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Independent Review of Centrepay

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Media Release:

Independent Review of Centrepay

12 November 2012

Senator the Hon Kim Carr Minister for Human Services

An independent review will commence into the operations of Centrepay, the Government's bill-paying service for people receiving a Centrelink payment.

Minister for Human Services Senator Kim Carr said it was timely to review the operations of Centrepay, given it has not been reviewed since it

commenced operation in 1998.

"I have asked the Department to initiate an independent review of

Centrepay given the growth in the service" Senator Kim Carr said.

"On the evidence available to me, Centrepay is a valuable service for which demand has increased - participation is voluntary, and it helps people manage their money.

"The service has grown rapidly since its introduction to include about 13,500 businesses. More than 545,000 individuals now use Centrepay -an increase of 8% on the previous year.

"Like any system, rapid growth requires changes to infrastructure and operating procedures. Last financial year alone $1.76 billion was disbursed through Centrepay."

Senator Kim Carr said concerns raised in the recent Financial Counselling

Australia report would be considered by the review.

"The review will consider whether participants are being treated on a fair

and reasonable basis."

"The review will also provide advice on the means by which Centrepay can

expand its operations, building financial literacy while assisting people in managing their money.

"I have asked the Department to finalise arrangements so that the Government can consider any proposed changes for the financial year 2013-14."

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