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The Australian government's "robo-debt" welfare debt recovery system has generated significant controversy since its release late last year. With three government reviews now under way, Centrelink managers are under close scrutiny.


  • The government's initiative for "Better Management of the Social Welfare System," better known in the community as robo-debt, has become the subject of strong protest in the media, from welfare associations, political opponents, and even the government's own side of politics.

Features and Benefits

  • Assesses the broader implications of undertaking government change initiatives.
  • Understand the practical issues that managers need to consider beyond technical design.

Key questions answered

  • What led to the problems with the Centrelink debt recovery system?
  • What lessons can be learned for future data-related initiatives?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • It would be a mistake to just blame the computer system
  • This has been a problematic process from its very design
  • Political scrutiny has understandably become intense
  • There are clear questions about procedural fairness that need to be answered


  • Further reading
  • Author

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