Centrepay, the bill-paying service for people receiving a Centrelink payment, has been described by consumer advocates as “A good idea that lost its way“.
An independent review is now underway into the operations of Centrepay. Financial Counselling Australia and other organisations are discussing key problems with the service in advance of preparing a submission.
The detail of the review is set out below – but what are your experiences?
The deadline for submissions is 28 February 2012.
Terms of Reference
Scope of the review
The Centrepay review will:
- examine the controls, risk management and administrative processes in place to ensure the Centrepay service is used in a way that protects people’s entitlements
- examine the approaches taken to ensure Centrepay is used to distribute money to legitimate organisations providing services to people on a fair and reasonable basis, and the associated contract management approaches used
- provide suggestions about which businesses and services should have access to the Centrepay service, and services that might be excluded
- look at ways in which Centrepay can be used to build the financial capability of its customers and to assist them to manage their money in the best way possible
- examine the complaints and feedback mechanisms associated with Centrepay to ensure that issues are resolved in a fair way
- examine how Centrepay relates to other financial products and services available to the Department’s customers, and
- suggest future opportunities and directions for the Centrepay service.
The review will be conducted with appropriate reference to existing and related reviews conducted by other parties.
The reviewer will deliver a report to the Secretary of the Department of Human Services, outlining key findings and related recommendations for improvement.
Input will be sought from relevant government agencies, welfare and financial peak bodies, and community agencies as appropriate. Specifically the review should consult people who have used Centrepay. The input of companies, service providers and third party organisations will also be important. It will be necessary to consult across geographically remote locations.
How to Participate
Anyone can make a submission at any time up until Thursday 28 February 2013. If you would like to make a submission to the review, you may find it helpful to consider the terms of reference provided on www.humanservices.gov.au. Information provided in your submission may be made publicly available; however, if you would like information to be kept in confidence please make this clear in your submission.
Submissions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to:
Centrepay Review Team,
PO Box 7788
CanberraBC ACT 2610.
Senator Kim Carr announced an independent review into Centrepay in November 2012. Read the Media Release.