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The New Digital Future for Welfare: Debts Without Legal Proofs or Moral Authority?


Terry Carney

This article reviews Centrelink’s online compliance initiative (‘OCI’) to determine whether the Senate Community Affairs References Committee was right to recommend that Centrelink resume responsibility for obtaining all information necessary for calculating working age payment debts based on verifiable actual fortnightly earnings rather than on the basis of assumed averages, or whether responsibility has always remained with Centrelink when the person is unable to easily provide records. It argues that legal responsibility ultimately has always rested with Centrelink in such cases and outlines distributional justice and best practice reasons why the OCI system should be brought into compliance with the law.

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