAT. The only exception is a decision which involves the percentage of care which each parent (or the parent liable to pay child support and the non-parent carer) provides to the child or children.

Additionally, if the Principal Member refuses to grant an extension of time to apply for review by the SSAT of a child support decision, the applicant has the right to apply to the AAT for review of this decision. The Principal Member has delegated this power to full-time members of the SSAT.

Table 11 shows the outcome of applications to the AAT for review of decisions of the SSAT about the percentage of care, and for review of refusals by a delegate of the Principal Member of an extension of time in which to seek review by the SSAT of a child support decision.

TABLE 11 APPLICATIONS TO THE AAT FOR REVIEW OF SSAT DECISIONS IN CHILD SUPPORT CASES

AAT Applications Extension of time decisions Percentage of care decisions

2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14

Applications to the AAT for review of SSAT child support decisions 10 3 8 27 27 34

Applications finalised by the AAT 15 4 5 26 32 31

- SSAT decision affirmed 4 1 0 7 1 6

- SSAT decision set aside/varied 3 2 1 6 8 5

- SSAT decision withdrawn or dismissed 8 1 4 13 23 20

Source: AAT.

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Judicial review - child support

In the reporting period, statutory appeals were filed in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia against 42 of the SSAT’s decisions and in the Family Court of Western Australia against 4 of the SSAT’s decisions. This was an increase of 26% in the number of statutory appeals against decisions of the SSAT (following a fall of 18% in the previous year). However, the success rate of appeals fell markedly.

Proceedings were also commenced (but discontinued) in the Federal Circuit Court in relation to two decisions made by delegates of the Principal Member.

In the reporting period, the Federal Circuit Court finalised 35 appeals and set aside two decisions of the SSAT with the consent of the parties. One of the two appeals is reported as the parties could not agree on one of the orders: Stark & Sherman & Anor (SSAT Appeal) [2014] FCCA 685.

The Family Court of Western Australia (or the Magistrates Court of Western Australia) finalised four appeals, all of which were disallowed.

The percentage of statutory appeals which resulted in the decision of the SSAT being set aside fell to 5%.

Also, the Full Court of the Family Court allowed two appeals by the Child Support Registrar against orders of the Federal Circuit Court and the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia (as the former was then known) which had set aside decisions of the SSAT.

In the first of these two appeals, the Full Court concluded “that the Federal Magistrate was wrong in concluding that he was entitled to interfere with the SSAT’s decisions that the financial arrangements between Mr Crabbe and Ms W were a sham, and that accordingly, Mr Crabbe should be treated as entitled to a 50 per cent share of the company’s profit for purposes of calculating his adjusted taxable income for child support purposes”: Child Support Registrar v Crabbe [2014] FamCAFC 10 at [112].

The question of law before the Full Court in the second appeal was whether “the SSAT can, when reviewing a decision of the Registrar on an objection to a departure decision for a particular period, make a decision with

TABLE 12 STATUTORY APPEALS AND JUDICIAL REVIEW APPLICATIONS

Number and outcomes of statutory appeals and judicial review (JR) applications 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14

Number of appeals & applications to the FamCA or FMCA 43 35 44

Number finalised by the FamCA or FMCA/FCCA 48 44^^^ 35

Number discontinued or dismissed 40 39^^^ 33

Number allowed by consent 0 4 2

Number allowed after a hearing 13 (15^) 2 0

Number and outcomes of statutory appeals (WA)

Number of appeals to the Family Court of WA (FCWA) 3 3 4

Appeals finalised by the FCWA or Magistrates Court WA 3 3 4

Appeals allowed by the FCWA or Magistrates Court WA 0 2 0

Success rate of appeals & JR applications all courts 25% (27%^^) 17%^^^ 5%

^ One statutory appeal involved 6 decisions of the SSA T made over the period 2007 to 2010. Three of these decisions were set aside. ^^ Calculated by counting the statutory appeal covering 6 decisions as 6 appeals and therefore the number of appeals & JR applicat ions to the FMCA as 56 appeals. ^^^ These figures are different to those published in last year’ s report due to the SSAT being notified belatedly of some appeals having been finalised in the

previous reporting period.

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respect to a period other than the period to which the Registrar’s decision related”: Child Support Registrar v Ahern [2014] FamCAFC 105 at [38]. The Full Court answered that question in the affirmative.

The outcome of these appeals means that, in retrospect, the success rate of statutory appeals against decisions of the SSAT was overstated in previous reporting periods. The ultimate success rate was 15% rather than a 17% success rate in 2012-13, and 23.5% rather than 25% in 2011-12.

COMPLAINTS The registries received 118 complaints during the reporting period.

Most complaints were about decisions made by the SSAT to which District Registrars or Deputy Principal Members responded by reiterating the avenues for further review available to a person dissatisfied with a decision of the SSAT. Some of the complaints were answered by the Principal Member.

The National Office received 10 complaints. Most of these complaints were also about decisions of the SSAT and some complainants had already received a response from Deputy Principal Members that the SSAT would not (and could not) change its decision.

The SSAT also received complaints that a party to a child support review had breached a non-disclosure direction made by the Principal Member (or a delegate of the Principal Member) under the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1989. In most cases, it was apparent that what was alleged to have been disclosed was not a breach of the direction. On referral by the Principal Member, DSS investigates any prima facie breaches of non-disclosure directions.

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CHAPTER 4 MANAGEMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY

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GOVERNANCE The Principal Member is responsible for the overall management and administration of the SSAT.

Each mainland State registry was led by a Deputy Principal Member and a District Registrar until 2012-13 when the South Australian and Western Australian registries were brought under one Deputy Principal Member and a District Registrar. The Deputy Principal Members assist the Principal Member in the management of applications for review and of issues relating to members.

Since late 2013-14, the South Australian and Western Australian registries have been led by the Deputy Principal Member who is responsible for the operations of the SSAT in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

In 2014-15, the SSAT is moving to management of applications for review on a national list basis rather than a geographic basis. There will be three lists managed by the three Deputy Principal Members.

The Registrar assists the Principal Member in the management of the SSAT’s resources. The Registrar works with the Deputy Registrar - Tribunal Services, the District Registrars, and the Business Managers (located in the National Office) to develop nationally consistent procedures and adopt best practice in resource management.

The Principal Member, Deputy Principal Members and the Registrar comprise the SSAT’s leadership group and usually meet monthly (mostly by means of teleconference).

Members of the leadership group also chair or participate in committees responsible for specific issues or projects.

Committees The SSAT has a Health and Safety Committee whose primary focus is fulfilment of the functions prescribed for such a committee by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Some registries have a Wellness Committee to encourage healthy practices in the workplace and organise some social activities.

The leadership group plans continuing education activities for members.

The Audit and Risk Committee is chaired by Mr Robert Cornall AO.

EXTERNAL SCRUTINY The SSAT was not the subject of any report by the Auditor-General, a Parliamentary Committee, the Commonwealth Ombudsman or of an agency capability review during 2013-14.

The SSAT made submissions to the Commission of Audit, the Productivity Commission and the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Child Support Program in response to aspects of the terms of reference of their respective inquiries. The submissions to the Productivity Commission and the Parliamentary Inquiry have been published on their websites.

The SSAT participated in a collaborative audit by Comcare and the recommendations arising from that audit have been implemented to the satisfaction of the SSAT, the Secretary of DSS (as the employer of the SSAT’s staff) and Comcare.

The outcomes of reviews of decisions of the SSAT on applications for review are addressed in Chapter 3. In addition, the Information Commissioner affirmed a decision of the SSAT on an application under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT Employer of staff Staff required to assist the SSAT are engaged by the Secretary of DSS under the Public Service Act 1999 and made available to the SSAT in accordance with clause 24 of Schedule 3 to the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999. In practice, employees are engaged by the Registrar in exercise of power delegated by the Secretary.

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Profile of staff The number of employees at the SSAT, their gender and other equal employment opportunity data, and salary ranges is set out in Appendix 2.

The SSAT welcomed a trainee under the 12 month long APS Indigenous Traineeship Program which provides a structured introduction to a career in the APS.

The full-time equivalent of staff at 30 June 2014 was 82.39 (including two persons on long term paid leave) compared to 91.56 (which included three persons on long term paid leave) at 30 June 2013.

Workforce planning, staff retention and turnover DHS’ provision of the papers relevant to a review, rather than of files from which SSAT staff must extract relevant papers, means that the SSAT no longer needs to confine its recruitment of case managers to Centrelink or the Child Support Agency.

Staff turnover (exclusive of expiry of non-ongoing contracts) was 10.9%. Turnover includes two staff who have transferred from DSS to other agencies in the Australian Public Service.

Workplace arrangements The Social Security Appeals Tribunal (SSAT) Enterprise Agreement 2012 to 2014 was in force for the duration of the reporting period. That agreement expired on 30 June 2014 but continues to have effect until a new agreement is negotiated and approved by Fair Work Australia. The agreement did not provide for any increases in remuneration after 1 July 2013.

The SSAT’s staff will be covered by the agreement being negotiated for all staff employed by the Secretary of DSS.

Training and development Enhancement of skills of staff is a goal in the SSAT’s Strategic Plan for 2012-14.

In the last reporting period, the SSAT expressed its hope that DSS would offer places on its training and leadership development activities to the SSAT’s staff. This hope was not realised but DSS did run a “DSS Information Session” for SSAT staff.

Since the end of the reporting period, DSS has given SSAT staff a number of licenses to access the e-learning Foundation Course in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultures and Societies.

The SSAT is a party to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Learning and Development with other large Commonwealth merits review tribunals. The MOU requires the tribunals to consult about joint training activities and programs and offer training places where appropriate. The SSAT’s training officer is also a member of the Australasian Committee of Court Education network.

Through those networks, AAT staff attended training hosted by the SSAT on “Dealing with threats to harm”, and SSAT staff attended training hosted by the AAT on “Protective Security and the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013”.

In addition to such training, SSAT staff attended external training activities covering a broad range of topics such as:

• Privacy and Freedom of Information

• Prevention and management of bullying, harassment and discrimination

• Business analysis and project management

• Management and leadership skills

• Communicating, influencing and presentation skills

• Time management skills

• Specialist software and IT application skills

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Work health and safety (WHS) performance During the course of the year there were fifteen recorded workplace incidents. None of these was considered to be notifiable incidents and none was reported to Comcare. The SSAT did not have any claims for workers’ compensation during the reporting period.

The SSAT reinvigorated its stance against bullying and harassment with the issue of an updated policy “Preventing and responding to workplace bullying” and with workshops conducted over two days by Hilary Langford in each SSAT office to familiarise staff with that policy, develop communication skills to reduce unproductive interactions in the office and build a workplace culture where bullying cannot thrive.

Greater prominence was given to WHS issues on the SSAT’s new intranet and both updated and new material was added. The SSAT’s health and safety representatives were taken on a guided tour of the SSAT’s intranet to ensure that they could assist staff to locate relevant policies, forms and other material.

PCC Worldwide conducted a session on mental health in the workplace for National Office staff, which is to be repeated in each SSAT registry, to promote staff health and safety at work. An e-learning module to equip managers and employees with knowledge and skills to effectively respond to mental illness in the workplace, has been added to the SSAT’s intranet.

Under its Wellness Program, the SSAT supports several major health promotion activities including a flu hygiene program and Workplace Health Checks. Most SSAT registries have a Wellness Committee which organises activities to promote harmony.

The SSAT is not required to report on the matters set out in clause 4(2) of Schedule 2 to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (the WHS Act) because it is not an “agency” for the purposes of the FMA Act and not a “public authority” as that expression is defined in the WHS Act. However, the SSAT has included such a report, in the same format used by DSS in 2012-13, as Appendix 5.

Productivity gains Having brought the leadership of the SSAT in WA and SA under the one Deputy Principal Member and one District Registrar in 2012-13, the two registries were then brought under the leadership of the Deputy Principal Member who is responsible for the operations of the SSAT in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

An application for review by the SSAT may be made in writing to the SSAT or to an office of DHS, or by telephone to the SSAT. For the convenience of applicants and to avoid the need for registry staff to key application details into the SSAT’s case management system, an electronic application lodgement facility commenced in May 2014. In June, 78 applications for review were made online. Usage is increasing and is expected to become the preferred means of making an application for review in due course.

The reduction in the number of SSAT staff due to recruitment restrictions has meant that fewer staff (about 10% fewer on a full-time equivalent basis) are performing registry functions in respect of a similar number of applications for review and corporate services functions. This has resulted in an increase in productivity.

The SSAT has been working with DHS on the electronic transfer of the relevant documents for each review and is now at the testing stage of an indexed and searchable electronic file. The provision of the papers needed for a hearing by the SSAT in this way to the SSAT, and to parties, will save postage and/or handling costs to both DHS and SSAT as well as making it easier for SSAT members, parties and anyone representing them to locate pertinent information in the papers.

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PURCHASING The SSAT adheres to the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines - January 2005 which incorporates the Free Trade Agreement. Value for money is the core principle underpinning Australian Government procurement.

The SSAT adheres to all Whole of Australian Government (WOAG) procurement contracts.

The SSAT paid 94% of its accounts (99.7% by value) by electronic funds transfer with the remaining 6% (0.3% by value) paid by cheque.

CONSULTANTS The SSAT employed consultants to undertake work requiring specialist or professional expertise not available internally. Most consultants were engaged via open tender, or restricted tender based on previous good dealing.

During 2013-14, five new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total actual expenditure of $104,106. In addition, three ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the 2013-14 year, involving total actual expenditure of $98,857. The total cost of consultants in 2013-14 under all contracts was $202,963 (GST inclusive).

$1,970,037

$1,251,916

$202,963

0

500,000

1,000,000

1,500,000

2,000,000

2,500,000

2011-12 2012-13 2013-14

Value $

FIGURE 6 SSAT CONSULTANCY EXPENDITURE

The majority of consultancy expenses were for services in relation to the production of videos for the SSAT’s website, information technology and communication services, and legal services.

Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website at www.tenders.gov.au.

CONTRACTS During the reporting period, no contracts of $100,000 or more were let that did not provide for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises, nor were any contracts in excess of $10,000 exempt from being published in AusTender on the basis that they would have disclosed exempt matters under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

OTHER INFORMATION As the SSAT is not a prescribed agency under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, this report does not include an agency resource statement or Fraud Control Certificate.

As the SSAT is also not a “public authority” (as that expression is defined in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011), the SSAT is not required to include the matters listed in clause 4 of Schedule 2 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 in its annual report. However, information regarding matters of that kind is included in Appendix 5.

Advertising and market research As the SSAT is not an agency within the meaning of the Public Service Act 1999, section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 does not apply to the SSAT.

However, no advertising campaigns were undertaken by the SSAT in 2013-14. There was no expenditure on market research, polling or direct mail organisations.

The SSAT placed advertisements in major newspapers for applications for appointment as a District Registrar in either Perth or Adelaide, a Deputy Principal Member in either Perth or Adelaide, and a (medically qualified) part-time member in Perth, Melbourne and Hobart.

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Environmental performance reporting The information required by section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 is included in Appendix 6.

Care reporting

The SSAT is not a public service care agency as defined in section 4 of the Care Recognition Act 2010.

Grants

The SSAT does not make any grants.

Changes to disability reporting in annual reports Since 1994, Commonwealth departments and agencies have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007-08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service Report and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at www.apsc.gov.au. From 2010-11, departments and agencies have no longer been required to report on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020, which sets out a ten year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high level two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the Strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. The first of these reports will be available in late 2014, and can be found at www.dss.gov.au.

Freedom of Information Agencies subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) are required to publish information as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). This requirement is in Part II of the FOI Act and has replaced the former requirement to publish a section 8 statement in an annual report. Each agency must display on its website a plan showing what information it publishes in accordance with the IPS requirements. The SSAT’s FOI Publication Plan is available online at http://www.ssat.gov.au/information-publication-scheme.

FIGURE 7 (L-R) Claire Ivory showing her certificate for 20 years as an SSAT employee with the assistance of Jobsupport, with Shelley Wilson-Brennan of Jobsupport (beside Claire) and her parents, Sue and Paul Ivory.

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CHAPTER 5 FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

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FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

The Secretary of DSS provides funding to the SSAT. For that reason, the SSAT’s funding and expenditure is included in the audited financial statements in DSS’s annual report.

However, as neither the amount of the SSAT’s funding nor how the SSAT expends that funding is visible in DSS’s financial statements, the SSAT includes that information in its own annual report.

To permit ready comparison with tribunals and other bodies which are agencies under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, the SSAT uses the prescribed format for financial statements but the statements are not audited.

In 2012-13, the SSAT abandoned its previous practice of treating the fees paid to part-time members as “supplier costs” and included these fees as employee expenses. This treatment accords with that of other tribunals and properly reflects the fact that part-time members are members of the SSAT and not suppliers of services to the SSAT.

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SOCIAL SECURITY APPEALS TRIBUNAL STATEMENT BY THE REGISTRAR

The attached financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2014 are unaudited.

However, the SSAT financial statements form part of the Department of Social Services (DSS) consolidated financial statements. These statements are audited by the Australian National Audit Office and an opinion is provided by the auditor on whether, as a whole:

- The DSS financial s tatements are prepared in accordance with the Finance Minister’s Orders made under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, including the Australian Accounting Standards; and

- The y give a true and fair view of the matters required by the Finance Minister’s Orders.

In my opinion, the SSAT has prepared the financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2014 on the same basis as the DSS audited financial statements. The financial statements have been prepared based on properly maintained financial records and give a true and fair view of the matters required by the Finance Minister’s Orders made under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, as amended.

Louise Anderson Registrar 31 October 2014

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STATEMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME for the period ended 30 June 2014

2014 2013

Notes $’000 $’000

NET COST OF SERVICES

Expenses

Employee benefits 3A 21,918 20,775

Suppliers 3B 5,752 6,616

Depreciation and amortisation 3C 2,525 1,986

Finance costs 3D 18 13

Write-down and impairment of assets 3E 1 82

Losses from asset sales 3F 1 6

Other expenses 3G 27 183

Total expenses 30,242 29,661

Own-Source Income

Own-source revenue

Sale of goods and rendering of services 4A 92 225

Total own-source revenue 92 225

Gains

Gains from sale of assets 4B 1 20

Total gains 1 20

Total own-source income 93 245

Net cost of services (30,149) (29,416)

Revenue from Government 4C 29,117 28,924

Deficit attributable to the Australian Government (1,032) (492)

Total comprehensive loss attributable to the Australian Government (1,032) (492)

The above statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

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STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION as at 30 June 2014

2014 2013

Notes $’000 $’000

ASSETS

Financial Assets

Cash and cash equivalents 5A 131 76

Trade and other receivables* 5B 8,561 18,680

Total financial assets 8,692 18,756

Non-Financial Assets

Land and buildings 6A 5,085 6,490

Property, plant and equipment 6B 782 835

Intangibles 6C 2,663 3,358

Other non-financial assets 6D 173 -

Total non-financial assets 8,703 10,683

Total assets 17,395 29,439

LIABILITIES

Payables

Suppliers 7A 985 1,787

Other payables 7B 3,062 3,101

Total payables 4,047 4,888

Provisions

Employee provisions 8A 3,977 4,000

Other provisions 8B 669 673

Total provisions 4,646 4,673

Total liabilities 8,693 9,561

Net assets 8,702 19,878

EQUITY

Contributed equity and retained earnings prior year 4,013 14,642

Reserves 5,721 5,728

Retained earnings - current year (1,032) (492)

Total equity 8,702 19,878

The above statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

* Financial assets and total liabilities were adjusted by DSS by $10,775,634.05 on 27 June 2014.

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CASH FLOW STATEMENT for the period ended 30 June 2014

2014 2013

Notes $’000 $’000

OPERATING ACTIVITIES

Cash received

Appropriations 29,117 26,299

Sale of goods and rendering of services 163 240

GST received 727 872

Total cash received 30,007 27,411

Cash used

Employees 21,499 20,934

Suppliers 8,668 6,668

Total cash used 30,167 27,602

Net cash from / (used by) operating activities 9 (160) (191)

INVESTING ACTIVITIES

Cash received

Proceeds from sales of property, plant and equipment 1 -

Total cash received 1 2,972

Cash used

Purchase of property, plant and equipment 426 1,507

Purchase of intangibles - 523

Total cash used 426 2,030

Net cash used by investing activities (425) 2,030

FINANCING ACTIVITIES

Cash received

Equity injections

Departmental capital budget 640 2,240

Total cash received 640 2,240

Net cash from financing activities 640 2,240

Net decrease in cash held 55 19

Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the reporting period 76 57

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the reporting period 5A 131 76

The above statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS - NOTES

Note 1: Significant Accounting Policies

Note 2: Events After the Reporting Period

Note 3: Expenses

Note 4: Own-Source Income

Note 5: Financial Assets

Note 6: Non-Financial Assets

Note 7: Payables

Note 8: Provisions

Note 9: Cash Flow Reconciliation

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NOTES TO AND FORMING PART OF THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

Note 1: Significant Accounting Policies

1.1 The financial statements have been prepared on an accrual basis and are in accordance

with the historical cost convention, except for certain assets and liabilities at fair value.

Except where stated, no allowance is made for the effect of changing prices on the results

or the financial position.

The financial s tatements are presented in Australian dollars and values are rounded to

the nearest thousand dollars unless otherwise specified. Unless an alternative treatment is

specifically required by an accounting standard or the Finance Minister’s Orders, assets and

liabilities are recognised in the balance sheet when and only when it is probable that future

economic benefits will flow to SSAT or a future sacrifice of economic benefit will be required

and the amounts of the assets and liabilities can be reliably measured.

U nless alternative treatment is specifically required by an accounting standard, income

and expenses are recognised in the statement of comprehensive income when and

only when the flow, consumption or loss of economic benefits has occurred and can be

reliably measured.

Cer tain comparative amounts have been reclassified or adjusted to conform with the

current year’s presentation.

Note 2: Ev ents After the Reporting Period

Ther e are no known events occurring after the reporting period that need to be disclosed

in the financial statements.

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NOTES TO AND FORMING PART OF THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS 2014 2013

Note 3: Expenses $’000 $’000

Note 3A: Employee Benefits

Wages, salaries and members’ sitting fees 18,387 17,501

Superannuation:

Defined contribution plans 1,559 1,493

Defined benefit plans 1,412 1,222

Leave and other entitlements 469 497

Separation and redundancies 91 62

Total employee benefits 21,918 20,775

Note 3B: Suppliers

Goods and services supplied or rendered

Consultants and contractors 281 326

Stationery 80 78

IT and communication 1,930 2,563

Travel and accommodation 365 268

Motor vehicle expenses 28 29

Building expenses (excluding rental) 335 347

Training 85 162

Recruitment 36 81

Other 713 504

Total goods and services supplied or rendered 3,854 4,269

Goods supplied in connection with:

External parties 380 302

Total goods supplied 380 302

Services rendered in connection with:

Related parties 46 95

External parties 3,428 3,872

Total services rendered 3,474 3,967

Total goods and services supplied or rendered 3,854 4,269

Other suppliers

Operating lease rentals in connection with:

External parties:

Minimum lease payments 1,898 2,347

Total other suppliers 1,898 2,347

Total suppliers 5,751 6,616

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NOTES TO AND FORMING PART OF THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

2014 2013

Note 3: Expenses (continued) $’000 $’000

Note 3C: Depreciation and Amortisation

Depreciation:

Property, plant and equipment 271 396

Total depreciation 271 396

Amortisation:

Leasehold improvements 1,558 1,398

Intangibles:

Computer Software 696 192

Total amortisation 2,255 1,590

Total depreciation and amortisation 2,525 1,986

Note 3D: Finance Costs

Unwinding of discount 18 13

Total finance costs 18 13

Note 3E: Write-Down and Impairment of Assets

Impairment of plant and equipment 1 82

Total write-down and impairment of assets 1 82

Note 3F: Losses from Asset Sales

Property, plant and equipment:

Carrying value of assets sold 1 6

Total losses from asset sales 1 6

Note 3G: Other Expenses

Change in estimate of makegood provision 27 182

Foreign exchange loss - non speculative - 1

Total other expenses 27 183

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NOTES TO AND FORMING PART OF THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

2014 2013

Note 4: Own-Source Income $’000 $’000

Own-Source Revenue

Note 4A: Sale of Goods and Rendering of Services

Rendering of services in connection with:

Related parties 7 -

External parties 85 225

Total sale of goods and rendering of services 92 225

Gains

Note 4B: Gains from Sale of Assets

Property, plant and equipment:

Proceeds from sale 1 20

Net gain from sale of assets 1 20

Note 4C: Revenue from Government

Appropriations:

Departmental appropriations 29,117 28,924

Total revenue from Government 29,117 28,924

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NOTES TO AND FORMING PART OF THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

2014 2013

Note 5: Financial Assets $’000 $’000

Note 5A: Cash and Cash Equivalents

Cash on hand 6 6

Cash at bank 125 70

Total cash and cash equivalents 131 76

Note 5B: Trade and Other Receivables

Goods and services receivables in connection with:

Related parties - 18

External parties - 69

Total goods and services receivables - 87

Appropriations receivables:

For existing programmes 8,508 18,445

Total appropriations receivables 8,508 18,445

Other receivables:

GST receivable from the Australian Taxation Office 50 99

Other 3 49

Total other receivables 53 148

Total trade and other receivables (gross) 8,561 18,680

Less impairment allowance:

Goods and services - -

Total impairment allowance - -

Total trade and other receivables (net) 8,561 18,680

Trade and other receivables (net) expected to be recovered:

No more than 12 months 8,561 18,680

Total trade and other receivables (net) 8,561 18,680

Trade and other receivables (gross) aged as follows:

Not overdue 8,561 18,680

Overdue by:

0 to 30 days - -

31 to 60 days - -

61 to 90 days - -

More than 90 days - -

Total trade and other receivables (gross) 8,561 18,680

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NOTES TO AND FORMING PART OF THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

2014 2013

Note 6: N on-Financial Assets $’000 $’000

Note 6A: Land and Buildings

Leasehold improvements:

Fair value 6,542 6,542

Accumulated amortisation (2,029) (464)

Assets under construction 572 412

Total leasehold improvements 5,085 6,490

Total land and buildings 5,085 6,490

Less: Assets held for sale - -

Total land and buildings 5,085 6,490

During the period to 30 June 2014 there were no land and buildings identified as impaired and

written-down (2013: $0.0 million).

A net book value of nil (2013: $0.0 million) in land and buildings are expected to be sold or disposed

of within the next 12 months.

Note 6B: Property, Plant and Equipment

Other property, plant and equipment:

Fair value 1,122 909

Accumulated depreciation (340) (74)

Total other property, plant and equipment 782 835

Total property, plant and equipment 782 835

Less: Assets held for sale - -

Total property, plant and equipment 782 835

During the period to 30 June 2014, property, plant and equipment with a carrying amount of

$0.0 million (2013: $0.0 million) were identified as impaired and written-down.

A net book value of $0.0 million (2013: $0.0 million) for property, plant and equipment is expected to

be sold or disposed of within the next 12 months.

Revaluations of non-financial assets

A desktop revaluation review was conducted by DSS in June 2014. The revaluation review concluded

there was no material variance to the current asset value.

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NOTES TO AND FORMING PART OF THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

2014 2013

Note 6: Non-Financial Assets (continued) $’000 $’000

Note 6C: Intangibles

Computer software:

Internally developed - in progress - 880

Internally developed - in use 3,558 2,678

Accumulated amortisation (895) (200)

Total computer software 2,663 3,358

Total intangibles 2,663 3,358

During the period to 30 June 2014 no intangibles were identified as impaired and written-down.

No intangibles are expected to be sold or disposed of within the next 12 months.

Note 6D: Other Non-Financial Assets

Prepayments 173 -

Total other non-financial assets 173 -

Total other non-financial assets expected to be recovered:

No more than 12 months 173 -

More than 12 months - -

Total other non-financial assets 173 -

No indicators of impairment were found for other non-financial assets.

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NOTES TO AND FORMING PART OF THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

2014 2013

Note 7: P ayables $’000 $’000

Note 7A: Suppliers

Trade creditors and accruals 985 1,787

Total suppliers payables 985 1,787

Suppliers expected to be settled:

No more than 12 months 985 1,787

Total suppliers 985 1,787

Suppliers in connection with:

Related parties 19 2

External parties 966 1,785

Total suppliers 985 1,787

Settlement was usually made within 30 days.

Note 7B: Other Payables

Salaries and wages 695 259

Superannuation 49 45

Lease incentive 1,428 1,794

Operating leases straight-lining 681 740

Other 209 263

Total other payables 3,062 3,101

Other payables expected to be settled:

No more than 12 months 1,320 1,395

More than 12 months 1,742 1,706

Total other payables 3,062 3,101

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NOTES TO AND FORMING PART OF THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

2014 2013

Note 8: Pr ovisions $’000 $’000

Note 8A: Employee Provisions

Leave 3,977 4,000

Total employee provisions 3,977 4,000

Employee provisions expected to be settled:

No more than 12 months 1,405 1,080

More than 12 months 2,572 2,920

Total employee provisions 3,977 4,000

Note 8B: Other Provisions

Provision for restoration obligations 669 673

Total other provisions 669 673

Other provisions expected to be settled:

No more than 12 months 42 27

More than 12 months 627 646

Total other provisions 669 673

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NOTES TO AND FORMING PART OF THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

2014 2013

Note 9: Cash Flo w Reconciliation $’000 $’000

Reconciliation of cash and cash equivalents as per

Statement of Financial Position to Cash Flow Statement

Cash and cash equivalents as per:

Cash flow statement 131 76

Statement of financial position 131 76

Discrepancy - -

Reconciliation of net cost of services to net cash from operating activities:

Net cost of services (30,149) (29,416)

Revenue from Government 29,117 28,924

Adjustments for non-cash items

Depreciation / amortisation 2,525 1,986

Net write down of non-financial assets 1 82

Gain on disposal of assets (1) (20)

Loss on disposal of assets 1 6

Change in estimate for makegood provision 27 182

Movements in assets and liabilities

Assets

Increase / (decrease) in net receivables (639) 2,556

(Increase) / decrease in prepayments (173) -

Liabilities

Increase / (decrease) in employee provisions (23) (169)

Increase / (decrease) in supplier payables (802) 1,048

Increase / (decrease) in other payables (40) (308)

Increase / (decrease) in other provisions (4) 50

Net cash from operating activities (160) (191)

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CHAPTER 6 APPENDICES

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APPENDIX 1 - MEMBERS OF THE SSAT AS AT 30 JUNE 2014

National Office

Principal Member Jane Macdonnell BA, LLB (Hons) Full-time

Australian Capital Territory

Keith Horsley MBBS, MPubAdmin Part-time

Frances Staden BA (Hons), BPhil Part-time

New South Wales

Deputy Principal Member Suellen Bullock BSocStud Full-time

Diana Benk DipLaw, GradDipLegPrac, FANZCN - Acc Spec Mediation, GradCertMediation, ProfCert Arbitration, Advanced Diploma Financial Services & CIP, GradDipInsurance, GradDipTaxation Full-time

Jean Cuthbert LLM, LLB Full-time

Gary Richardson BEc, LLB, GradDipLegPrac Full-time

Kate Timbs BA, LLB, CertBusStud (IR), GradDipLegPrac Full-time

Angela Beckett BLegStud (Hons), GradDipLegPrac, BA (Hons), Diploma in Child Psychiatry, MClinPsych Part-time

Timothy Bohane MB BS, MRACP, FRACP Part-time

Tina Bubutievski BEc, LLB (Hons), GradDipLegPrac, CertIV Training & Assessment Part-time

Emeritus Professor Terry Carney LLB (Hons), DipCrim, PhD Part-time

Erika Cornwell BSW, Diploma of Family Therapy Part-time

Jenny D’Arcy BCom, LLB Part-time

Kruna Dordevic BA, BSocWk, LLB (Hons 1), GradDipLegPrac Part-time

Kathryn Edmonds LLB, GradDipLegPra, BA Part-time

Martin Glasson BAgr, MB BS (Hons), FRCS, FRACS Part-time

Adam Halstead CPol, AssocDegLaw, MLLP Part-time

Honorary Associate Professor Michael Horsburgh BA, DipSocWk, MSocWk, ThD Part-time

Penelope Hunter BA, LLB Part-time

Deborah Laver BSocWk Part-time

Julia Leonard Advanced Diploma in Community Service Management Part-time

Susan Lewis LLB, BA, PTC Part-time

Andrea Mant MBBS, MA, MD, FRACGP Part-time

Sally Mayne BA, DipEd, LLB, DipLegPrac Part-time

Jillian Moir BA (Hons), LLB, GradDipLegPra, BSc (Psych) Part-time

Gregory Pearson^^ BCom, LLB Part-time

Anna Popova # MBBS, FRANZCP Part-time

Paul Ryan BBus (Acc/Ec) Part-time

Angela Smith DipAcc Part-time

Robin Taylor MBBS, MPH, FAFPHM, MBA Part-time

Northern Territory

Heather King BA (Social Work), GradDip Human Service Practice Part-time

Ken Ross BA (Hons), BSocAdmin Part-time

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Queensland

Deputy Principal Member Jim Walsh LLB, GradCertMgt Full-time

Kate Buxton LLB Full-time

Matthew King LLM, GradDipLegPrac Full-time

Simon Letch BBus (Accountancy), LLB (Hons), GradDipLegPrac Full-time

Kaarina Ammala # BA, LLB Part-time

Matt Amundsen BA, LLB Part-time

Jane Bishop BA, BSc (Psych), LLB (Hons), DipMental Health Nursing, GradDipLegPrac Part-time

Alexandra Bordujenko MBBS, MPH, FAFPHM Part-time

Alex Byers BSc, BA (Hons), LLB Part-time

Jennifer Cavanagh MBBS, FRACGP Part-time

Glen Cranwell # GradDipBusAdmin, LLB, LLM, BSc Part-time

Professor John Devereux BA, LLB, (Hons), DPhil, GradDip Military Law Part-time

Neil Foster BA, LLB, GradCertArts Part-time

David Gillespie BCom, LLB, LLM Part-time

Jocelyn Green BA Part-time

Beverley Grehan MBBS, Master of Health Administration Part-time

Tina Guthrie LLB (Hons) Part-time

Patricia Hall MSocWk, BSocWk Part-time

Debra Harris # LLB Part-time

Peter Jensen LLB Part-time

Paul Kanowski BA, LLB (Hons), LLM Part-time

Robert King BA, DipEd, MA (Clin Psych), PhD, FAPS Part-time

David McKelvey LLB (Hons), LLM Part-time

Cathy-Ann McLennan LLM (Litigation and Dispute Resolution), LLB, Qualified Mediator Part-time

Bryan Pickard BCom, BLegStud, LLM Part-time

Stephen Pozzi BVSc, MBBS Part-time

Luis Prado # MBBS, FRACGP, FRACMA, FCHSM, FAAQHC, GradDipSPMed Part-time

Virginia Ryan ^^^ BA, LLB Part-time

Annette Sheffield MSocAdmin, BSocWk Part-time

Rosemary Stafford MBBS Part-time

Susan Trotter LLB, BCom Part-time

Patrick White BA, LLB, DipLegPrac Part-time

Judith Williams LLB (Hons), Accredited Mediator Part-time

South Australia

Senior Member Bruce Harvey BSc Full-time

Joanne Bakas GradDipLegPrac, LLB, BBus, GDipEd, BA Part-time

Steven Cullimore MA (Cantab.) Part-time

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Bronte Earl BSc Part-time

Julie Forgan ^^^ BEc, GradCert in Public Sector Management, GradCert Clinical Education Part-time

Mark Fuller MBBS, BA Part-time

Stavros Georgiadis^ BSc, LLB, GDLP, Master of Conflict Management, DipEd, GradDipSocSc (Rehab), GradCert in Mediation, Professional Certificate in Arbitration Part-time

Marten Kennedy BA, LLB (Hons), GradDipLegPrac Part-time

Donna Lambden BSocWk (Hons), MSocWk Part-time

Kate Millar BSocWk, LLB (Hons) Part-time

Jennifer Strathearn BScWk, LLB (Hons) Part-time

Bruce Swanson MBBS, BSc, BEc (Hons), MHA, FRACMA Part-time

Yvonne Webb LLB, GradCertLegPrac, Professional Certificate in Arbitration & Mediation, GradCertHRMgt, GradDipEd, DipT(Sec) Part-time

Allison Windsor MBBS, MPH Part-time

Tasmania

Kim Barker BA, DipEd, GradCert Counselling and Development, MAICD Part-time

Michelle Baulch GradDipBusAdmin, GradDipLegPrac, BEc, LLB Part-time

Christhilde Breheny BSc (Hons), BSocWk (Hons), PhD Part-time

Lynne Cretan # BMedSc, MBBS Part-time

Kay Rodda Part-time

Andrea Schiwy BCom Part-time

Victoria

Deputy Principal Member Irene Tsiakas LLB Full-time

Fiona Hewson MALP, BA Full-time

John Longo GradDipLegPrac, LLB, BA (Hons) Full-time

Inge Sheck Full-time

Robyn Anderson BCom Part-time

William Appleton MBBS (Hons), FRACMA Part-time

Stephen Bertram MBAcc, GradDipBusMgt, BBA, DipBusAcc, DipFS, FCPA, RTA, Approved SMSF Auditor Part-time

Wendy Boddison LLM, LLB Part-time

Annette Brewer BEc, LLB, Accredited Family Law Specialist Part-time

Niall Cain MBBS, FRACP, FRCP (Edinburgh), FCCP Part-time

Neill Campbell LLM, GradDip Practical Legal Training, LLB, BA Part-time

Amanda Ducrou BA, LLB, MBA Part-time

Margaret Fowler BA, BSocWk, LLB Part-time

Elaine Geraghty Part-time

Anne Grant BJuris, LLB Part-time

Helen Grutzner LLB (Hons), BA Part-time

Tamara Hamilton-Noy BA (Hons), LLB, M Public & International Law Part-time

Peter Higgins GradDipTech, Chartered Accountant (Fellow), Certified Financial Planner Part-time

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Stephen Lewinsky MBBS, GradDip Musculoskeletal Medicine Part-time

Christopher Main ^^^ MBBS, FRACGP Part-time

Geoffrey Markov MBBS, FRACP Part-time

Jack Nalpantidis BBehavSc, BSocWk, MBA Part-time

Paul Noonan BA, BBusAcc Part-time

Sophia Panagiotidis BA, DipCommunity Development, DipTeaching Part-time

Aruna Reddy MBBS, FRANZCP Part-time

Robert Richards DipBus (Acc), CPA Part-time

Harry Schwarz BA, MBBS, MPH Part-time

Alison Smith BA (Hons), LLB Part-time

David Stevens Council of Legal Education course for articled clerks Part-time

Andrea Treble BA, LLB, MPolLaw, PhD Part-time

Kenneth Warren BBus, CPA Part-time

Western Australia

Rosetta Petrucci LLM (Merit), LLB (Hons), MBus, BBus, CTA, FCPA, AIAMA Full-time

Karen Barrett-Lennard BSocWk, Certificate in Training and Assessment Part-time

Stephanie Brakespeare BA, GradCertPubPolicy, IAMA Certificate in Mediation Part-time

William Budiselik BAppSc (Social Work), GradDipBusAdmin, PhD, MIAMA Part-time

Anne Donnelly MBBS, GradDipHlthAdmin Part-time

Robert Fitzgerald^^ PSM BPsych (Hons), PhD (Psych) Part-time

Susan Hoffman BA (Hons), Master of Leadership, PhD Part-time

Michael Jones ^^^ MB, ChB, D(obst) RCOG Part-time

Christine Kannis BJuris, LLB, BCom Part-time

Maxina Martellotta BJuris (Hons), LLB (Hons), The Practitioner’s Certificate in Mediation (IAMA) Part-time

Professor Julie Quinlivan MBBS, PhD, FRANZCOG Part-time

Mark Woodacre GDipPA, GradDipEd, BA Part-time

^ Member’ s term expired on 30 June 2014. ^^ Member resigned after 30 June 2014. ^^^ Member’ s term expired on or before 30 June 2014 and member appointed to act for three months.

# Member appointed but not available to hear reviews.

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APPENDIX 2 - SSAT STAFFING AS AT 30 JUNE 2014

EMPLOYMENT BY GENDER AND REGISTRY AT JUNE 30 2014

APS Classification Male Female NO* NSW QLD SA VIC/TAS^ WA Total

APS1 0 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 2

APS2 0 9 0 3 2 1 2 1 9

APS3 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 2

APS4 12 24 0 9 7 4 12 4 36

APS5 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 2

APS6 11 8 10 4 1 1 2 1 19

EL1 3 6 5 1 1 1 1 0 9

EL2 4 1 5 0 0 0 0 0 5

SES Band 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1

Total 31 54 25 17 11 8 18 6 85

* National Office ^ 16 staff in Vic; 2 staff in T as

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY DATA AT JUNE 30 2014

Description

ATSI 3

NESB 13

PWD 4

Total APS staff 20

ATSI - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander NESB - non-English-speaking background PWD - people with disabilities Note: The data in this table is based in part on information voluntarily provided by staff.

EMPLOYMENT STATUS AT 30 JUNE 2014

Classification Salary Range Ongoing Non-ongoing Full-time Part-time IFAs^

APS 1 $44,137 - $48,635 2 0 1 1 0

APS 2 $50, 887 - $55,389 8 1 8 1 0

APS 3 $58,726 - $63,342 2 0 1 1 0

APS 4 $65,629 - $70,208 34 2 30 6 0

APS 5 $73,324 - $76,461 1 1 1 1 0

APS 6 $79,281 - $87,745 19 0 18 1 2

EL 1 $91,978 - $105,740 9 0 7 2 1

EL 2 $114,455 - $132,325* 5 0 4 1 2

SES Band 1 # 1 0 1 0 0

Total 81 4 71 14 5

* Progression to the maximum salary of Executive Level 2 can only be achieved where the Re gistrar is satisfied that the work value of the position justifies the higher salary point and the employee has managerial and/or professional technical skills to warrant movement to that level. ^ Individual Flexibility Agreements. # The Registrar’s remuneration is set by the Secretary of DSS, paid by DSS and included in SES remuneration in the Notes to DSS’ s financial statements.

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APPENDIX 3 - APPLICATION PROCESSING STATISTICS

CENTRELINK (EXCLUDING PAID PARENTAL LEAVE)

ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA TOTAL

Lodged 219 3,174 53 2,227 1,002 364 2,746 669 10,454

Finalised 238 3,195 55 2,322 1,021 403 2,744 671 10,649

On hand at 1 July 2014 26 522 8 269 126 30 392 90 1,463

Awaiting statement 5 203 6 101 45 12 156 45 573

Awaiting appointment 5 78 0 41 10 4 52 9 199

Awaiting hearing 8 161 2 91 45 8 104 26 445

Adjourned 8 34 0 7 6 1 31 3 90

Awaiting notification 0 46 0 29 20 5 49 7 156

Total decisions reviewed 252 3,424 69 2,626 1,127 445 3,250 727 11,920

Set aside 61 650 10 327 404 99 760 157 2,468

Varied 2 43 4 88 14 9 18 18 196

Affirmed 137 2,079 46 1,733 498 263 1,810 423 6,989

Total decisions reviewed at hearing 200 2,772 60 2,148

916 371 2,588 598 9,653

Not reviewable 16 340 5 246 114 39 391 54 1,205

Withdrawn 26 221 3 184 47 22 194 35 732

Dismissed 10 91 1 48 50 13 77 40 330

Total decisions finalised without hearing 52 652 9 478 211 74 662 129 2,267

ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA TOTAL 2012-13

Set aside rate 1 (%)^ 25.0% 20.2% 20.3% 15.8% 37.1% 24.3% 23.9% 24.1% 22.3% 20.7%

Set aside rate 2 (%)^^ 31.5% 25.0% 23.3% 19.3% 45.6% 29.1% 30.1% 29.3% 27.6% 25.7%

^ Set aside + varied as a percentage of all decisions finalised ^^ Set aside + varied as a percentage of set aside, varied & affirmed

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PAID PARENTAL LEAVE

ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA TOTAL

Lodged 10 40 1 24 12 7 40 23 157

Finalised 10 40 0 24 10 6 40 23 153

On hand at 1 July 2014 1 3 1 5 3 1 1 2 17

Awaiting statement 0 2 1 2 1 0 1 0 7

Awaiting appointment 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 3

Awaiting hearing 1 0 0 2 2 0 0 1 6

Adjourned 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

Awaiting notification 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Total decisions reviewed 10 40 0 24 10 6 43 24 157

Set aside 0 4 0 3 2 1 2 4 16

Varied 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2

Affirmed 6 27 0 19 5 4 36 14 111

Total decisions reviewed at hearing 6 32 0 23

7 5 38 18 129

Not reviewable 3 7 0 1 0 1 3 4 19

Withdrawn 0 0 0 0 3 0 2 2 7

Dismissed 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

Total decisions finalised without hearing 4 8 0 1 3 1 5 6 28

ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA TOTAL 2012-13

Set aside rate 1 (%)^ 0% 13% 0% 17% 20% 0.0% 4.7% 16.7% 11.5% 11.5%

Set aside rate 2 (%)^^ 0% 16% 0% 17% 29% 0.0% 5.3% 22.2% 14.0% 13.3%

^ Set aside + varied as a percentage of all decisions finalised ^^ Set aside + varied as a percentage of set aside, varied & affirmed

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CHILD SUPPORT

ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA TOTAL

Lodged 34 515 1 497 135 66 410 220 1,878

Finalised 34 530 1 483 141 68 431 248 1,936

On hand at 1 July 2014 6 97 0 82 23 6 82 31 327

Awaiting statement 2 42 0 25 16 3 19 13 120

Awaiting appointment 0 4 0 3 1 0 2 1 11

Awaiting hearing 2 36 0 47 5 3 46 16 155

Adjourned 1 9 0 4 0 0 8 0 22

Awaiting notification 1 6 0 3 1 0 7 1 19

Total decisions reviewed 34 530 1 483 141 68 431 248 1,936

Set aside 15 212 0 170 55 34 178 94 758

Varied 1 14 0 52 5 2 7 20 101

Affirmed 12 146 1 114 47 22 120 70 532

Total decisions reviewed at hearing 28 372 1 336

107 58 305 184 1,391

Not reviewable 1 55 0 69 11 4 41 26 207

Withdrawn 4 90 0 41 19 5 73 26 258

Dismissed 1 13 0 37 4 1 12 12 80

Total decisions finalised without hearing 6 158 0 147 34 10 126 64 545

ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA TOTAL 2012-13

Set aside rate 1 (%)^ 47.1% 42.6% 0 46.0% 42.6% 52.9% 42.9% 46.0% 44.4% 41.2

Set aside rate 2 (%)^^ 57.1% 60.8% 0 66.1% 56.1% 62.1% 60.7% 62.0% 61.8% 63.1

^ Set aside + varied as a percentage of all decisions finalised ^^ Set aside + varied as a percentage of set aside, varied & affirmed

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APPENDIX 4 - APPLICATION OUTCOMES

CENTRELINK (EXCLUDING PAID PARENTAL LEAVE)

AGE AUS CA CP CCB DSP FTB MOB NSA PP PA PB PES RA SA SPB YA Other Total

Applications received

2013-14 672 261 153 273 57 4,437 1,033 38 1,621 460 2 96 38 101 47 64 728 373 10,454

2012-13 775 182 199 261 32 4,404 746 33 1,743 459 7 91 59 90 41 77 567 433 10,199

2011-12 980 207 344 217 83 3,446 773 26 1,801 535 5 38 46 34 45 136 614 658 9,988

% of total

2013-14 6.4% 2.5% 1.5% 2.6% 0.5% 42.4% 9.9% 0.4% 15.5% 4.4% 0.0% 0.9% 0.4% 1.0% 0.4% 0.6% 7.0% 3.6% 100.0%

2012-13 7.6% 1.8% 2.0% 2.6% 0.3% 43.2% 7.3% 0.3% 17.1% 4.5% 0.1% 0.9% 0.6% 0.9% 0.4% 0.8% 5.6% 4.2% 100.0%

2011-12 9.8% 2.1% 3.4% 2.2% 0.8% 34.5% 7.7% 0.3% 18.0% 5.4% 0.1% 0.4%

0.5% 0.3% 0.5% 1.4% 6.1% 6.6% 100.0%

Decision outcomes

Set aside

182 80 42 55 12 659 331 3 511 168 2 17 9 13 9 12 270 93 2,468

Varied

22 15 1 1 0 21 51 0 40 19 1 0 1 3 2 0 12 7 196

Affirmed

349 142 112 155 44 3,320 684 27 979 284 2 60 35 70 36 35 369 286 6,989

Not reviewable

88 34 40 40 5 340 185 9 204 59 0 12 2 9 8 9 85 76 1,205

Withdrawn

45 17 12 24 2 227 115 3 118 43 0 7 6 8 3 13 56 33 732

Dismissed

6 7 1 7 0 46 49 0 145 17 0 0 2 3 0 0 41 6 330

Total reviewed*

2013-14 692 295 208 282

63 4,613 1,415 42 1,997 590 5 96 55 106 58 69 833 501 11,920

2012-13 958 201 285 317 86 4,449 1,239 41 2,609 653 12 114 82 100 51 99 694 517 12,507

2011-12 957 217 381 301 104 3,315 905 35 2,113 667 5 12 50 15 48 135 639 733 10,633

Set aside rate 1** (%)

2013-14 29.5% 32.2% 20.7% 19.9% 19.0% 14.7% 27.0% 7.1% 27.6% 31.7% 60.0% 17.7% 18.2% 15.1% 19.0% 17.4% 33.9% 20.0% 22.3%

2012-13 25.2% 32.8% 15.8% 22.1% 17.4% 15.6% 28.8% 9.8% 21.5% 29.4% 8.3% 9.6% 18.3% 17.0% 19.6% 18.2% 26.9% 15.5% 20.7%

2011-12 25.1% 24.9% 15.7% 20.9% 16.3% 20.4% 24.1% 20.0% 24.5% 26.2% 20.0% 8.3% 16.0% 0.0% 22.9% 25.9% 26.1% 19.1% 22.5%

Set aside rate 2** (%)

2013-14 36.9% 40.1% 27.7% 26.5% 21.4% 17.0% 35.8% 10.0% 36.0% 39.7% 60.0% 22.1% 22.2% 19% 23.4% 25.5%

43.3% 25.9% 27.6%

2012-13 30.6% 42.0% 19.2% 28.5% 25.4% 18.0% 37.5% 15.4% 28.7% 37.3% 11.1% 11.0% 27.8% 23.0% 25.0% 22.0% 36.2% 20.8% 25.7%

2011-12 31.3% 32.3% 19.5% 26.0% 23.0% 24.6% 32.6% 29.2% 34.2% 37.4% 20.0% 14.3% 23.5% 0.0% 31.4% 35.4% 33.0% 24.1% 29.0%

* Includes requests for reviews of multiple decisions within one application ** Set aside rate 1 = set aside and varied as percentage of all finalised decisions of the one payment type

Set aside rate 2 = set aside and varied as percentage of set aside, varied and affirmed decisions of the one payment type Abbreviations: AGE Age Pension AUS Austudy CA Carer Allowance CCB Child Care Benefit CP Carer Payment DSP Disability Support Pension FTB Family Tax Benefit MAA Mature Age Allowance MOB Mobility Allowance NSA Newstart Allowance PA Partner Allowance PB Pension Bonus PES Pensioner Education Supplement PP Parenting Payment RA Rent Assistance SA Sickness Allowance SPB Special Benefit YA Youth Allowance Other All Other Payments

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PAID PARENTAL LEAVE

Claimant decisions

Dad and partner pay decisions*

Employer decisions

Total

Applications received 2013-14 152 5 0 157

2012-13 113 n/a 0 113

2011-12 104 n/a 2 106

% of total 2013-14 96.8% 3.2% 0.0% 100%

2012-13 100% n/a 0% 100%

2011-12 98.1% n/a 1.9% 100%

Decision outcomes

Set Aside 16 0 0 16

Varied 2 0 0 2

Affirmed 109 2 0 111

Not reviewable 19 0 0 19

Withdrawn 7 0 0 7

Dismissed 2 0 0 2

Total reviewed 2013-14 155 2 0 157

2012-13 131 n/a n/a 131

2011-12 88 n/a 1 89

Set aside rate 1^ (%) 2013-14 11.6% 0% n/a 11.5%

2012-13 11.5% n/a n/a 11.5%

2011-12 5.7% n/a 0% 5.6%

Set aside rate 2^ (%) 2013-14 14.2% 0% n/a 14.0%

2012-13 13.0% n/a n/a 13.0%

2011-12 7.0% n/a 0% 7.0%

* Dad and Partner Pay was introduced on 1 January 2013. ^ Set aside rate 1 = set aside and varied as percentage of all finalised decisions of this type Set aside rate 2 = set aside and varied as percentage of set aside, varied and affirmed decisions of this type

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CHILD SUPPORT

Application for

assessment

Care

percentage decision

Change of assessment^ Child support agreement

Failure to

collect arrears Non-agency payment Particulars of

assessment Refusal of eot to object Registration

details

Other Total

Applications received

2013-14 37 453 826 12 13 113 213 96 52 63 1,878

2012-13 31 389 971 14 18 104 231 75 55 83 1,971

2011-12 21 356 945 10 25 115 285 123 47 133 2,060

% of total

2013-14 2.0% 24.1% 44.0% 0.6% 0.7% 6.0% 11.3% 5.1% 2.8% 3.4% 100%

2012-13 1.6% 19.7% 49.3% 0.7% 0.9% 5.3% 11.7% 3.8% 2.8% 4.2% 100%

2011-12 1.0% 17.3% 45.9% 0.5% 1.2% 5.6% 13.8% 6.0% 2.3% 6.5% 100%

Decision outcomes

Set Aside

5 174 450 2 5 28 42 28 15 9 758

Varied

0 32 59 0 3 1 2 0 4 0 101

Affirmed

19 138 125 6 3 48 110 37 22 24 532

Not reviewable

6 22 108 3 3 6 25 12 1 21 207

Withdrawn

3 68 131 1 1 14 31 1 2 6 258

Dismissed

1 24 31 0 0 1 9 5 5 4 80

Total reviewed

2013-14 34 458 904 12 15 98 219 83 49 64 1936

2012-13 31 371 907 20 17 107 226 98 51 72 1,900

2011-12 27 367 1,084 0 20 120 334 101 49 125 2,227

Set aside rate 1* (%)

2013-14 14.7% 45.0% 56.3% 0% 53.3% 29.6% 20.1% 33.7% 38.8% 14.1% 44.4%

2012-13 16.1% 47.7% 49.9% 0.0% 23.5% 27.1% 19.9% 32.7% 29.4% 25.0% 41.2%

2011-12 11.1% 45.0% 51.0% 0.0% 40.0% 16.7% 24.0% 31.7% 34.7% 12.0% 40.1%

Set aside rate 2* (%)

2013-14 20.8% 59.9% 80.3% 0% 72.7% 37.7% 28.6% 43.1% 46.3% 27.3% 61.8%

2012-13 26.3% 64.6% 80.2% 0.0% 50.0% 37.7% 31.7% 43.2% 42.9% 52.9% 63.1%

2011-12 20.0% 58.1% 82.2% 0.0% 66.7% 24.4% 38.1% 45.1% 47.2% 41.7% 62.9%

^ Please note that in Change of Assessment cases the liability to pay child support is likely to be affirmed but the amount of the liability may be varied * Set aside rate 1 = set aside and varied as percentage of all finalised decisions of this type

Set aside rate 2 = set aside and varied as percentage of set aside, varied and affirmed decisions of this type

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APPENDIX 5 - WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY

SUMMARY OF NOTIFIABLE INCIDENTS, INVESTIGATIONS AND NOTICES UNDER THE WHS ACT, 1 JULY 2013 TO 30 JUNE 2014

Action Number

Death of a person that required notice to Comcare under section 35 0

Serious injury or illness of a person that required notice to Comcare under section 35 0

Dangerous incident that required notice to Comcare under section 35 0

Investigations conducted under Part 10 0

Notices given to DSS under section 90 (provisional improvement notices) 0

Notices given to DSS under section 191 (improvement notices) 0

Notices given to DSS under section 195 (prohibition notices) 0

Directions given to DSS under section 198 (non-disturbance) 0

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APPENDIX 6 - ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE REPORTING

In relation to subsections 516A(5) and (6) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (assuming that the SSAT is a Commonwealth “agency”) paragraphs 516A(6)(a) and (b) do not apply because the SSAT does not engage in any development.

Paragraphs 516A(6)(c) and (d) require the SSAT to document the effect of its activities on the environment and what measures the SSAT takes to minimise its impact on the environment.

The activities of the SSAT affect the environment through its need for premises in which to carry out its functions and the use of electricity, transport, water and paper in carrying out those functions.

The SSAT minimises the impact of its activities on the environment by the measures set out in the table below.

The SSAT monitors its energy usage against the target per staff member set by the Department of Climate Change. Staff are periodically reminded of the requirement to switch off equipment before leaving the office.

The SSAT reports annually to the Department of Climate Change about energy consumption and subsequent emissions, and to the National Packaging Covenant (a collaborative agreement between government and industry) about disposal of materials, recycling and reuse.

The SSAT’s leadership group conducts most of its meetings by telephone to avoid the need for air travel, and requires most national meetings of staff to be conducted by telephone or video-conferencing.

Theme Measures

Energy efficiency Lights automatically switch off after a period of inactivity in the room.

Energy efficiency The SSAT purchases equipment with an energy saving mode. Staff asked to switch off computers, including monitors, and other non-essential electronic equipment in their work area when not in use.

Waste management Separate bins are provided in every office for recyclable, compost and general waste. Individual desk bins are for recyclable material only.

Leasing of accommodation New accommodation selected with regard to the building’s energy rating, with the aim that all SSAT premises will have a five-star energy rating.

Transport Conduct meetings by electronic means wherever possible rather than use transport.

Sustainability Recycled, recyclable and ‘environmentally friendly’ products and office supplies are purchased where available.

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APPENDIX 7 - LEGAL SERVICES EXPENDITURE STATEMENT

This is a statement of legal services expenditure* by the Social Security Appeals Tribunal for 2013-14, published in compliance with paragraph 11.1(ba) of the Legal Services Directions 2005.

Agency’s total legal services expenditure $47,984.21

Agency’s total external legal services expenditure $47,984.21

External expenditure on professional fees $47,984.21

External expenditure on counsel $0

N umber of male counsel briefed 0

V alue of briefs to male counsel $0

N umber of female counsel briefed 0

V alue of briefs to female counsel $0

Other disbursements on external legal services $0

Agency’s total internal legal services expenditure $0

Salaries $0

Ov erheads (includes administrative support and accommodation costs) $0

* All figures are GST inclusive.

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APPENDIX 8 - CORRECTIONS TO LAST YEAR’S REPORT

In table 4, on page 9, decisions varied/set aside in 2012-13 should be 20%, not 21%.

The number of applications for review of a decision about child support received in 2012-13 was 1,971 but was incorrectly noted as 1,972 on page 10 of the report.

On page 39, member Glen Cranwell’s qualification LLB should read LLB (Hons).

On page 46 the ‘set aside rate 2’ for Centrelink in 2011-12 should read 29.0%, not 32.5% (which is the figure for 2010-11).

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APPENDIX 9 - DECISIONS OF INTEREST

AUSTUDY Whether part-time enrolment in two courses meets the full-time study requirement for qualification for Austudy

The applicant was studying full-time for a Master of Divinity. To be ordained as a minister she was required to complete additional units only available in a Diploma of Theology. In 2013 the applicant enrolled part-time in both courses and her University confirmed that she was undertaking a full-time study load. Centrelink cancelled her Austudy and raised a debt on the basis that the applicant was not undertaking full-time study in 2013.

The SSAT considered whether part-time enrolment in two courses can be aggregated to meet the full-time study requirements under section 569C of the Social Security Act 1991. The SSAT considered Centrelink’s “Policy Clarification for Student Undertaking Double Degrees”, which notes that the “the Secretary… must be satisfied that a student is full-time in an approved course (or courses) of study (two part-time courses) at an approved institution; and… the institution can confirm that the work load is equal to… what a student would undertake if engaged in a single course of full-time study”. The SSAT found that the applicant was undertaking two approved courses at an approved institution and her University considered her to be a full-time student. The SSAT decided that the applicant met the definition of full-time student for Austudy purposes.

DISABILITY SUPPORT PENSION Whether the program of support requirement was satisfied

Centrelink decided the applicant had an impairment rating of 20 points or more on the Impairment Tables, but his claim for disability support pension was rejected because he did not have a continuing inability to work as defined in subsection 94(2) of the Social Security Act 1991 (the SS Act).

The SSAT was satisfied the applicant had an impairment rating of 20 points and also that his impairments were sufficient to prevent him doing any sort of work or training

independent of a program of support for the next two years. As the applicant did not have a “severe impairment” as defined in subsection 94(3B) of the SS Act, he also had to satisfy the requirement in subsection 94(5) that he had actively participated in a “program of support” to qualify for disability support pension.

Section 5 of the Social Security (Requirements and Guidelines - Active Participation for Disability Support Pension) Determination 2011 (the Determination) contains the requirements for active participation. It says that to have actively participated in a program of support a person must have been engaged in such a program for at least 18 months of the 36 months prior to the claim, unless they were involved in a program that was less than 18 months long and they completed that program or they have participated in a program, but are prevented from improving their capacity to find, gain or remain in work because of their medical conditions (these exceptions are set out in section 5(1)(4) and (5) of the Determination).

At the time of the hearing, the applicant was participating in a program of support and had done so for 44 weeks. The SSAT received evidence from the applicant’s treating doctor and his employment services manager. The employment services manager advised that the applicant could not sit or stand long enough to work or be retrained, and they had been unable to find him any suitable work or training due to his physical tolerances. The employment services manager considered that the applicant was unable to work or retrain and that this would not improve, a view supported by the applicant’s treating doctor.

The SSAT was satisfied that the applicant had actively participated in a program of support, but that he was prevented, solely because of his impairments, from improving his capacity to find, gain or remain in employment. He met the program of support test through the exception set out in section 5(5) of the Determination. The SSAT set aside the decision under review and returned the matter to the Chief Executive Centrelink with directions that the applicant met the medical qualification requirements and subject to

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meeting the remaining requirements, he was eligible for disability support pension from the date of claim.

Whether disability support pension is payable whilst in gaol and also a forensic patient

The applicant was serving a 20 year term of imprisonment when he was found not guilty of a subsequent offence of arson within the prison, by reason of mental illness. Orders were made that he be detained in a mental health facility. He commenced to undertake a rehabilitation program and lodged a claim for disability support pension. The claim was originally granted by Centrelink but later cancelled when it was found that, as well as being detained under the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990, he was serving the prison sentence because of the earlier criminal conviction.

Section 1158 of the Social Security Act 1991 (the SS Act) provides that disability support pension, among other payments, is not payable for any period when a person is in gaol or undergoing psychiatric confinement because they have been charged with an offence. The terms “in gaol” and “psychiatric confinement” are defined in section 23 of the SS Act. Subsection 23(9) states that the confinement of a person in a psychiatric institution during a period when the person is undertaking a course of rehabilitation is not to be taken to be psychiatric confinement. The applicant submitted that this exception applied to entitle him to payment of disability support pension.

The SSAT was satisfied that the applicant was “in gaol” at the time of his claim for disability support pension. As defined in subsection 23(5), the applicant was lawfully detained in a prison or some other place of detention while under sentence for conviction of an offence: notwithstanding he was detained as a forensic patient in respect of the second offence. The SSAT affirmed the decision under review.

Note: The SSAT decision was affirmed by the AAT Toki and Secretary, Department of Social Services [2014] AATA 144 (13 March 2014)

AGE PENSION Whether the assets of controlled private companies, and the value of unrepaid loans owed to and between controlled private companies, should be attributed as assets for assessing entitlement to age pension

The applicants, a married couple, are the sole shareholders of company A and company B. A third company had three voting shares, one of which was held by company B. Centrelink cancelled age pension to the applicants, having determined that the value of their assets exceeded the ceiling beyond which age pension ceases to be payable. For assessment of their assets, the applicants were attributed the value of the assets of each company, in proportion to their shareholding. Included in the assets of company A was an undischarged loan liability owed by company B. Also included in the applicants’ assessed assets were the value of loans by each applicant to company B, and an unrepaid liability owing to the applicants by company A.

The Social Security Act 1991 (the SS Act) includes provisions which reach behind the legal structures of certain private trusts or companies to establish the underlying reality of who owns and controls assets or income held in those forms. It treats the income or assets of the trust or company as being that of the person rather than the entity, when three things can be shown: that it is a ‘designated’ entity (subsections 1207P, 1207N respectively); that it is an entity controlled by the person whose social security pension is being determined (subsections 1207V, 1207Q); and that the person is an ‘attributable stakeholder’ in that entity (subsections 1207X(2), 1207X(1)).

The SSAT found that all three companies were designated entities as defined in section 1207N. In determining whether a person has control of a private company, subsection 1207Q(2) provides that an individual controls the company where the person or their associates hold 50 per cent or more of the direct voting rights, or is beneficially entitled to 15 per cent or more of the capital or dividends, or the company is sufficiently ‘influenced’ by the person or their associates

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(or entities meeting the previous criteria), or is in a position to exercise control over the company. The applicants met the first of these tests in respect of both company A and company B by virtue of being the sole two shareholders, each with 50% of the voting power, while company C is one third owned by company B, and thus also is controlled.

Subsection 1207X(1) of the SS Act provides that if a company is a controlled private company in relation to an individual, the individual is an attributable stakeholder of the company unless the Secretary otherwise determines; and in respect of assets, if the individual is an attributable stakeholder of the company, the individual’s asset attribution percentage in relation to the company is 100%, unless the Secretary determines a lower percentage in relation to the individual and the company, in which case it is that lower percentage. Subsection 1207X(5) provides that any variation may be made only in accordance with the rules set out in any Determination made by the Secretary of the relevant Department under section 1209E. Having considered the Determination, the SSAT found no basis in the case for departing from the usual attribution of stakeholders and concluded that the ‘percentage ownership’ of any assets (or income) of the companies must be determined in accordance with subsection 1207X(1). The SSAT therefore found that the income and assets of the applicants included the full share of income and assets held by company A and company B and the proportionate share of company C by virtue of their being attributable stakeholders in those controlled private companies.

Subsection 9(1) of the SS Act defines “financial assets” to include loans owed to a person. Section 1122 of the SS Act provides that the value of the assets of a person for the purposes of this Act includes the unpaid amount of a loan, but does not include any amount payable by way of interest under the loan. The applicants sought to have the undischarged loan liability owed by company B to company A disregarded, saying that company B was unable to repay the amount. In some cases a loan is found to be unenforceable, such as where the debtor

is a corporation which has been wound up, or a person who has been declared bankrupt. The SSAT concluded however that the current loan owed to company A remained legally enforceable, and must therefore be included as an asset of company A attributable to the applicants. The SSAT also found that the value of the unrepaid portion of the ‘face value’ of loans owed by company B to the applicants were their assets, in accordance with section 1122 of the SS Act.

The value of the total assets of the applicants exceeded the ceiling amount beyond which the rate of age pension under section 1064 of the SS Act is a ‘nil’ rate. The SSAT affirmed the decisions to cancel age pension.

Whether a person’s rate of age pension is affected by their partner’s weekly compensation payments

The applicant claimed aged pension which is a compensation affected payment (CAP). The applicant’s partner receives compensation payments. If the partner had a notional entitlement to a CAP then the effect of section 1174 of the Social Security Act 1991 is that the amount of weekly compensation received by the partner reduces the amount of the notional CAP on a dollar for dollar basis. Once the amount of the notional CAP is zero, any excess compensation would be subtracted from the rate of the age pension otherwise payable to the claimant. Centrelink decided that the partner would have a notional entitlement to either disability support pension (DSP) or newstart allowance (both of which are a CAP) and then proceeded on the basis of a notional entitlement to newstart allowance.

As newstart allowance is lower than DSP, the applicant’s rate of age pension was reduced by a greater amount than if her partner’s notional entitlement was to DSP. The SSAT referred to the Guide to Social Security Law which states that “[i]f there is uncertainty about which payment the compensation recipient is qualified for, the application of this policy should be beneficial.” As it was more beneficial to the applicant if the partner’s notional entitlement was to DSP, the decision under review was set aside and the matter

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was sent back for reconsideration with a direction that the applicant’s rate of age pension be calculated on the basis that her partner had a notional entitlement to DSP.

NEWSTART ALLOWANCE Did an applicant have a reasonable excuse for refusing to accept a job that paid ‘cash in hand’?

An eight week non-payment period was imposed upon the applicant as he refused to accept an offer of suitable employment at a café. The non-payment period was imposed on the basis that the applicant had refused the job as he did not wish to work for a female. At the hearing by the SSAT, the applicant denied this and said that he was currently working for a female. The applicant claimed that the pay arrangement proposed by the café proprietor was ‘cash-in-hand’. He regarded this as inappropriate as the non-payment of tax was contrary to the law and refused the offer of employment on that basis.

The SSAT spoke to the café proprietor who said that it was his practice to pay workers on a cash-in-hand basis for the first day or two to see how the employee was settling in and whether the employment would continue.

The SSAT found that initially the applicant would have been paid cash-in-hand and that he objected to that practice as non-payment of income tax is contrary to the law. After considering issues for an employee of taking cash-in-hand set out on the ATO’s website, the SSAT concluded that employment offered on a cash-in-hand basis together with an expressed intention that tax would not be taken out of an employee’s wages is unsuitable work, even if this practice is only to take place for one or two days.

As the employment was not suitable employment, the applicant had not committed a serious failure and the eight week non-payment period should not be imposed.

LOW INCOME HEALTH CARE CARD Should an applicant be granted an exemption from the newly arrived resident’s waiting period as a partner of an Australian citizen?

The applicant arrived in Australia from overseas in 2013 following her marriage to an Australian citizen. Her husband continued to receive his Centrelink pension at the single rate because the Secretary determined (under section 24 of the Social Security Act 1991 (the SS Act)) that he was not to be treated as a member of a couple because his wife had no income or assets and he would be fully supporting her.

Subsequently, the applicant claimed a health care card. A newly arrived resident’s waiting period (NARWP) of 104 weeks must be served before a person qualifies for a health care card (sections 1061ZQ and 1061ZR of the SS Act). This requirement was inserted in the SS Act by the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Periods and Other Measures) Act 1997 which also relevantly stated (in paragraph 3(1) (e)) that the waiting period does not apply to a person who is “a family member of an Australian citizen”.

However, sections 1061ZQ and 1061ZR in their current form were inserted by the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Concession Cards) Act 2001 (and then amended by the Family and Community Services Legislation Amendment (New Zealand Citizens) Act 2001 which added the words “or a special category visa holder” to paragraphs 1061XQ(2)(c), 1061XR(a) and 1061XR(b)).

Subsection 3(1) of the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Concession Cards) Act 2001 stated that, “on and after 1 July 2001, section 3 of the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Periods and Other Measures) Act 1997 applies in relation to Part 2A.1 of the Social Security Act 1991, as amended by this Act, in the same way as before that date it applied to Part 2A.1 of the Social Security Act 1991”.

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The issue for the SSAT was therefore whether the applicant was the “family member” (which expression is defined in subsection 7(6D) of the SS Act to include a partner) of an Australian citizen. Subsection 4(6) of the SS Act states that “A person is not a member of a couple if a determination under section 24 is in force in relation to the person”. As a determination under section 24 was in force, the SSAT concluded that the applicant could not be regarded as the family member of her husband and thus no exemption from the NARWP applied to her.

CHILD SUPPORT AGREEMENT Whether a binding agreement has terminated

The parents of a child entered into a binding child support agreement for the father to pay periodic child support to the mother. The mother had the majority of the care for the child. Some 14 years later, the Child Support Registrar (the Registrar) was notified that the care had changed and that the father had 100% care for a period of two months.

The Registrar refused to change the care percentages for the two months. The father objected and his objection was allowed. The mother applied to the SSAT for a review.

The issue for the SSAT was whether a change in the level of care between the parents, ended the liability for the liable parent to pay child support under the terms of a binding child support agreement. The SSAT ordered the Registrar to make written submissions and the Registrar conceded that the terms of the agreement are taken to be court orders pursuant to section 95 of the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989, and therefore an administrative assessment inconsistent with these terms was unable to be issued by the Department. As there had not been a terminating event and the transitional child support agreement had not been terminated, there was no legislative basis for the objection decision to cease the child support payable.

The SSAT agreed, set aside the objection decision and substituted a new decision that the Registrar must give effect to the terms of the binding agreement during the subject period.

OVERSEAS MAINTENANCE LIABILITY Whether an overseas maintenance liability is registrable

In 2005, the Child Support Registrar (the Registrar) registered an overseas maintenance liability after receiving an application from a reciprocating jurisdiction. This liability consisted of arrears that arose as a result of an order of a court (in the reciprocating jurisdiction) for the father, who was the applicant at the SSAT, to pay child support for his children. The overseas authority that made the application for registration identified the payee as the maternal grandmother in the application and in subsequent correspondence to the Registrar. In 2009 the overseas authority wrote to the Registrar advising that its file had been closed and requested the Registrar to do the same. In that correspondence, the overseas authority named the mother of the children as the custodial parent and participant. The Registrar continued to enforce the liability claiming there was no election from the payee for the liability not to be enforced. Some four years later, the Registrar amended the child support register to reflect that the biological mother was the person entitled to receive the amounts payable under the registered overseas maintenance liability.

The issue for the SSAT was whether an application for registration of the overseas maintenance liability was properly made by the overseas authority under regulation 13 of the Child Support (Registration and Collection) (Overseas-related Maintenance Obligations) Regulations 2000 (as in force in 2005).

After receiving a written submission from the Registrar, the SSAT concluded that the application was not properly made by the overseas authority as it did not correctly identify the payee of the registrable maintenance liability in 2005 and there was sufficient doubt whether the overseas authority made the application on behalf of the mother or the grandmother. The SSAT set aside the objection decision and substituted a decision that the Registrar should not register the overseas maintenance liability and commented that it remained open for the mother to apply to the Registrar for registration of the liability.

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APPENDIX 10 - ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACTIVITIES New South Wales Stall at NAIDOC Community Exposition Registry open day during Law Week Presentations to:

Carer Assist City Councils - Bankstown, Nowra, Shoalhaven and Wagga Wagga Creating Links Defence Community Options Defence Community Organisation Department of Education and Communities, NSW Department of Human Services Department of Family and Community Services, NSW The Disability Trust Greenacres Employment Solutions Housing NSW Ideas NSW Illawarra and South East Region Illawarra Family Referral Service Illawarra Multicultural Services Inc.

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Ambulator Job Centre Australia Legal Aid NSW Missions Australia Multicultural Council of Wagga Wagga Northcott Nowra Family Support Services The NSW Trustee and Guardian ORS Group Employment Services Riverina Medical and Dental Aboriginal Corporation Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre South Coast Aboriginal Medical Service South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation The Smith Family St George Community Housing TAFE Tumut Regional Family Services The University of Wollongong Welfare Rights and Legal Centre (ACT) Welfare Rights Centre, Sydney

Queensland Stall at NAIDOC Community Exposition

Registry open day during Law Week

Regular liaison with Welfare Rights Centre

Presentations to:

Brisbane Youth Service

Open Doors

Youth and Family Services, Slacks Creek

South Australia Presentations to:

Aboriginal Health Council Forum

Community Workers’ Forum - Centrelink and Financial Management

Gawler & District College

Onkaparinga Collaborative for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Indigenous Family Violence

SA Financial Counsellors’ Association

Presentations at:

Disability and Aging Exposition

Mental Health Rights Forum

Rural outreach, attended by:

Aboriginal Family Support Services, Coober Pedy

APY Executive Board, Umawa

Bungala Aboriginal Corporation, Port Augusta

Centacare, Port Augusta

Centrelink NPY Remote Servicing Hub, Alice Springs servings APY Lands

Community Health Care, Port Augusta

Community Westside Lawyers, Port Pirie

Department of Education and Child Development, Port Augusta and Port Pirie

Domestic Violence & Aboriginal Family Violence Service, Port Augusta

Families SA, Port Augusta and Pukatja

Housing SA, Coober Pedy and Umawa

Indulkana Anangu School, Indulkana

Kaltjiti Art Centre Kaltjiti (Fregon)

Legal Aid, Adelaide

Mimili Accommodation Centre, Arts Centre and Family Centre

Money Mob, Mimili and Pukatja

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Office for Children and Young People, Port Pirie

Port Augusta City Council, Port Augusta

Red Cross, Coober Pedy

Regional Anangu Services Aboriginal Corporation (RASAC) Alice Springs

Skill Hire, Indukana, Kaltjiti (Fregon) and Pukatja

TAFE, Coober Pedy, Kaltjiti (Fregon) and Indulkana

Uniting Care Wesley, Coober Pedy, Port Augusta and Port Pirie

Western Australia Presentations to:

Community Consultative Forum

Disability Awareness Exposition

Health, Older Australians Disability and Carers’ Forum

Homeless Connect Exposition

Rural outreach, attended by:

Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia, Highgate WA

Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Perth

Anglicare WA, Albany

Bunbury Community Legal Centre & Community Mediation Services, Bunbury

Centrelink, Albany, Innaloo and Victoria Park

Community First, Albany

Fremantle Community Legal, Fremantle

Great Southern Personnel, Albany

Legal Aid, Albany and Perth

The Men’s Resource Centre, Albany

Mental Health Law Centre, Perth

Sussex Street Community Law Services, East Victoria Park

Welfare Rights and Advocacy Service, Perth

Tasmania Presentation to Tasmania Aboriginal Legal Service

Victoria Registry open day during Law Week

Participation in NAIDOC Whole of Government event

Regular liaison with Social Security Rights Victoria

Regular liaison with Victoria Legal Aid

Presentations to:

Australian Greek Welfare Society

Barwon Community Legal Service

Bethany Community Support - Gamblers Help

Centrelink, Sunshine

Dandenong and Peninsula Legal Services

Financial Counselling Australia Conference

Fitzroy Legal Service

Leo Cussen Institute (student training program)

Regional Information and Advocacy Council Geelong

Social Security Rights Victoria

Springvale Community Aid and Advice Bureau

Springvale and Monash Legal Service

Victoria Legal Aid, Geelong, Melbourne and Warrnambool

Western Suburbs Legal Service

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APPENDIX 11 - CONTACT DETAILS

National Office Level 24, 500 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

(PO Box 218, Collins Street West, Melbourne VIC 8007)

Email: info@ssat.gov.au Tel: (03) 8626 4923 Fax: (03) 8626 4949

Principal Member - Jane Macdonnell

Registrar - Louise Anderson

Executive Officer - Melanie Priano

Australian Capital Territory All ACT reviews are managed through the NSW registry. Please refer to contact details for NSW registry.

New South Wales Level 20, 580 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000

(GPO Box 9943, Sydney NSW 2001)

Email: sydney@ssat.gov.au Tel: (02) 9202 3400 Fax: (02) 9202 3499

Deputy Principal Member - Suellen Bullock

District Registrar - Catherine Cudmore

Northern Territory All NT reviews are managed through the Queensland registry. Please refer to contact details for the Queensland registry.

Queensland Level 26, 215 Adelaide Street, Brisbane QLD 4000

(GPO Box 9943, Brisbane QLD 4001)

Email: brisbane@ssat.gov.au Tel: (07) 3005 6200 Fax: (07) 3005 6215

Deputy Principal Member - Jim Walsh

District Registrar - Robin Harvey

South Australia Level 12, 45 Grenfell Street, Adelaide SA 5000

(GPO Box 9943, Adelaide SA 5001)

Email: adelaide@ssat.gov.au Tel: (08) 8400 4900 Fax: (08) 8400 4999

Deputy Principal Member - Jim Walsh

District Registrar - Ian Phillips

Tasmania Level 8, 188 Collins Street, Hobart TAS 7000

(GPO Box 9943, Hobart TAS 7001)

Email: hobart@ssat.gov.au Tel: (03) 6211 2800 Fax: (03) 6211 2899

Deputy Principal Member - Irene Tsiakas

District Registrar - Marianne Evans

Victoria Level 11, 565 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

(GPO Box 9943, Melbourne VIC 3001)

Email: melbourne@ssat.gov.au Tel: (03) 9954 0700 Fax: (03) 9954 0749

Deputy Principal Member - Irene Tsiakas

District Registrar - Marianne Evans

Western Australia Level 3, 109 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000

(GPO Box 9943, Perth WA 6001)

Email: perth@ssat.gov.au Tel: (08) 9229 1300 Fax: (08) 9229 1315

Deputy Principal Member - Jim Walsh

District Registrar - Ian Phillips

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National Freecall™ Number The SSAT provides a national toll free telephone number - 1800 011 140.

SSAT website Please refer to the SSAT’s website at www.ssat.gov.au for further information.

Contact Officer For enquiries about this Annual Report, please contact:

Executive Officer National Office PO Box 218, Collins Street West Melbourne VIC 8007

Tel: (03) 8626 4923 Fax: (03) 8626 4949

Additional copies of this Annual Report Additional copies of this Annual Report are available from the SSAT National Office or by contacting your nearest SSAT registry.

It is also available as an accessible PDF on the SSAT’s website at www.ssat.gov.au.

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GLOSSARY

AAT Administrative Appeals Tribunal

ARO A uthorised Review Officer

CSA Child Suppor t Agency

DHS Department of Human Services

DSS Depar tment of Social Services

PPL Paid Parental Leave

SSAT Social Security Appeals Tribunal

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LIST OF REQUIREMENTS

As the SSAT is not an executive agency under the Public Service Act 1999 (or a prescribed agency under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997), the entire List does not apply to the SSAT. However, the SSAT has endeavoured to apply the List and noted as not applicable (“N/A”) all items with which the SSAT cannot comply.

Description Page

Letter of transmittal iii

Table of contents iv

Index 75

Glossary 71

Contact officer(s) 70

Internet home page address and Internet address for report 70

Review by Principal Member

Review by Principal Member 2-3

Summary of significant issues and developments n/a

Overview of SSAT’s performance and financial results n/a

Outlook for following year n/a

Significant issues and developments - portfolio n/a

Overview of the SSAT

Role and functions 5-6

Organisational structure 6-7

Outcome and programme structure n/a

Where outcome and programme structures differ from PB Statements/PAES or other portfolio statements accompanying any other additional appropriation bills (other portfolio statements), details of variation and reasons for change

n/a

Portfolio structure n/a

Report on Performance

Review of performance during the year in relation to programmes and contribution to outcomes n/a

Actual performance in relation to deliverables and KPIs set out in PB Statements/PAES or other portfolio statements n/a

Where performance targets differ from the PBS/ PAES, details of both former and new targets, and reasons for the change n/a

Narrative discussion and analysis of performance 9-22

Trend information 9-22

Significant changes in nature of principal functions/services n/a

Performance of purchaser/provider arrangements n/a

Factors, events or trends influencing departmental performance 9-22

Contribution of risk management in achieving objectives n/a

Performance against service charter customer service standards, complaints data, and the department’s response to complaints 12-22

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Description Page

Discussion and analysis of the SSAT’s financial performance 12

Discussion of any significant changes in financial results from the prior year, from budget or anticipated to have a significant impact on future operations. n/a

Agency resource statement and summary resource tables by outcomes n/a

Management and Accountability

Corporate Governance

Agency heads are required to certify that their agency complies with the “Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines” n/a

Statement of the main corporate governance practices in place 24

Names of the senior executive and their responsibilities 6-7

Senior management committees and their roles 24

Corporate and operational planning and associated performance reporting and review n/a

Internal audit arrangements including approach adopted to identifying areas of significant financial or operational risk and arrangements to manage those risks n/a

Policy and practices on the establishment and maintenance of appropriate ethical standards n/a

How nature and amount of remuneration for SES officers is determined n/a

External Scrutiny

Significant developments in external scrutiny n/a

Judicial decisions and decisions of administrative tribunals and by the Australian Information Commissioner 16-22

Reports by the Auditor-General, a Parliamentary Committee, the Commonwealth Ombudsman or an agency capability review 24

Management of Human Resources

Assessment of effectiveness in managing and developing human resources to achieve the SSAT’s objectives 24-26

Workforce planning, staff turnover and retention 25

Impact and features of enterprise or collective agreements, individual flexibility arrangements (IFAs), determinations, common law contracts and Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) 25

Training and development undertaken and its impact 25

Work health and safety performance 25-26, 58

Productivity gains 26

Statistics on staffing 51

Enterprise or collective agreements, IFAs, determinations, common law contracts and AWAs 25, 51

Performance pay n/a

Assets management

Assessment of effectiveness of assets management n/a

Purchasing

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Description Page

Assessment of purchasing against core policies and principles 26

Consultants

The annual report must include a summary statement detailing the number of new consultancy services contracts let during the year; the total actual expenditure on all new consultancy contracts let during the year (inclusive of GST); the number of ongoing consultancy contracts that were active in the reporting year; and the total actual expenditure in the reporting year on the ongoing consultancy contracts (inclusive of GST). The annual report must include a statement noting that information on contracts and consultancies is available through the AusTender website.

27

Australian National Audit Office Access Clauses

Absence of provisions in contracts allowing access by the Auditor-General 27

Contracts exempted from publication in AusTender 27

Financial Statements

Financial Statements 30-45

Other Information

Work health and safety 25-26, 58

Advertising and Market Research (Section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918) and statement on advertising campaigns 27

Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance (Section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999) 59

Compliance with the agency’s obligations under the Carer Recognition Act 2010 n/a

Grant programmes n/a

Disability reporting - explicit and transparent reference to agencylevel information available through other reporting mechanisms 28

Information Publication Scheme statement 28

Correction of material errors in previous annual report 61

List of Requirements 72-74

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i n d e x

INDEX

Access to justice 14-15, 67-68

Accessiblity 14-16

Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) 16-20

Advertising 27

Amalgamation of tribunals 3

Budget See Funding

Centrelink 5, 9-10, 12, 16-20

- Review outcomes 9, 55

Child support 5, 11-12, 20-22

- Review outcomes 11, 57

Child Support Registrar (CSR) 5, 11, 13

Committees 24

Complaints 22

Consultants 27

Contracts 27

Court decisions 21-22

Department of Human Services (DHS) 2, 5, 26

Department of Social Services (DSS) 5, 7, 24, 25

Deputy Principal Member 3, 6, 24

District Registrar 7, 24

Directions hearing 2, 12

Disability strategy 28

Enterprise Agreement 25

Environmental management 28, 59

External scrutiny 24

Financial Statements 30-45

Fraud control 27

Freedom of Information 28

Funding 7, 12

Further reviews and appeals 16-22

Human resources 24-26

Interpreters 14

Jurisdiction 5

Legal services expenditure 60

Members 3, 6

- List of 47-50

National Office 7, 24

Ombudsman (Commonwealth) 24

Organisational structure 7

Outcomes 9-12

Outreach See Access to justice

Paid Parental Leave 5, 10

- Review outcomes 56

Pre-hearing conference See Directions hearing

Principal Member 6, 24

Productivity 7, 26

Purchasing 27

Registrar 7, 24

Risk management 24, 58

Senior Executive Service (SES) 7

Senior Member 6

Single member panels 2, 12

Staff 7, 24-26, 51

State registries 7, 24

Statistics

- Application outcomes 55-57

- Application processing 52-54

- Interpreters 14

- Performance 9

- Single member panels 2

- Staffing 51

- Timeliness 13

Timeliness 12-13

Training and development 25

Wellness 24, 26

Work Health & Safety 24, 26, 58

Workplace Agreement See Enterprise Agreement