Category: On the record

15 January 2018 – Clarification on number of calls waiting longer than one hour

Contrary to recent reporting about the number of calls to the Department of Human Services that took longer than one hour to answer, the department would like to clarify that of the 1.5 million calls to the department’s social security and welfare lines during November 2017, only about 47,000 calls took longer than one hour to answer. During the 2016-17 financial year, the average wait time for social security and welfare calls was 15 minutes and 44 seconds.

14 September – Correction of reporting in the Ballarat Courier

The Ballarat Courier (‘Robo-debt’ hits city hard, p9, 14 September) published incorrect statements about the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Report into the Department of Human Services’ Online Compliance Intervention.

Reporting suggested acting Commonwealth Ombudsman Richard Glenn “found the program had a ‘profoundly negative impact on the lives of thousands of Australians’”.

This is incorrect.

The department requested a correction which was printed in the 15 September 2017 edition.

30 March 2017 – Correction of Family Tax Benefit misreporting by Fairfax Media

Fairfax Media has failed readers with sensationalist and selective reporting on the Department of Human Services’ delivery of Family Tax Benefit payments.

This reporting (29 and 30 March, 2017) displays utter ignorance of the system and misrepresents our submission to the Senate Inquiry on the Better Management of the Social Welfare System initiative. We also note we were not approached for clarifying information or comment before this story was printed.

Continue reading 30 March 2017 – Correction of Family Tax Benefit misreporting by Fairfax Media