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Efficiency and effectiveness of the Department of Social Services' management of the National Redress Scheme
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This audit would assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the Department of Social Services’ (DSS’) administration of the National Redress Scheme (the scheme) for people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse.
The scheme was established in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and is administered by the Department of Social Services. The scheme was launched on 1 July 2018 with a term of 10 years and is designed to provide survivors of sexual abuse an approach for receiving redress, including payments provided by the scheme's operator. Redress payments can be up to $150,000 per claimant, with payments averaging $90,800 in 2021–22. As at 31 March 2023, $997.1 million had been paid through 11,284 payments. The Commonwealth bears the initial cost of redress payments made through the scheme, and can elect to recover all or part of the cost from institutions found to be responsible for abuse. In the 2023–24 Budget, the Australian Government allocated $142.2 million over four years to support the delivery of the scheme.
The scheme has been subject to scrutiny from the Joint Standing Committee on Implementation of the National Redress Scheme, which has released two interim reports containing 35 recommendations. On 28 November 2022, the committee commenced an additional inquiry into the operation of the scheme, with public hearings held in March and April 2023.