Until yesterday, I was wondering why the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a honest Christian man who goes to church every Sunday, was not letting fly at the men who had tried to reclaim money from the poor and starving in this country and ended up with a bill of $1.2 billion in legal fees.
The Australian Government has cheerfully forked out $1.2 billion of those green notes to settle a lawsuit in the robodebt case. I think it's a good moment to stop and consider whether some ministers should be told, in strict terms, to avoid taking any initiatives that involve technology.
It's beginning to look like the Federal Government should avoid anything to do with technology following the revelation on Thursday that $70 million of taxpayers' money was spent on the COVIDSafe app – and only 17 cases were detected through its use.
Digital rights organisation Electronic Frontiers Australia has called for a detailed examination of the robodebt fiasco so that there would be an understanding of how so many people were incorrectly asked to repay money to the government.
Indian outsourcing firm Infosys has beaten out Accenture and IBM to win a contract with the Australian Government's Services Australia department - formerly the Department of Human Services - to rebuild the engine that calculates the welfare amount to be paid to recipients.
The Federal Government is putting cost savings first and people second through its increasing use of technology and algorithms to control the lives of Australians who are in need and seeking income support, the Human Rights Law Centre says.
Ever since the Department of Human Services started its robo-debt campaign to get back money which it has allegedly overpaid to welfare recipients, it has often been accused of having scant regard for the privacy of people. On Monday, I had a first-hand demonstration of exactly how much the DHS cares for privacy.
NOTE: The Department of Human Services has responded to this article vigorously refuting the author's contentions of a personal privacy breach and the response is appended to the end of the story.
The Australian Greens have called on the Federal Government to immediately halt the recovery of money claimed to be owed to Centrelink and calculated through the use of data, after the Department of Human Services wiped a $4000 debt that was at the heart of a Federal Court challenge to the recovery scheme.
One-third of the appeals made by those who were slugged with debts by Centrelink, over what has come to be known as the Federal Government's robo-debt scheme, have been upheld by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Has Jennifer put the Dud in Dudley-Nicholson?
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