ANNUAL REVIEW 2001–02
Comments and requests for further information on this review are welcome and can be sent to:
Ms Jann McCann
Telephone: (02) 6212 0023
Fax: (02) 6212 0480
Strategic Services Team
Centrelink National Support Office
Canberra Business Centre
The Annual Review is a ‘short form’ overview only.
It is designed to give a concise summary of Centrelink’s activities and financial position for the year ended 30 June 2002.
Both the Annual Report and this Annual Review may be accessed through the internet at www.centrelink.gov.au
Created in 1997, Centrelink will continue to make a positive difference to the
lives of many Australians. This review is drawn from the Centrelink Annual
Report 2001–02. It describes our performance in the 2001–02 financial year
and highlights our plans for the future.
1 From our Chairman
3 From our Chief Executive Officer
8 Corporate overview
10 Outcome and output structure
13 Our services
17 Our business
19 Organisational chart
20 Corporate governance framework
22 Financial summary
26 Performance at a glanceTable index
Table 1 Our goals and priorities 11
Table 2 Our business operations 17
Table 3 Our network 18
Table 4 Centrelink’s net operating result 2001–02 and 2000–01 22
Table 5 Statement of financial position—assets and liabilities 22
Table 6 Statement of cash flow 22
Table 7 Government dividend requirements 24
Table 8 Revenue to Centrelink 2001–02 24
Figure 1 Outcome and output structure 10
Figure 2 Our services 13
Figure 3 Our organisational chart 19
Figure 4 Client partnership performance 26
Figure 5 Customer and community performance 28
Figure 6 Centrelink people performance 32
Figure 7 The vision: career pathways within Centrelink 34
Figure 8 Cost-efficiency 36
During 2002, Centrelink has progressed the focus on e-Business. In March of this year, Centrelink created the e-Business
Governance Group, which is responsible for systematic changes to the way Centrelink does business, using electronic
delivery mechanisms within and beyond Centrelink boundaries for customers, citizens, community, business and
government. See in this document for examples of how Centrelink is integrating e-Business into its operations.
From our Chairman
This financial year has been another year of challenge and new opportunity.
For much of 200102 Centrelink was focused on Australians Working Together (AWT) in the lead up to the two staged
implementation in July and September 2002. AWT has fundamentally changed the way the agency does business. Most
jobs in Centrelink will change and a large number of new people will join the agency to work alongside our current staff
in the new roles of Personal Advisers.
Strong relationships with the thousands of non-government organisations in the community sector have always been
important to Centrelink. These relationships are critical to the agency’s role in delivering AWT. The agency will need to
form even more effective partnerships with non-government organisations to ensure that customers receive the best
possible support to enable them to move forward. During the year, the Board took the opportunity to host informal
gatherings with non-government organisation representatives and Centrelink managers in Sydney and Hobart. These
meetings provided valuable opportunities to share views and strengthen relationships. This initiative will continue in the
One of the big challenges the agency faced related to the collapse of Ansett. Centrelink was asked to assist the public by
helping stranded Ansett passengers with the costs of accommodation and alternative travel arrangements to return home.
The responsiveness and professionalism that Centrelink applied to this new challenge was exceptional. For many
Australians, this was their first contact with Centrelink and it is pleasing that the interaction was positive for them.
Membership of the Board changed during the year. Both portfolio secretaries, Dr David Rosalky and Dr Peter Shergold
vacated their positions on the Board—Dr Rosalky as a result of his resignation from the Australian Public Service and Dr
Shergold on his appointment as Secretary to the Department of Education, Science and Training. I take this opportunity to
thank them for their valuable contribution to the Board. The Board was pleased to welcome Mark Sullivan, the new
Secretary of the Department of Family and Community Services.
I would like to express my appreciation for the work of my fellow Board members. Their wisdom and dedication to the
work of Centrelink especially as chairs of Board committees was critical to the Board’s effectiveness. I also extend my
appreciation and that of the Board to Sue Vardon, the leadership team and the thousands of hard working and highly
trained Centrelink staff in offices across Australia. Their efforts and commitment make dealing with Centrelink a positive
experience for customers and has made the successes of the year possible.
Finally, our world changed in the course of the past year. The events of September 11, 2001 had an impact on all of our
lives and some of the ramifications are still unclear. In response to the very strong feelings of sympathy and concern for
those affected by the tragedies in New York and Washington, Centrelink staff initiated a condolence register for their
New York public service counterparts. Thousands of Centrelink staff from every corner of Australia signed the register
and many wrote poems and sent drawings. I was honoured, along with Sue Vardon, to present the condolence books (two
volumes) to the US Ambassador, Thomas Schieffer who has passed them on to the employees of the New York Human
Centrelink looks forward to the year ahead with a sense of optimism and confidence that the agency will, through its role
in implementing government policy, continue to make a positive difference to the lives of many Australians.
John Pascoe AO
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
From our Chief Executive Officer
For many Australians, their experience of Centrelink is their local Customer Service Centre. For others we are on the
other end of a telephone line. We are now very much a part of the local landscape for many citizens. Since our creation in
1997, our people and our places have been through a significant transformation. Our staff are professional, respectful and
friendly. Our offices are warm and welcoming.
Happily, most of our customers agree. In our most recent survey, 85 per cent of customers who have had an experience
with one of our Call Centres or Customer Service Centres said that their experience was a good one.
Throughout the year we continued to listen to our customers. A simpler system with less paper work, that remembers what
people told us the last time they were a customer, is something we know citizens want.
This year we have taken some big steps to make things simpler for them. The new Customer Account means claim forms
will be almost redundant. It means that when citizens come to us, if we have helped them before, all we need from them
this time is details of any changes in their circumstances. If they want to know what our records hold about them, or
change any of their details, they will be able to access their account.
From 2003–04, customers will be sent an account statement every three months. This will dramatically reduce the number
of letters we now have to send our customers and enable them to assist us in making sure that all the information we hold
about their circumstances is up to date.
Service Profiling means that we can use our knowledge of our customers’ characteristics and their circumstances to more
effectively target our efforts and services. For example, we will be able to better assist those customers who are at risk of
not meeting their obligations. This approach will allow much better use of our resources while getting better outcomes for
2001–02 was another very challenging year as we prepared for the implementation of Australians Working Together
(AWT) initiatives—a major new direction in the welfare system of which Centrelink is a key player. The successful
implementation of AWT will remain a top priority in the coming year.
As well, Minister Vanstone set us four key priorities:
• ensuring the integrity of the social security system;
• helping people move forward;
• making Centrelink even more responsive to customers; and
• working in partnership with communities and business.
There are two additional management priorities, ‘supporting our staff and agents to achieve our business objectives’ and
‘giving the Government confidence in its investment and transparency in its costs’.
Ensuring the integrity of the social security system
In 2001–02 Centrelink finalised a Business Assurance Framework with our biggest client, the Department of Family and
Community Services. The framework covers technical correctness, business outcomes, customer service offers and
In our framework plan for ‘Getting it Right’ the main action areas are:
• policy and product improvement;
• management support and accountability;
• systems improvement; and
• staff support.
The staff support strategies for ‘Getting it Right’ will enhance the roles of checkers and experts, update and simplify the
e-Reference tool and raise staff technical skills for decision-making and accuracy of payments.
Ensuring the integrity of the social security system by controlling fraud and incorrect payments continues to be a major
priority. Our detection and review capability is of a world standard. This year we added two more tools to our detection
capability. These new tools are an internet-based facility, which opened in September 2001, and a dedicated telephone
line, which was set up in January 2002. Both enable members of the public to anonymously report suspected fraud. All
tip-off allegations received are forwarded electronically to a central Tip-off Identification site in Area West Australia.
Helping people move forward
A major focus of the year has been preparations for the start of AWT. The Personal Adviser role embodies the new
directions implicit within the AWT initiative—that is individualised services, which focus on overcoming barriers and
increasing our customers’ ability to participate.
A major recruitment exercise was undertaken over the last months of this financial year. There were over 15 000
applicants from which Centrelink chose 400 exceptional people with special skills. These included a 71 year-old former
business man and journalist who speaks seven languages and understands the special challenges faced by unemployed
mature aged customers.
Making Centrelink even more responsive to customers
One of the success stories in 2001–02 is Centrelink Call. It has won consistent acclaim for its customer satisfaction, team
leadership, individual performance and effective management, including in the Australian Teleservices Association
Awards, run by the peak Australian call centre industry body. While technical innovations have helped boost productivity
and streamline operations we will need to continue to pay attention to reducing call wait times.
To help families provide updated income estimates, in July 2001 we introduced the first online transaction for customers.
Families with internet access can now update their income estimates from the convenience of their own home at a time
they choose. This has been a great success with more than 50 000 estimates submitted online during the year. Feedback
from families has been overwhelmingly positive.
Working in partnerships with communities and business
Centrelink is only one of many agencies that citizens can go to for help. For many of our customers, their local community
and the many non-government organisations that work within these communities, offer a lifeline. Centrelink is committed
to working in genuine partnerships with all these organisations. As much as possible, we are sharing our resources with
our community partners. One of these resources, Community Connections, is a national data base of community
organisations and their services, which we are developing in partnership with the community sector. This directory will
connect Centrelink, customers and the community. It will eventually be an important resource for staff in Centrelink and
community organisations. It is planned that this resource, along with other information services from Centrelink, will be
available to community providers and the non-government sector through a dedicated extranet connection.
We have also established a number of reference groups to represent the interests of our customers and our community
sector partners. These include reference groups representing older people, young people and migrants.
We also need to draw on the advice and the experience of our community partners when putting in place major initiatives
such as AWT. The AWT Implementation Reference Group was established in May 2002 and includes membership from
13 community organisations and businesses. Its purpose is to bring a diverse range of views and opinions to the
implementation process so that it works as well as possible for the community and customers.
Business groups are also key partners. The Centrelink Board of Management has been very supportive of Centrelink’s
recognition of the importance of the relationships we have with businesses and the priority we are placing on making
these relationships work better. We are developing much smarter ways of interacting with them to reduce the impact and
costs to them in dealing with Centrelink, for example, when confirming customer earnings. The Employer Contact Unit in
Hobart has made good progress in the last year towards developing automated systems which, when implemented, will
substantially reduce the imposition on employers. We are also making it much easier and cheaper for those businesses,
which provide concessions to our customers to confirm their eligibility.
In 200102 Centrelink produced a sound financial result with its Annual Financial Statements again being signed by the
Auditor-General without qualification. We achieved:
• an operating surplus of $6.96 million;
• returns to the Government of all required efficiency dividends totalling $240.2 million; and
• a positive cash position of $134.45 million.
To improve the business and cost efficiency of Centrelink services and government outcomes, Centrelink continued to
work on various projects including business process redesign, strategic and channel cost management, and partnering and
strategic sourcing strategies. The results of these projects will be reflected in our performance in 200203.
The next 12 months and beyond
Next year Centrelink will once again focus on meeting the expectations of the Government, client agencies, business,
communities and customers by:
• improving consistency of performance and practice by getting it right the first time;
• helping Australians move forward by building a stronger focus on economic and social participation;
• meeting community expectations by delivering quality service; and
• engaging with the community by delivering better outcomes.
The theme for the new Business Plan 2002–05 is ‘Delivering Today and Transforming Tomorrow’. The Plan identifies
eight key objectives and the Government’s and management’s priorities. It provides the context for making decisions
about projects and other activities, with emphasis on positioning Centrelink to effectively implement AWT initiatives.
The Business Plan will also be used throughout the organisation as the basis for detailed Business Improvement Plans.
The effective delivery of programs and services in rural, remote and Indigenous communities will continue as a high
priority, with particular focus on using new and emerging technologies and service delivery options.
In 2002, improvements will be made to Quality on Line—our online correctness of decision making tool. Already
significant progress has been made with Edge, the decision support system for Family Assistance Office claims.
Customer risk profiling is also being introduced to further streamline decision making.
The learning priorities for 2002–03 are aligned with the Business Plan. These include: introducing the new induction
program, AWT training and nationally recognised learning leadership development programs, improving the technical
skills for ‘Getting it Right’, training and accreditation for work checkers, workplace-based trainers and training for
Despite considerable improvement this year, people management will again require substantial effort at all levels
throughout Centrelink to ensure that staff are properly supported through continuous change.
I would like to thank our client agencies and our people for their contributions to Centrelink during 2001–02. I want
especially to acknowledge the hard work of Centrelink staff in embracing the year’s challenges with commitment and
I particularly want to thank, John Pascoe, AO, the Chairman of the Centrelink Board of Management and my fellow
Board members whose guidance, expertise and commitment to our organisation has, as always, been immensely valuable.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Centrelink is a statutory authority within the Family and Community Services portfolio. Other agencies in the portfolio
are the Department of Family and Community Services, the Child Support Agency, the Social Security Appeals Tribunal
and the Australian Institute of Family Studies.
Centrelink’s revenue is provided through Business Partnership Agreements or similar arrangements with client agencies.
Funds are appropriated to the policy agencies and paid to Centrelink in return for specified services. These purchase
• the products and services (outputs) Centrelink has agreed to provide to assist client agencies in achieving their
• an accountability and assurance framework including a range of key performance indicators, reciprocal assurances,
performance measures and reporting requirements;
• details of the funding arrangements or ‘purchase’ price;
• protocols to be followed to manage particular issues, such as dispute resolution or variations to the agreement; and
• any agreed priorities during the lifetime of the agreements, which commonly run for
3 to 5 years, including an annual review process.
Outcome and output
Centrelink has one Government directed outcome, which is ‘effective delivery of Commonwealth services to eligible
customers’. The outcome is supported by the output ‘efficient delivery of Commonwealth services to eligible customers’.
Centrelink’s corporate goals are the basis for developing strategies to achieve the outcome and output. The Balanced
Scorecard is Centrelink’s primary instrument for measuring performance against its corporate goals.
Centrelink was created to provide exceptional service to the community by linking Australian government services and
achieving best practice in service delivery.
Centrelink will make a positive difference to Australian individuals, families and communities particularly during
transitional periods in their lives.
Centrelink’s mission states the scope of our unique business that sets us apart from other organisations and exhibits our
commitment to our customers and stakeholders.
Centrelink will build a stronger community by:
• simplifying access to government services by providing a single entry point;
• providing innovative and personalised services, opportunities and support, that are culturally appropriate, during key
• maintaining a high level of customer service, while ensuring strong accountability to stakeholders; and
• building quality relationships with our stakeholders to continually improve the social well-being of Australian society.
Outcome and output structure
FIGURE 1: Outcome and output structure
Efficient delivery Effective delivery Client agency outcomes relevant to Centrelink
of Commonwealth of Commonwealth FaCS: OUTCOME 1—Stronger Families.
Our Goals services to eligible services to eligible OUTCOME 2—Stronger Communities.
customers customers OUTCOME 3—Economic & Social Participation.
AFFA: PORTFOLIO OUTCOME—Increasing the
profitability, competitiveness and sustainability of
Australian agricultural, food, fisheries and forestry industries
and enhancing the natural resources base to achieve greater
national wealth and stronger rural and regional communities.
Client AEC: OUTCOME 1—Australians have an electoral roll
Partnerships which ensures their voter entitlement and provides the basis
for the planning of electoral events and electoral
AGD: OUTCOME 1—An equitable and accessible system
of federal law and justice.
ATO: OUTCOME 1—Effectively managed and shaped
systems that support and fund services for Australians and
Customer & give effect to social and economic policy through the tax
DOCITA: OUTCOME 2—A competitive and sustainable
advantage in the global information economy.
DEST: OUTCOME 1—School systems provide their
students with high quality foundation skills and learning
OUTCOME 2—Post-school education and training
providers assist individuals to achieve relevant skills and
People learning outcomes for work and life.
OUTCOME 3—Australian institutions advance the
knowledge base, contribute to the national innovation system
and participate effectively in the global development of
knowledge and skills.
DEWR: OUTCOME 1—An efficient and equitable labour
market that links people to jobs and promotes the transition
Cost- efficiency from welfare to work.
Finance: OUTCOME 2—Improved and more efficient
DFAT: OUTCOME 2—Australians informed about and
provided access to consular and passport services in Australia
DHA: OUTCOME 3—Improved and more efficient
Innovation Centrelink delivers government operations.
a wide range of OUTCOME 6—Hearing Services.
outputs on behalf of DIMIA: OUTCOME 1—Lawful and orderly entry and stay
client agencies of people.
DOTARS: PORTFOLIO OUTCOME—Linking Australia
through transport and regional services.
DVA: OUTCOME 1—Eligible veterans, their war
Best widows/widowers, and dependants have access to
practice appropriate compensation and income support in recognition
of the effects of war service.
OUTCOME 4—The needs of the veteran community are
identified, members of the community are informed about
available community and specific services and they are able
to access such services.
Our goals and priorities
There are six goals and a range of supporting priorities that will ensure Centrelink achieves its mission.
TABLE 1: Our goals and priorities
To build partnerships with client agencies that
Ensuring the integrity of the social security
deliver the required results and provide value system
Customer and community
Helping people move forward
Working in partnership with communities
To increase customer and community
involvement and satisfaction with services Making Centrelink even more responsive
to citizens and business
To provide Centrelink’s people with
confidence, knowledge, skills and tools to Supporting our staff and agents to achieve our
meet the challenges of current and future business objectives
business and their own career aspirations
To manage our business efficiently and return Giving the Government confidence in its
a dividend to the Government investment and transparency in its costs
To provide innovative and personalised Supporting and promoting innovation and
solutions, consistent with government policy creativity in Centrelink people
To be first choice and benchmarked as the Ensuring effective internal and external
best practice in service delivery governance and accountability arrangements
The application of risk management principles enables Centrelink to improve the way it controls and manages its
business. Through risk documentation, Centrelink is able to provide assurance to its stakeholders about business control
and strategy development.
During 2001–02 Centrelink continued to integrate and improve its risk management skills and abilities through:
• integration of risk management into business planning processes;
• development of a risk register database;
• completion of more than 57 risk assessment workshops; and
• requirements for risk management data in many key components of the business.
Risk management support services continue to be provided to teams and leaders throughout Centrelink. This assists with
the integration of risk management principles and processes into business practices. Centrelink will continue to look for
opportunities to demonstrate its ability to meet stakeholder expectations through the provision of risk-based assurance
FIGURE 2: Our services
Note: Numbers in brackets relate to client agencies’ respective outputs as outlined in 2001–02 Portfolio Budget
A key to abbreviations used in this figure appears on page 16.
Newstart Allowance (Output Group 3.1)
Mature Age Allowance (Output Group 3.1)
Partner Allowance (Output Group 3.1)
Widow Allowance (Output Group 3.1)
Employment Entry Payment (Output Group 3.1)
Education Entry Payment (Output Group 3.1)
Mutual Obligation (Output Group 3.1) (DEWR 1.2.8)
Centrelink Employer Contact (Output Group 3.1)
Special Employment Advance (Output Group 3.1)
Advance Payments (Output Group 3.1)
Community Development Employment Project Participant Supplement (Output Group 3.1)
Preparing for Work Agreements (Output Group 3.1) (joint with DEWR)
Job Seeker Registration (Output 1.2.1)
Application of the Job Seeker Classification Instrument (Output 1.2.1)
Enrolment for Job Matching Services (Output 1.2.1)
Referral to Job Search Training (Output 1.2.1)
Referral to Intensive Assistance (Output 1.2.1)
Referral to New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (Output 1.2.1)
Referral to Self Employment Development Providers (Output 1.2.1)
Special Needs Assessment (Output 1.2.1)
Issue Wage Assistance Cards (Output 1.2.9)
Referral to Work for the Dole (Output 1.2.8)
Return to Work Program (Output 1.2.10)
Maintenance of Employment Self Help Facilities (Output 1.2.3)
Occupational Psychologists (Output 1.2.2)
Community Support Program (Output 1.2.5)
Indigenous Employment Program (Output 1.2.9)
Promotion of New Apprenticeships
(Output Group 2.2)
Referral to New Apprenticeships Access Programme (Output Group 2.2)
Referral to Advanced English for Migrants Programme (Output Group 2.3)
Referral to Literacy and Numeracy Programme (Output Group 2.3)
Referral to National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition Courses (Output Group 3.2)
YOUTH & STUDENTS
Youth Allowance (Output Group 1.2)
Austudy Payment (Output Group 1.2)
Pensioner Education Supplement (Output Group 3.1)
Student Financial Supplement Scheme
(Output Group 1.2)
Reconnect Program (Output Group 1.2)
Fares Allowance (Output Group 1.2)
Youth and Student Line for Youth Allowance and Austudy Payment Enquiries
Parent Liaison Service (Output Group 1.2)
ABSTUDY (including Living Allowance and Incidental Allowance) (Output Groups 1.2 and 2.1)
Student Financial Supplement (Loans) Scheme for ABSTUDY customers (Output Group 2.1)
Assistance for Isolated Children (including Distance Education Allowance, Second Home Allowance and Board &
Additional Board Allowance)
(Output Group 1.2)
ABSTUDY Pensioner Education Supplement (Output Groups 1.2 and 2.1)
Referral to Jobs Pathway Programme (Output Group 2.3)
Referral to Job Placement, Employment and Training (Output Group 2.3)
Referral to Young Offenders’ Pilot Programme
(Output Group 2.3)
Career Information Centres (Output Group 2.3)
Career Counselling (Output Group 2.3)
Referral to Green Corps (Output Group 2.4)
Age Pension (Output Group 3.4)
Wife Pension (Output Group 3.4)
Widow B Pension (Output Group 3.4)
Pension Loans Scheme (Output Group 3.4)
Pension Bonus Scheme (Output Group 3.4)
Financial Information Service* (Output Group 3.4)
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
(Output Group 2.2)
Pension Concession Card* (Output Group 2.2)
Pharmaceutical Allowance* (Output Group 2.2)
Telephone Allowance* (Output Group 2.2)
Bereavement Allowance* (Output Group 3.1)
* Managed by Retirement Community Segmentfor all customers
Income Assessment for Residential Care Fees (Administered Item 3)
Veterans’ Information and Community Support Services in selected sites (Output 4.1)
FAMILIES & CHILDREN
Family Tax Benefit (parts A&B) (Output Group 1.1)
Maternity Allowance (Output Group 1.1)
Maternity Immunisation Allowance
(Output Group 1.1)
Double Orphan Pension (Output Group 1.1)
Child Support registrations (Output Group 1.3)
Child Care Benefit (Output Group 1.4)
Family Adjustment Payment (Output Group 1.1)
Parenting Payment (single and partnered) (Output Group 3.1)
Jobs, Education and Training (Output Group 3.1)
Concession Cards (Output Group 2.2)
DISABILITY & CARERS
Disability Support Pension (Output Group 3.2)
Wife Pension (Output Group 3.2)
Newstart Allowance (Incapacitated)
(Output Group 3.1)
Youth Allowance (Incapacitated) (Output Group 3.1)
Sickness Allowance (Output Group 3.2)
Mobility Allowance (Output Group 3.2)
Disability Services (Output Group 3.2)
Disability Employment Services (Output Group 3.2)
Carer Payment (Output Group 3.3)
Carer Allowance (Output Group 3.3)
Employment Services for Special Groups (People with Disabilities) (Output 1.2.1)
Disabled Apprentice Wage (Output 2.2)
Commonwealth Carelink Program (Administered Program)
Hearing Services (Outcome 6, Administered Item 1)
RURAL & HOUSING
Remote Area Allowance (Output Group 2.1)
Rent Assistance (Output Group 2.1)
Retirement Assistance for Farmers (Output Group 3.4)
Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment (Output 1)
Farm Help (Output 1)
Dairy Exit Program (Output 1)
Ex-Gratia Payments for Farmers (Output 1)*
Sugar Industry Assistance Package (Output 1)*
Flood Relief Package (Output 1)
* In conjunction with Finance.
Ex-Gratia Payments for Farmers (Output 2.1.3)*
* In conjunction with AFFA.
Rural Transaction Centres (Administered Program 1.1)
Commonwealth Flood Assistance Package—Business Grants (Administered Program 1.1)
Centrelink Access Points
Multicultural Service Officer Program
Centrelink Multilingual Call
Interpreter and Translation Services
Special Benefit* (Output Group 3.1)
Crisis Payment* (Output Group 3.1)
* Managed by Multicultural Community Segment for all customers.
Assurance of Support (Output 1.1)
Pilot Work Right Information Line (Output 1.3)
Employers’ Work Right Checking Line (Output 1.3)
Indigenous Service Officers (community development)
Indigenous Customer Service Officers (customer contact)
Indigenous Service Units
Indigenous Call Centres
Indigenous Employment Outreach Officers
Remote Visiting Teams
SOCIAL WORK SERVICES
Social Work Services for customers with difficult personal and family issues
Domestic and Family Violence Policy and Procedures
Child Support exemptions
Assessment of Youth Allowance for young people in situations of extreme family breakdown
Assessment of Crisis Payment for people leaving situations of domestic violence
Social Work Services for customers facing multiple barriers to participation
Portability of payments
Foreign pension access and assessment
Centrelink Community Officers and other assistance for homeless customers
Customer Confirmation Service
Electoral Roll data update (Output 1.1.2)
Family Law Online (Output 1.3)
Indigenous Tax Time Program (Output 1.1)
Health Care and other Customer Concessions (Output Group 2.2)
Australian Passport Information Service Call Centre (Output 2.1.2)
Rent Deduction Scheme
Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme (Administered Program 2.1)
Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (Administered Program 2.1)
AEC Australian Electoral Commission
AFFA Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry–Australia
AGD Attorney-General’s Department
ATO Australian Taxation Office
DEST Department of Education Science and Training
Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs
(renamed Department of Education, Science and Training in November 2001)
DEWR Department of Employment and Workplace Relations
Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business
(renamed Department of Employment and Workplace Relations in November 2001)
DFAT Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
DHA Department of Health and Ageing
DIMIA Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs
DOCITA Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts
DOTARS Department of Transport and Regional Services
DVA Department of Veterans’ Affairs
FaCS Department of Family and Community Services
Finance Department of Finance and Administration
Centrelink contributes to the social and economic outcomes set by the Government by delivering services on behalf of 25
client agencies. These cover a wide range of outputs in the form of products and services. For the full range of products
and services provided by Centrelink, see Figure 2, page 13.
TABLE 2: Our business operations
FUNCTIONS: Income support, other 2001–02 2000–01
payments and referral services
Service delivery points Over 1 000 Australia Over 1 000 Australia
Number of employees 24 641 24 356
Number of client agencies 25 client agencies(a) 20 client agencies
Payments on behalf of client agencies Approx. $53.4 Approx. $51.7
Mainframe online transactions Approx. 3.7 billion Approx. 3.4 billion
Number of customers 6.4 million 6.3 million
Number of individual entitlements 9.5 million 9.3 million
Letters to customers Approx. 96.1 million Approx. 97.3 million
Home visit reviews 35 701 65 267
New claims granted 3.2 million 5.2 million(b)
Successful telephone calls Approx. 23.3 million Approx. 22.5 million
Internet web page views 15 million 9 million
(a) State and Territory Housing Authorities are counted as separate agencies.
(b) New claims lodged.
A recent review by the Boston Consulting Group concluded Centrelink has delivered efficiency gains of around 21 per
cent since its establishment, an improvement that compares favourably with gains achieved by leading private sector
network businesses over the same period.
TABLE 3: Our network
Customer Service Centres (incorporating the Family Assistance Office) 314
Centrelink Agents 320
Rural Visiting Services In identified locations as required
Separate Specialist Service Centres 32
Call Centres 27
Veteran Information Services 13
Service Tasmania Centres 11
Rural Transaction Centres 29
Access Points 127
Area Support Offices 15
National Support Office 1
n RURAL AND REGIONAL SERVICING STRATEGY
Working in partnership with communities and business is essential to the success of the strategies outlined in Centrelink’s
National Rural and Regional Servicing Strategy. Centrelink relies on the partnership and goodwill of individual
community organizations, which provide Agent and Access Point services in rural and remote Australia on Centrelink’s
behalf. To assist in the delivery of better service to these parts of Australia, Centrelink is providing some communities
with additional infrastructure capability and a standard suite of IT. Under the Servicing Strategy, Centrelink has also
expanded its Agent and Access Point network to 174 Agent sites and 127 Access Points. Combined with 146 Indigenous
Community Agents, Centrelink has representation in over 440 rural and remote communities Australia-wide.
As part of Centrelink’s ongoing commitment to improving service delivery to rural and remote Australia, we also support
and participate in the Rural Transaction Centres Program administered by the Department of Transport and Regional
Services. The Program provides funds to help small rural communities establish facilities, which give local access to a
range of services including financial services, Australia Post, phone, fax, the internet and Medicare easyclaim.
FIGURE 3: Our organisational chart
MINISTER FOR FAMILY &
Chief Auditor BOARD OF MANAGEMENT
Organisational & Performance Area Managers
IT & Financial Audit CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER General Manager Centrelink
Sue Vardon Call
Strategic Planning CUSTOMER SERVICES
Chief Customer Officer
Executive & Board Support
CIO Deputy CEO Deputy CEO Deputy CEO
Digital Business Business Business Capability Customer Service
Jane Treadwell Graham Bashford Paul Hickey Pat Turner
OPERATIONS SERVICE People Management Service Improvement
Business Delivery INTEGRATION SHOP Virtual College Team
Shared Technical Service Integration Show Business Planning Indigenous Services
Services Gateway Strategic Services
Business & Business Practices (Customer Service)
Information Business Integration
Business Alliance &
Protection Business Transition Contracts
BUSINESS COMMUNITY Communication, Media
ADVANCEMENT SEGMENT TEAMS & Marketing
Relationship & Disability & Carers Risk & Business
Youth & Students Assurance
Internal Governance Detection & Review
Families Debt Services
Architecture Rural & Housing CENTRELINK CALL
I&T Strategy Psychological Services Operations
BUSINESS Employment Services Future Capability
SERVICES Multicultural Services Centrelink Call I&T
Social Work Services CALL CENTRES
Retirement National Manager Area
International Services Network
CLIENT Property & Services
Client Partnership Teams
Major Projects Group
Corporate governance framework
Centrelink operates under the direction of a Board of Management. Internally, it is governed by a ‘Guiding Coalition’.
There are clearly designated roles for the Board of Management and the Guiding Coalition.
A ‘Corporate Governance Handbook’ and a condensed version, Board Talk, support Board of Management operations
and increase the understanding of governance structures within Centrelink. These publications are available to all staff.
The Guiding Coalition is Centrelink’s internal ‘corporate board’. It includes all Centrelink Senior Executive Service
officers and meets every six to eight weeks to discuss strategic issues of importance as well as make decisions about
Centrelink’s management and business directions. Meetings are held in Canberra.
The Business Improvement Committee assists the Guiding Coalition. The Committee’s primary role is to ensure the most
effective and efficient use of project and national support maintenance program funds within Centrelink.
Board of Management
During 2001–02, Centrelink’s Board of Management included:
• the Chairman;
• three part-time non-Executive Directors;
• two non-voting members who were client department secretaries (part-year only); and
• the Centrelink CEO (the sole ‘Executive’ Board member).
Three Board of Management committees assist the Board in its work.
• The Audit Committee ensures that Centrelink operates with proper financial management and internal controls.
• The Information and Technology (I&T) Committee provides advice and direction on strategic I&T issues.
• The Quality Committee is responsible for assuring the Board that Centrelink is delivering services that will see it
remain as the ‘first choice’ for the Government and customers, and eventually be benchmarked as best practice in
Table 4: Centrelink’s net operating result 2001–02 and 2000–01
2001–02 2000–01 % Change
$’000 $’000 %
Revenue (net of dividend) 1 854 740 1 773 297 4.59
Expenses 1 847 782 1 747 289 5.75
Net operating result 6 958 26 008 (73.25)
TABLE 5: Statement of financial position—assets and liabilities
2001–02 2000–01 % Change
$’000 $’000 %
Cash 134 445 124 099 8.34
Receivables 21 660 20 495 5.68
Total financial assets 156 105 144 594 7.96
Property, plant and equipment 325 516 302 362 7.66
Other non-financial assets 56 425 47 648 18.42
Total non-financial assets 381 941 350 010 9.12
Total assets 538 046 494 604 8.78
Loans 0 18 699 (100)
Employee provisions 332 553 320 433 3.78
Payables 96 151 78 025 23.23
Total Liabilities 428 704 417 157 2.77
Total equity 109 342 77 447 41.18
TABLE 6: Statement of cash flow
2001–02 2000–01 % Change
$’000 $’000 %
Net cash from operating activities 88 870 136 819 35.05
Net cash used by investing activities (84 075) (82 336) 2.11
Net cash from financing activities 5 551 14 715 62.28
Net increase/(decrease) in cash 10 346 69 198 85.05
Up by $43.4 million
Up to $11.5 million
Up by $31.9 million
Down by $58.9 million
Revenue and expenditure increased primarily as a result of the introduction of the Australians Working Together
(AWT) initiative, announced by the Government in the 200102 Budget.
Statement of financial position
Total assets increased by $43.4 million as a result of:
the annual asset replacement program, including renewal of software licences and near completion of a full rollout of
• capitalisation of internally developed software related to Budget initiatives and other productivity improvement
an increase in prepayments to a number of suppliers to achieve more favourable terms and conditions for the
Total liabilities increased by $11.5 million because of:
increased employee provisions associated with the higher staff numbers required to implement new government
• payables in June including high asset acquisitions, particularly related to personal computers and office fitout, and the
marketing of the life events products; and
offset by the full acquittal of the loan from Government, two years ahead of schedule.
Equity increased by $31.9 million as a result of:
the operating surplus and $24.3 million equity injection from Government to fund new capital to support the
introduction of AWT and other initiatives.
Statement of cash flow
Net increase in cash for the year is down by $58.9 million, primarily due to:
a lower operating surplus for the year;
• comparatively higher levels of leave taken and paid in 200102 compared with 200001; and
repayment of borrowings in June 2002.
TABLE 7: Government dividend requirements
Standard 76.0 61.0
Special 139.4 139.4
IT infrastructure 24.8 24.8
Total 240.2 225.2
Up by $15.0 million
TABLE 8: Revenue to Centrelink 2001–02
Source of revenue $’000
Department of Family and Community Services 1 679 126
Department of Employment and Workplace Relations 121 642
Department of Education Science and Training 12 913
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry–Australia 6 448
Department of Health and Ageing 3 710
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2 492
Department of Transport and Regional Services 1 718
Attorney-General's Department 1 547
Child Support Agency 748
Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous 604
Department of Finance and Administration 459
Department of Veterans' Affairs 448
Australian Taxation Office 176
Australian Dairy Corporation 92
Australian Electoral Commission 53
Other revenue 22 564
Total revenue(a) 1 854 740
(a) Represents all revenue received, and includes revenue specified within the Business Partnership Agreements and revenue for services delivered outside those Agreements.
Revenue from all sources other than agencies listed above is included under ‘Other revenue’.
Prescribed efficiency dividends
In line with previous years, Centrelink delivered government efficiency dividends in the form of a reduction in revenue
from client agencies.
Total efficiency dividends returned to government increased by $15 million dollars compared to 2000–01.
Centrelink is subject to three separate dividends:
• the standard efficiency dividend of 1 per cent of total net running costs;
• the special efficiency dividend, applied in recognition of Centrelink’s ability to remove duplication and streamline
government services previously provided by a range of government agencies; and
• the IT infrastructure efficiency dividend.
Since its inception Centrelink has returned a total of $826.4 million in efficiency dividends to the Government.
The Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS) was Centrelink’s major source of revenue, providing
90.53 per cent of Centrelink’s overall revenue. Centrelink’s operating revenue is primarily derived from those client
agencies with whom Centrelink has Business Partnership Agreements. Centrelink is paid in accordance with
arrangements specified in these Agreements for the delivery of services.
Performance at a glance
Goal To build partnerships with client agencies that deliver the required results and provide value for
Priority Ensuring the integrity of the social security system
Results FIGURE 4: Client partnership performance
Centrelink met most of the major client agency key performance indicators (KPIs) with
significant improvements overall. In 2001–02 Centrelink achieved a result of 91 per cent
representing a 14 per cent increase on the previous year’s result of 77 per cent.
Recent business partnership negotiations have resulted in the replacement of some of these
KPIs with a smaller number of outcome–focused measures.
Key achievements • successfully prepared for the introduction of AWT measures;
• signed a landmark five-year Memorandum of Understanding with AFFA;
• achieved a higher percentage of overall client agency KPIs;
• signed off a new agency Business Assurance Framework agreement with FaCS;
developed Customer Confirmation Online System for customer concession entitlements;
commenced phase 2 of the Family Tax IT project.
Key challenges • maintaining and improving current performance results for all client agencies;
• refining and agreeing partnership with FaCS;
• implementing the new funding model for FaCS, DEWR and DEST; and
reviewing AWT support tools.
BURDEKIN FARMERS THANKED
Mango farmers in north and far north Queensland are helping to ensure taxpayers’ money is well spent. Each picking
season farmers are asked to help Centrelink with its compliance responsibilities by verifying the earnings of casual fruit
pickers who are also receiving assistance from Centrelink.
Mangos are grown commercially in the dry tropics and there are strong harvests each year taken from farms in Mareeba,
west of Cairns, and the Burdekin, based in Ayr south of Townsville.
‘It was the busiest time of the year for farmers,’ said Area Central and Northern Queensland Compliance Manager John
‘There can be hundreds of people employed on a casual basis over the picking season in the Burdekin and data-matching
is one way Centrelink makes sure customers are receiving their correct entitlements.’
The farmers are asked to confirm start and end dates of employment and the amount of money earned, including overtime.
In this way, they are an essential part of Centrelink’s debt prevention strategy, and the efforts of farmers are certainly
appreciated during this busy season.
John said that workers can contribute to simplifying the process. ‘Casual fruit pickers should declare the gross amount of
money they earn including overtime and provide Centrelink with a copy of their payslips when lodging Newstart
Allowance or Youth Allowance forms,’ he said.
Centrelink has been trialling various public information strategies in north Queensland over the past 12 months to
publicise these debt prevention measures.
‘Farmers are now helping to deliver this message directly to pickers, reducing their workload and ours,‘ John added,
between bites of a juicy mango.
Customer and community
Goal To increase customer and community involvement and satisfaction with services
Priorities Helping people move forward
Working in partnership with communities and business
Making Centrelink even more responsive to citizens and business
Results FIGURE 5: Customer and community performance
Overall customer satisfaction with the quality of Centrelink’s people, services and information
is 75 per cent. This is 1 per cent lower than the record high achieved in 2000. Customer Service
Centre satisfaction increased by 5.7 per cent from the previous year, with a result of
84.3 per cent for 2001. Call Centre satisfaction increased by 10.2 per cent from the previous
year with a result of 85.3 per cent. International services remains exceptionally high at
94 per cent, down 3 per cent from the previous year.
Key achievements • increased customer satisfaction with Centrelink service provided by both Customer Service
Centres and Call Centres;
• streamlined and simplified processes to improve the customer’s experience;
• expanded the rural and regional services network to rural and remote communities;
• implemented flexible banking and payment structures to assist Indigenous communities;
piloted the Personal Adviser role and started recruitment, training and systems support
changes to ensure smooth AWT implementation; and
created supportive architecture and business rules with over 250 system changes to support
Key challenges • maintaining and enhancing customer satisfaction results;
• developing service offers more closely tailored to the needs of particular customer groups;
• engaging community providers to establish improved referral service capability nationally;
• proving Centrelink’s role is effective in implementing AWT; and
addressing changing customer expectations resulting from increased use of technologies
such as Short Message Service, internet and other services in the community.
PROVIDING PERSONALISED SERVICE
In the past, information material for customers from Centrelink tended to reflect individual programs, payments and
services. This meant that customers needed to know the right questions to ask to get the information they needed.
Centrelink’s new public information material is now based on our service delivery model. Customers need only be
familiar with their own circumstances to access the range of options available to them through Centrelink's e-Reference
This change represents a commitment to the community that Centrelink will manage the complexities of legislation for
the customer, on behalf of the Government and allow staff to provide a more accurate and higher quality service to the
TURNING HER LIFE AROUND
Michelle* was 16 years old, pregnant and had recently left her parents’ home after numerous arguments. She had dropped
out of school the year before and her prospects for further study, work or training were very poor. By the time she saw the
Centrelink Social Worker, Michelle was depressed and suicidal, unable to see any future for herself.
The Social Worker contacted Anglicare Health Connections for Youth who immediately offered the high level of support
that Michelle needed at that time. The Centrelink Social Worker arranged income support and initially counselled
Michelle about her options. The Social Worker continues to work closely with the Anglicare Youth Worker, who found
accommodation for Michelle until long-term housing was available. Regular case consultations between the agencies
have been effective in providing a high level of support to this at risk young woman.
Three months later, Michelle reports that she feels emotionally stronger, and is more confident and optimistic. Michelle
says the initial support from the Centrelink Social Worker and the ongoing assistance from the Anglicare Youth Worker,
have been really important in turning her life around.
* A fictitious name has been used in this case study to protect the individual’s identity but is a record of a
Personal Adviser’s discussion
RESPONDING TO THE ANSETT COLLAPSE
The sudden collapse of Ansett Airlines had a profound impact across the Australian community. It left tens of thousands
of people either out of work or with an uncertain future, deprived some businesses of their livelihood, and left the
travelling public inconvenienced and, in some cases, stranded mid-travel.
Centrelink, as the gateway for many government payments and services and with extensive experience in dealing with
large-scale redundancy and emergency situations, was called on to play a major part in the Federal Government’s
response to the crisis.
By 9.00 am on the day of the collapse, Centrelink Call Centres started taking calls on a helpline for stranded travellers. In
the majority of cases, Call Centre staff were able to advise customers of their options. In some cases, emergency financial
assistance was required to get customers home. In cases like this, where this immediate assistance was needed, customers
were referred to Customer Service Centres to organise the payment of expenses such as hotel bills. Centrelink on behalf of
the Department of Transport and Regional Services, also assisted with car and boat hire and chartering buses and planes,
including Defence aircraft, to return stranded passengers home.
Additional assistance was provided by operating the Employment Services Enquiry Line, from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm, seven
days a week. Some local Customer Service Centres also stayed open for the first few weekends.
Centrelink produced a special employment kit about possible entitlements and also worked closely with local authorities
and developed a unique agreement with the Australian Council of Trade Unions to provide information at 100 entitlement
seminars across the country.
Goal To provide Centrelink people with confidence, knowledge, skills and tools to meet the challenges of
current and future business and their own career aspirations
Priority Supporting our staff and agents to achieve our business objectives
Results FIGURE 6: Centrelink people performance
Following the excellent result in the previous financial year, there has been a levelling off with a
slight reduction of 0.81 per cent in performance against the people measures in the Balanced
Note: 1999–2000 results have been calculated using 2001–02 targets to maintain relativities.
Key • developed a Career Pathways Map for Centrelink employees to show how career paths and
achievements options are linked by nationally recognised learning;
• created the Centrelink Capability Index to allow Centrelink to monitor key staff indicators in the
areas of availability, commitment and skills; and
• established a national panel of providers to support competency-based recruitment services for
the selection of over 450 Personal Advisers as part of AWT.
Key challenges • negotiating Centrelink’s next Workplace Bargaining Agreement;
• implementing workforce planning throughout Centrelink’s network;
• developing a people management strategy;
• developing a national recruitment strategy;
• developing a remuneration strategy; and
• implementing job redesign initiatives for 15 000 staff.
INSPIRING HIS COLLEAGUES
Peter Godfrey joined Centrelink under the Graduate Administrative Assistant Scheme and has been working in Brisbane
Call Centre as a Customer Service Officer since 1993. Peter is a quadriplegic and uses an electric wheelchair.
The Call Centre is an ideal environment for Peter and he has had various system-based tools adapted to assist him in
performing his duties. He operates keyboard and telephone equipment with a specially developed mouthpiece rod fitted to
his headset. Peter also uses Dragon Dictate, a voice activated command system linked to his computer.
Peter has made significant contributions to customer service. He knows a lot about Family Assistance Office entitlements,
and provides a range of technical support to his colleagues as the Family Assistance Office scripts development officer
and Subject Matter Expert, accredited Technical Support Officer and Family Assistance Office quality checker. He also
assists fellow staff with training in navigation of PC-based products. As well as offering his technical expertise, Peter has
represented staff in Brisbane Call Centre’s Strategic Leadership Group and has also contributed to a Workplace Diversity
video being produced for Centrelink.
Peter is a high achiever whose colleagues see as an inspiration. His flexible approach and sense of humour reflect his
commitment to overcoming the personal challenges of his disability.
MAPPING CAREER PATHWAYS
Centrelink has developed a Career Pathways Map showing how career paths and options are linked by nationally
recognised qualifications. This is the first time a large public sector organisation has used qualifications developed by the
Australian National Training Authority to develop a career pathways map that indicates the skills and knowledge required
to further employees’ work and career aspirations.
FIGURE 7: THE VISION: Career pathways within Centrelink
Key for Career Pathways Vision
ARO Authorised Review Officer
BS Business Services
CAO Complex Assessment Officer
CDO Centrelink Disability Officer
CS Customer Service
Dev Prog Development Program
FISO Financial Information Services Officer
FLM Frontline Management
Grad Cert Graduate Certificate
HR Human Resources
I&T Information and Technology
ISO Indigenous Services Officer
JET Jobs Education & Training
MSO Multicultural Services Officer
SES Senior Executive Service
VCW Value Creation Workshop
Goal To manage our business efficiently and return a dividend to the Government
Priority Giving the Government confidence in its investment and transparency in its costs
Results FIGURE 8: Cost-efficiency
The results show the 2001–02 operating performance and the end of year cash and equity positions
compared to the previous two years.
Key • achieved an operating surplus of $6.96 million;
• returned to Government all required efficiency dividends totalling $240.2 million; and
• achieved a positive cash position of $134.45 million.
Key challenges • managing Comcare Australia premium, especially high-cost claims;
• refining and building on work completed to date on strategic cost management methodologies;
• finalising the new external funding model in partnership with client agencies and the Department
of Finance and Administration before the 200304 Budget;
further developing Call Centre automation opportunities; and
achieving efficiencies through streamlined processes, customer profiling and accounts delivered
across multiple channels.
REDUCING CENTRELINK’S MAIL
Centrelink actively pursues ways to reduce the volume of mail sent to customers and increase the quality of information in
them. In 200102, several initiatives reduced overall mail costs through more efficient use of resources and provided a
better service for customers.
A number of Centrelink’s forms and letters were redesigned and incorporated into single mailouts, for example, Newstart
Allowance claim forms have been redesigned as a letter, which can be issued in one envelope together with a
statement-style letter. This reduced the cost of Newstart Allowance claim form postage by 25 per cent or around $1
million a year. Centrelink will progressively reformat the full range of Newstart Allowance claim forms (12 different
types) and other Centrelink letters and forms to streamline mail to customers.
Other important initiatives under way are:
• Launching the Centrelink Letters Principles to provide a comprehensive framework for all mail strategies, which
includes business and operational risk assessment and effective stakeholder management.
• Reducing the number of customer letters confirming customer initiated appointments with Centrelink. This is
expected to result in an estimated reduction of 1.2 million letters a year.
• Streamlining letters sent to job seeker customers and mapping current letter processes to core elements of service
delivery. This is to examine: the cost of dealing with customer contact/rework after they receive letters; the system
induced conditions, which result in multiple letters to customers; and opportunities to improve the quality and reduce
the volume and cost of customer mail.
Developing an automated Paper Channel Management Information System to provide letters data to the desktop and
help with better management of customer mail activities.
Goal To provide innovative and personalised solutions, consistent with government policy
Priority Supporting and promoting innovation and creativity in Centrelink people
Key CentreThink & Ideas Bank
CentreThink provides a forum for staff to discuss, promote and share ideas for improving
Centrelink. CentreThink is available to staff at all levels of the organisation, and at all sites.
During the last six months of 2001–02, Ideas Bank was monitored full-time, which has resulted in
greater efficiency in response times and an increase in the number of ideas being finalised.
Centrelink recently reviewed the processes for Ideas Bank and set standard response times (five
days for administrator update, 28 days finalisation from date submitted).
Increased response times and greater staff functionality of the Ideas Bank system is expected to
increase staff interest and the number of ideas submitted. Approximately 15 ideas have already been
implemented nationally, with over 100 being supported for further development.
TRIALLING A SHORT MESSAGING SERVICE
In 2001–02 an important initiative targeted at improving services to young people and students was a trial of a Short
Messaging Service (SMS). The trial aimed to help young job seekers and students meet Centrelink’s administrative
requirements, reduce unnecessary customer contact, and resolve short-term cancellations and suspensions of entitlement,
before customer payments are affected.
In June 2002 around 300 youth and student customers were sent an SMS message to remind them of appointments and,
form lodgement requirements, to confirm payment delivery or to alert them to a decision to cancel or suspend them from
payment. Initial customer reaction was positive, with several customers not selected for the trial asking to be included.
Goal To be first choice and benchmarked as the best practice in service delivery
Priority Ensuring effective internal and external governance and accountability arrangements
Key Fraud control
Centrelink is recognised around the world for expertise in fraud control. Specialised staff are sought
as consultants to assist in developing fraud programs for Australian and international organisations.
During 200102, Centrelink engaged in the following arrangements.
• Centrelink played a key role, with IBM and the Department of Family and Community Services
in a consultancy study on risk management on social security schemes for the Government of
Hong Kong represented by the Social Welfare Department. Ray White, Detection and Review
lived in Hong Kong for the six-month duration of the consultancy. The consultancy was
considered a success by all organisations and enhanced Centrelink’s reputation around the world
for its expertise in fraud control.
• Brian O’Malley, Detection and Review, completed a two-year outposting to Canada’s Human
Resource Development Department to assist in developing their fraud control programs.
• Geoff Main and Brett Robson, Detection and Review, were attached to the Australian
Attorney-General’s Department to develop recommendations for improving personal
identification practices. A scoping paper entitled Who goes there? was produced about how to
manage the identification of fraud risks across the Commonwealth. The Government is currently
considering issues arising from the study.
FOOTSTEPS LEAD THE WAY
The key message from research and feedback from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customers was that they wanted
to see ‘something positive’. Footsteps, a national Centrelink magazine for Indigenous Peoples and communities, was the
result. The name Footsteps was chosen as Indigenous staff felt that it provided a good link to where Indigenous people
have been and where they want to go in the future.
This magazine shows that, through community partnerships and the work being done by Indigenous staff, there are often
success stories demonstrating that Centrelink is an organisation helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people to
move forward. There are many Indigenous communities involved in positive and productive activities, and Footsteps
gives them the chance to promote their achievements.
n FAMILIES ONLINE
In 2001–02 Centrelink continued to work with FaCS to provide further online services to families. After consulting
customers, Centrelink introduced a service to allow families to update their income estimate online. Since 17 July 2001,
when the service was introduced, more than 50 000 income estimate updates have been sent to the Families Assistance
Office via the internet. Almost 20 per cent of these online updates were sent outside traditional business hours, between 8
pm and 11 pm.
Customer feedback on the new service was very positive, with 92 per cent of customers rating the service as either ‘easy’
or ‘very easy’ to use, and all customers surveyed saying that they would use the service again.
In an email, one customer said ‘ I would just like to express my delight in being able to update our family income estimate
on the internet. It’s so easy. Thanks again.’
From 16 May 2002 customers were also able to use the online estimator to work out their possible family assistance
payments or see how changes in their circumstances might affect their payments. Based on the results of this service,
other internet-based services are planned in the near future.