Compensation Recovery Policies and Procedures

Julie Middleton made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Human Services

Department of Human Services did not have the information requested.

From: Julie Middleton

Delivered

Dear Department of Human Services,

I am seeking copies of the Department's policies and procedures in relation to the receipting, monitoring and report on compensation recoveries from 1992 to present.

Under the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth), if an individual has an accident, for which he/she may be able to get compensation and they apply for Centrelink payments, there is an obligation to pursue a compensation claim. Centrelink's MOD C form includes on page 4:

24 I declare that:

• the information I have provided in this form is complete and correct.

I understand that:

• under Section 1166 of the Social Security Act 1991, if the Australian Government Department of Human Services believe I have an entitlement to compensation I will be required to take reasonable action to obtain that compensation.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Julie Middleton

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM
Department of Human Services


Attachment LEX49179 Registration Acknowledgement letter.pdf
221K Download View as HTML


Dear Ms Middleton

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your Freedom of
Information request.

 

Kind Regards

 

Freedom of Information Team

Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch | Legal Services Division

Department of Human Services

[1][email address]

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From: Julie Middleton

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

Your letter dated 21 November 2019 stated that I should expect a decision from you by 16 December 2019, which is today.

Could you please advise if you will require an extension of time.

Yours sincerely,

Julie Middleton

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From: FREEDOMOFINFORMATION
Department of Human Services


Attachment LEX 49179 Administrative release Document.pdf
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Attachment LEX 49179 Communication Administrative Release.pdf
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Dear Ms Middleton,

 

Thank you for your request made under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
dated 15 November 2019.

 

Please find attached communication regarding your request.

 

Kind regards,

 

Freedom of Information Team

Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch | Legal Services Division

Department of Human Services

Email: [1][email address]

 

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From: Julie Middleton

Delivered

Dear Department of Human Services,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Human Services's handling of my FOI request 'Compensation Recovery Policies and Procedures'.

On 15 November 2019 I made a FOI request for Compensation Recovery Policies and Procedures in relation to the receipting, monitoring and reporting on compensation recoveries from 1992 to present.

Unfortunately my FOI request has not been satisfied. I checked the link provided:
http://operational.humanservices.gov.au/...

Information accessed from the above link, does not refer to receipting, monitoring and reporting.

A procedure is a series of actions to be taken, in a certain order or manner, to make something happen or how something is done.

The documents that my FOI requested will be with the finance section of the Department of Human Services. When a payment is made that relates to compensation recovery, the Accounts Receivable Department of the Department of Human Services would be responsible for ensuring the payment is recorded in the correct General Ledger Account and with an applicable Cost Centre Number.

All insurance payments made to the Department of Human Services will be receipted in accordance with the Department's policies and procedures.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Julie Middleton

Link to this

From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM
Department of Human Services


Attachment LEX 50081 Registration Acknowledgement letter Final.pdf
141K Download View as HTML


Dear Ms Middleton

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your request for
documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

 

Due to the department's reduced activity period over December and January,
we are seeking your permission to extend the processing time by an extra
15 days to allow us to process your request under section 15AA of the FOI
Act. This means you can expect to receive a decision by 30 January 2020.

 

We would be grateful if you could please advise by email to
[1][email address] by close of business Monday 23
December 2019 whether you agree to proposed extension of time.

 

Kind regards

 

Freedom of Information Team

Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch | Legal Services Division

Department of Human Services

 

Email: [2][email address]

 

This email and any attachments may contain information subject to legal
professional privilege or information that is otherwise sensitive or
confidential. If you are not the intended recipient of this email, you are
prohibited from using or disseminating this communication. If you have
received this communication in error please notify the sender immediately
and permanently delete this email.

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From: Julie Middleton

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

In response to your letter of 20 December 2019, I am agreeable to the extended processing time of an extra 15 days with the new due date being 30 January 2020.

Please note that I do not agree to the Department providing my requested documents under administrative access arrangements and request that the Department proceed to process my request under the FOI Act.

Yours sincerely,

Julie Middleton

Link to this

From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM
Department of Human Services

Dear Ms Middleton

 

I refer to your request dated 16 December 2019, for access to documents
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). You requested access
to:

 

‘Compensation Recovery Policies and Procedures in relation to the
receipting, monitoring and report on compensation recoveries from 1992 to
present.’

 

This is an informal consultation about this request.

 

Informal Consultation

 

It is my preliminary view that a practical refusal reason may exist, such
that the department would be unable to process this request as the work
involved in processing it would substantially and unreasonably divert the
resources of the department from its other operations.

 

In coming to this view I have consulted with the relevant business area
and they have advised that there are likely multiple procedural documents
within the scope of your request, and as the scope of your request spans
27 years there are also likely numerous iterations and historical versions
of those procedural documents.

 

In the circumstances, I am informally consulting with you regarding
whether you would be willing to withdraw or revise the scope of your
request.

 

Information that may assist

 

For more information, you may wish to consult the department’s Operation
Blueprint procedural documents that are relevant to the treatment of
compensation for social security purposes. A complete list of the current
versions of these procedures is available at the department’s Operational
Information website at
[1]http://operational.humanservices.gov.au/....
Please let me know if, having reviewed these documents, you would like to
withdraw your FOI request.

 

You may also find the general information on the effect of compensation on
social security payments to be useful, available on the Department of
Social Services’ Social Security Guide at
[2]https://guides.dss.gov.au/guide-social-s....  

 

For your action

 

Please advise by return email to [3][email address] by
12:00pm on Tuesday 14 January 2020 whether you wish to withdraw your
request, or if you are agreeable to revising the scope of your request. If
you choose to revise your request, you may wish to consider:

 

·         reducing the number of documents you are requesting by limiting
the scope to a specific time period, or

·         limiting your request to current policies and procedures.

 

Please note that even if you do provide a revised scope, one or more
practical refusal reasons may remain if the revised scope is still too
large to be processed. You will need to take this into consideration when
revising the scope of your request.

 

If I do not hear from you by 12:00pm on Tuesday 14 January 2020, I may
formally consult with you under section 24AB of the FOI Act.

 

Kind regards

 

Bell

Freedom of Information Team

Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch | Legal Services Division

Department Human Services

[4][email address]

 

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IMPORTANT: This e-mail is for the use of the intended recipient only and
may contain information that is confidential, commercially valuable and/or
subject to legal or parliamentary privilege. If you are not the intended
recipient you are notified that any review, re-transmission, disclosure,
dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon,
this information is prohibited and may result in severe penalties. If you
have received this e-mail in error please notify the sender immediately
and delete all electronic and hard copies of this transmission together
with any attachments. Please consider the environment before printing this
e-mail
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References

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1. http://operational.humanservices.gov.au/...
2. https://guides.dss.gov.au/guide-social-s...
3. mailto:[email address]
4. mailto:[email address]

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From: Julie Middleton

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

Thank you for your correspondence dated 10 January 2020.

I do not wish to withdraw my FOI request but will revise the scope of my request to the following:

Copies of the Department's existing (current) policies and procedures in relation to the receipting, monitoring and report on compensation recoveries.

Yours sincerely,

Julie Middleton

Link to this

From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM
Department of Human Services

Dear Ms Middleton

 

I refer to your FOI requests LEX 50081 and LEX 50063.

 

I have consulted with the relevant line areas in relation to your request,
and preliminary discussions appear to indicate the department may not hold
documents within the scope of your requests. However, I would like to make
further enquiries to ascertain whether any relevant documents can be
located.

 

As such, I respectfully request a further extension of 15 days under
section 15AA of the FOI Act to process your requests.

 

In relation to LEX 50081:

At this stage, a decision is due on 30 January 2020. The effect of this
extension of time would mean that decision would be due on 14 February
2020.

 

In relation to LEX 50063:

At this stage, a decision is due on 3 February 2020. The effect of this
extension of time would mean that decision would be due on 18 February
2020.

 

I would be grateful if you could please respond to this email by COB
Tuesday 28 January 2020 to advise whether you agree to the extensions of
time.

 

Kind regards

 

Bell

Freedom of Information Team

Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch | Legal Services Division

Department Human Services

[1][email address]

 

show quoted sections

 

**********************************************************************
IMPORTANT: This e-mail is for the use of the intended recipient only and
may contain information that is confidential, commercially valuable and/or
subject to legal or parliamentary privilege. If you are not the intended
recipient you are notified that any review, re-transmission, disclosure,
dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon,
this information is prohibited and may result in severe penalties. If you
have received this e-mail in error please notify the sender immediately
and delete all electronic and hard copies of this transmission together
with any attachments. Please consider the environment before printing this
e-mail
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From: Julie Middleton

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

I am agreeable to the extension requested, which means the decision is now due on 18 February 2020.

Yours sincerely,

Julie Middleton

Link to this

From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM


Attachment LEX 50081 Communication Charges Notification.pdf
143K Download View as HTML


Dear Ms Middleton

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your Freedom of
Information request.

 

Kind regards

 

Freedom of Information Team

Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch | Legal Services Division

Services Australia

Email: [1][email address]  

 

 

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From: Julie Middleton

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

I have made two Freedom of Information (FOI) applications to the Department of Human Services in relation to the Compensation Recovery Program that are now at the external review stage with the OAIC. Both applications were made via the Right to Know website.

1. Compensation Recovery Statistics - FOI application was made on 21 October 2019.
The Department's reference is LEX 48556; the Decision provided 28 November 2019:

"I have decided to refuse access to your request under section 24A(1)(b)(ii) of the FOI Act on the basis that all reasonable steps have been taken to find the documents that you have requested and I am satisfied that they do not exist."

On 12 November 2019 the Department wrote to advice of its preliminary assessment of a charge of $60. The following day I mailed a money order for $60.

2. Compensation Recovery Information - FOI application was made on 23 December 2019.
The Department's reference is LEX 50190; the Decision provided 6 February 2020:

"I have decided to refuse your request for access under section 24A of the FOI Act on the basis that all reasonable steps have been taken to locate the documents you have requested and I am satisfied that they do not exist."

This is a follow-up FOI applications in relation to the Compensation Recovery Program.

I am not proceeding with this application because the Department has not demonstrated good or sincere intention with previous service. From past experience, I could pay $175 and still have my application refused.

There is certainly reluctance from the Department of Human Services to provide statistics for the compensation recovery program.

Yours sincerely,

Julie Middleton

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