The New Digital Future for Welfare: Debts Without Legal Proofs or Moral Authority?

UNSW Law Journal Forum, pp 1-16, 2018

17 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2018

See all articles by Terry Carney AO

Terry Carney AO

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: April 4, 2018

Abstract

This article reviews Australia’s social security online compliance initiative (‘OCI’) to determine whether the Senate Community Affairs References Committee was right to recommend that its administering agency (Centrelink) resume responsibility for obtaining all information necessary for calculating working age payment debts based on verifiable actual fortnightly earnings rather than on the basis of assumed averages, or whether responsibility has always remained with Centrelink when the person is unable to easily provide records. It argues that legal responsibility ultimately has always rested with Centrelink in such cases and outlines distributional justice and best practice reasons why the OCI system should be brought into compliance with the law.

Keywords: social security, machine learning, debt recovery, onus of proof, best practice administration

JEL Classification: K30, K36, I130, I138

Suggested Citation

Carney AO, Terry, The New Digital Future for Welfare: Debts Without Legal Proofs or Moral Authority? (April 4, 2018). UNSW Law Journal Forum, pp 1-16, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3156073

Terry Carney AO (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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