Media releases

Senate Inquiry into Morrison Government's Privatisation and Outsourcing of Government Programs

August 01, 2019

BILL SHORTEN MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE NDIS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR GOVERNMENT SERVICES
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

LINDA BURNEY MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS
MEMBER FOR BARTON

ANDREW GILES MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIES AND URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
MEMBER FOR SCULLIN

Labor, along with support of the Senate crossbench, has established a wide ranging Senate inquiry into the third term Morrison Government's privatisation and outsourcing Government programs.

This includes the Morrison Government's privatisation of visa and citizenship processing, the robodebt farce, and outsourcing of the Human Services Department, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), and the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA).

Australians have lost faith in this third term Government's ability to administer and run programs essential to their lives and livelihoods and this Senate inquiry is focussed on exposing the flaws of outsourcing and privatisation within the Australian Public Service.

Under the Morrison Government's plan to privatise visa and citizenship processing, these systems will be turned into a for-profit system and put at risk 2000 jobs Australia-wide.

The Senate will probe the harsh and inaccurate robodebt scheme that is causing such a trail of inconvenience, stress and heartache in the Australian community.

Australians deserve clarity on the claiming of historical debts beyond seven years old and whether this practice has actually stopped, as well as the central problem with robodebt the 'averaging equation' - which has an error rate of at least 20 per cent.

The inquiry will shed light on the human cost, and the effects on services, of staffing caps in the besieged NDIA and outsourcing in the Human Services Department.

Answers are needed on the effect on people with disability and the people who care for them of $1.6b being ripped out of the NDIA.

Finally, there are serious concerns about the AGSVA outsourcing extremely sensitive and classified personal information of some of the our most senior public service and military personnel.

In order to run a successful security clearance, individuals who go through the vetting process need to have the confidence that information they share will remain confidential.

These matters have been referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 16 October 2019.

Australians need confidence in these systems - and it's clear they cannot rely on the word of the Morrison Government.

A FAIR GO FOR AUSTRALIA