The Auditor-General responded on 27 June 2017 to correspondence from Mr Andrew Wilkie MP dated 26 May 2017, requesting that the Auditor-General conduct an audit of Centrelink's automated debt recovery programs.

Auditor-General's response

27 June 2017

Mr Andrew Wilkie MP
Independent Member for Denison
Parliament House

By email:

Dear Mr Wilkie

I am writing in response to your letter of 26 May 2017 requesting that I consider undertaking an audit of Centrelink's automated debt recovery programs.

As acknowledged in your correspondence the Commonwealth Ombudsman examined the On-line Compliance Intervention System, and the issuing of debt notices pursuant to Department of Human Services' data matching activities, in his report Centrelink's automated debt raising and recovery system (April 2017) and therefore I do not intend to re-examine this specific issue.

The ANAO is currently finalising its 2017 Annual Audit Work Program (work program), which is designed to inform the Parliament, the public and government entities of planned audit coverage for the coming year. The work program will be published in July 2017. Included in the draft work program is a proposed audit topic Human Services Enforcement and Compliance Strategy. This audit would examine the overarching enforcement and compliance strategy adopted by the Department of Human Services to support the integrity of its payments. In the context of this proposed audit I will consider examining the matters raised in your letter.

Yours sincerely

Grant Hehir

Correspondence from Mr Andrew Wilkie MP