Australian Government, 2013-14 Budget
Budget

Part 2: Expense Measures (Continued)

Human Services

Call Centre supplementation — reducing waiting times

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Human Services 10.0 20.0

The Government will provide $30.0 million over two years to improve the ability of the Department of Human Services (DHS) to meet customer demand for call centre services and reduce waiting times. This measure will provide DHS with greater capacity to answer calls during the peak period for customers in receipt of the Family Tax Benefit and/or claiming the Child Care Rebate (July through September). DHS will also improve call centre performance through a range of initiatives including: using callback options; improving interactive voice response messaging; increasing the use of mobile phone applications for customer interactions with DHS and improving business processes.

Child Support System (Cuba) — Replacement

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Finance and Deregulation 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Department of Human Services ‑12.9 ‑7.2 ‑10.0 ‑4.0
Total — Expense ‑12.8 ‑7.1 ‑9.9 ‑3.9
Department of Human Services 13.2 7.3 10.0 4.2

The Government will replace the Child Support System (Cuba) in the Department of Human Services (DHS). Cuba is an ICT system that supports the transfer of child support payments between separated parents to financially support over 1.2 million children annually. The current Cuba design will be replaced with a new system to begin operating from December 2015.

The cost of this measure will be met from within the resourcing of DHS.

The Department of Finance and Deregulation is receiving funding of $0.3 million over four years to conduct Gateway Reviews on the new system.

Department of Human Services — efficiencies

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Human Services 0.4 ‑6.8 ‑18.6 ‑18.6 ‑18.7

The Government will achieve net savings of $62.4 million over five years by the Department of Human Services (DHS) introducing a range of process improvements and targeted communication strategies including:

  • replacing the use of cheques with Electronic Funds Transfers to general practitioners and specialists when making pay‑doctor‑via‑claimant payments;
  • introducing a risk based approach to real estate valuations for medium and low risk benefit recipients;
  • reducing the frequency of Personal Contact Interviews for job seekers with a low risk of non‑compliance;
  • increasing the rate of online transactions undertaken by Youth Allowance — Student Austudy recipients; and
  • publishing the News for Seniors magazine bi‑annually.

The Government will provide DHS with $4.9 million over five years to implement this measure.

Fraud prevention and compliance — improve billing practices within public hospitals

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Human Services
Department of Health and Ageing
Total — Expense

The Government will provide $1.8 million over four years (2012‑13 to 2015‑16) to improve Medicare Benefits Scheme billing practices within public hospitals by reviewing the practices of public hospital practitioners and developing strategies to address errors in billing. This comprises $1.2 million to the Department of Human Services and $0.7 million to the Department of Health and Ageing.

The measure is expected to provide net savings of $22.9 million over four years from 2012‑13.

Funding for this measure was included as a 'decision taken but not yet announced' in the 2012‑13 Budget.

Fraud prevention and compliance — increase compliance for customers with earned income

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Human Services 8.8
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs ‑30.1 ‑2.8 ‑0.6
Total — Expense ‑21.3 ‑2.8 ‑0.6
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations 34.0

The Government will provide $8.9 million in 2013‑14 to increase the number of compliance reviews in the payments system. This comprises $8.8 million to the Department of Human Services (DHS) and $0.2 million to the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

DHS will review 19,000 cases where it identifies inconsistencies between Pay‑As‑You‑Go income tax payment summaries and the income reported to DHS for the 2010‑11 financial year.

The measure is expected to provide net savings of $58.6 million over three years.

Income Security Integrated System Business Case

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Human Services

The Department of Human Services (DHS) will develop a first pass business case to identify options for the upgrade or replacement of the Income Security Integrated System (ISIS), to be completed in 2015.

The ISIS is the main computer system used by DHS to deliver welfare and family support payments, letters and assessments of income and assets, for over 100 Government programs.

The cost of this measure will be met from within the resourcing of DHS.

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