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Australian Government Coat of Arms

Budget | 2015-16

Budget 2015-16
Australian Government Coat of Arms, Budget 2015-16

Part 2: Expense Measures (continued)

Human Services

Department of Human Services Efficiencies

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Human Services ‑6.9 ‑13.8 ‑17.1 ‑17.4

The Government will achieve savings of $55.1 million over four years from 2015‑16 by implementing ongoing efficiencies within the Department of Human Services (DHS). Under this measure the Government will:

  • phase out the option for customers to receive Medicare and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme payments via cheque or credit EFTPOS from July 2016 in favour of the faster and more flexible payment method of Electronic Funds Transfer;
  • phase out the use of cheques and Electronic Benefits Transfer Cards for all Centrelink payments from 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2017 respectively, with these payments to be made directly into the bank accounts of eligible customers; and
  • cease the payment to the Australian Taxation Office for the Child Support Lodgement Enforcement Programme from 1 July 2015. DHS undertakes a range of compliance and enforcement activities that continue to ensure child support obligations are met. The Australian Taxation Office retains responsibility for taxation lodgement enforcement generally.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

Government Remote Servicing — continuation

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Human Services 23.9 23.1 23.3 23.5

The Government will provide $93.8 million over four years for the Department of Human Services (DHS) to continue to support the delivery of government payments and services in remote locations in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Northern Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania.

DHS will continue to provide direct access to these remote services through a mix of Agents, Access Points, Remote Service Centres and visits by Remote Servicing Teams.

The remote service delivery programme was previously funded through the Government's Income Management programme.

Strengthening the Integrity of Welfare Payments

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Human Services 0.6 71.8 46.3 54.5 31.6
Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions 2.8 2.2 2.3 2.3
Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre 1.5 2.9 2.7 3.0
Department of the Treasury 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.8
Department of Employment 2.4 9.1
Administrative Appeals Tribunal 0.4 1.0
Department of Health ‑0.1 ‑0.3
Department of Social Services ‑329.6 ‑614.7 ‑684.4 ‑297.3
Total — Expense 0.6 ‑252.8 ‑562.5 ‑621.5 ‑249.9
Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre 1.7 3.8 4.4 4.9
Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre 1.8 6.6 2.0 0.6
Department of Human Services 0.1 1.1 0.7 0.4
Department of Social Services
Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Department of the Treasury
Department of Health
Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Total — Capital 1.8 7.7 2.7 1.0

The Government will achieve savings of $1.7 billion over five years by enhancing the Department of Human Services (DHS) fraud prevention and debt recovery capability, and improving assessment processes.

From 1 July 2015 DHS will implement an integrated package of compliance and process improvement initiatives including improved automation and targeted strategies for fraud prevention in areas of high risk.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation — Tranche One

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Human Services 93.3 29.4 ‑44.7 ‑64.2
Department of Finance 0.1 0.1
Total — Expense 93.5 29.4 ‑44.7 ‑64.2
Department of Human Services 18.6 27.8 ..
Department of Finance
Total — Capital 18.6 27.8 ..

The Government will provide $60.5 million over four years from 2015‑16 to progress Tranche One of the Department of Human Services (DHS) Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT) programme.

The WPIT programme of redevelopment work will progressively replace Centrelink's ageing technology platform with a new welfare payment information and communications technology (ICT) system to improve the quality and efficiency of service delivery to support the timely implementation of policy changes.

During Tranche One of the programme, DHS will undertake the detailed business planning, scoping and design work required to deliver the new ICT system, in addition to delivering four projects to enhance the digital service delivery experience for DHS customers.

The cost of this measure will be offset from existing resources within the Social Services Portfolio.