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Social Issues

Centrelink needs to be broken up


Centrelink is a totally dysfunctional organisation, due in large part to the fact that it has become too big to be able to function efficiently or effectively.

They administer all forms of benefit payments, and the call centre staff rarely know the answers to an enquiry when they are called. That is, if one can actually get in touch with the call centre.

Any corporation that becomes too big will split into smaller organisations. Consider the case of IBM.

While it is a huge corporation, it is split into a number of autonomous organisations that administer specialist services. Aspera provides high speed data transfer services. Emptoris is the smarter commerce brand of the corporation. FileNet develops software that helps enterprises manage their content and business processes.

Kenexa provides employment and retention services. Red Hat provides open source software. The Weather Company is a Weather forecasting company. And the list goes on.

Every corporation knows that once they become too big, they have to break into subsidiaries if they want to remain functional, and that is apart from the anti-trust laws that exist in most countries. There is no reason why Centrelink should not approach the same strategy to provide the services they are meant to provide.

As example, could we not have separate organisations administering the payments of unemployment benefits, aged pensions, disability pensions, student allowances, family service payments and veteran affairs payments?

There are over 2000 sections of the Social Security Act and Social Security (Administration) Act, and it is ridiculous to expect that non-legally trained staff will be across them all for all possible payments.

Would it not make more sense for the organisation to be split into a number of smaller organisations administering specialist services, the same way just about every large corporation in history has done?

The Social Security Act could also be rewritten, and separated into parts pertaining to each organisation. We could then have specialist staff within each organisation administering a specialist service.

This idea is not new to government. The Defence department is split into Army, Navy and Air Force. The Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs split into separate government departments quite a few years ago, after it was found that combining them all into one giant department simply didn’t work.

Even the Department of Home Affairs, the super-ministry created by the former LNP government, is now being broken up because it simply wasn’t able to function properly due to its size.

Few would argue that Centrelink is doing a good job – one only has to look at the Robodebt Royal Commission, the newspapers and social media to see that there are very few positive reports about its operations. Even the ministers responsible for the department have been critical of it.

If it were to be broken up, one minister could easily administer all the organisations, just as the CEO of IBM and countless other corporations administer all their subsidiaries.

The difference would be that we would have smaller organisations populated by specialist staff for each service that Centrelink currently provides. Or, I should say, that Centrelink is supposed to provide.

Centrelink is no longer fit for purpose, and should be broken up.

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The costs of campaigning for changes to government legislation are considerable. If you appreciate this work, please consider donating so we can continue operating in this area.

The money raised will be spent on campaigning to state and federal MP s, as well as newspapers and other media across Australia, to improve social justice for all.

Please bear in mind that while I am a business consultant, I only work part time due to also being a disabled pensioner. I intend to take these matters to court, but that takes time and money.

Any money raised through donations will be kept in a separate bank account to cover these costs.

I would also welcome any help from legal professionals, or professionally qualified volunteers who are willing to assist.

The costs of campaigning for changes to government legislation are considerable. If you appreciate this work, please consider donating so we can continue operating in this area.

The money raised will be spent on campaigning to state and federal MP s, as well as newspapers and other media across Australia, to improve social justice for all.

Please bear in mind that while I am a business consultant, I only work part time due to also being a disabled pensioner. I intend to take these matters to court, but that takes time and money.

Any money raised through donations will be kept in a separate bank account to cover these costs.

I would also welcome any help from legal professionals, or professionally qualified volunteers who are willing to assist.

The costs of campaigning for changes to government legislation are considerable. If you appreciate this work, please consider donating so we can continue operating in this area.

The money raised will be spent on campaigning to state and federal MP s, as well as newspapers and other media across Australia, to improve social justice for all.

Please bear in mind that while I am a business consultant, I only work part time due to also being a disabled pensioner. I intend to take these matters to court, but that takes time and money.

Any money raised through donations will be kept in a separate bank account to cover these costs.

I would also welcome any help from legal professionals, or professionally qualified volunteers who are willing to assist.

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About Craig Hill

Social Justice Campaigner. Business and Education Consultant. Former Business/ESL Teacher. Lived in China and USA. Dealing with disability. My articles have been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and many other international publications.

Discussion

One thought on “Centrelink needs to be broken up

  1. Written by someone who has no idea. The organisation has been driven into the ground by LNP governments seeking dysfunction to make privatisation more palatable to the general population. See the job network as an example when little Johnny Howard privatised the CES. Centrelink is hamstrung by payment legislation that gets more and more complex, direction on how to implement by DSS and poor staffing as a result of the LNPs hatred of the public service disguised as ‘small government’. What is needed is a simplified system like a universal basic income, with adds ons where changes in life circumstances requires. Breaking up the organisation will not fix the complexity of administering current payments, it’d likely make it worse as each payment is administered in isolation creating difficulties in changing across payments and increased blame shifting. Look at yhe cause not the symptoms.

    Posted by Ben | January 23, 2023, 19:29

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