Compliance is a two way street: Part 1 of 5 parts.

(The postings in this Blog are a memorial to the more than 3 million Aussie Battlers have been Breached. It is especially a memorial to the (estimated) 5,000+ Aussie Battlers who did not survive being breached. Please, help to spread the word about this humanitarian disaster by using the “Share with a friend “link in the right hand column.)

This document is in 5 parts as it is too big for a single posting. It is a draft of a submission to a government inquiry reviewing Centrelink’s “Compliance Measures”.

Overview of the submission.

“Compliance is a two way street”.

The $775,000 Trevorrow Decision is a sharp pointer to the simple fact that any review of Centrelink’s Compliance Regime needs to focus upon the primary principle that Compliance is a two-way street that must be able to withstand testing by trial in the courts. However, the decades long failure to recognize this elementary legal reality now presents a problem of enormous legal complexity with the current compliance regime policies and procedures adding supportive validity to the claim that Breaching/Compliance Measures were, and may still be, A Criminal Act of Reckless Endangerment that has resulted in a rising death toll since breaching was first introduced.

Compliance failures by welfare administrators encompass critical humanitarian issues, such as Duty of Care, Civil Rights, Legal Rights, Constitutional Rights and Human Rights. The legal implications encompass:

  1. Statute Laws dealing with a reckless disregard for human life that results in the death of a person and laws dealing with Malfeasance and Fraud.
  2. Case Law decisions such as Mabo, the landmark $775,000 Stolen Generation Trevorrow Decision and case laws decisions re Civil Rights and Human Rights.

Perhaps the most critical Compliance Failure issue was/is the repeated failure to inform Parliament of the fatal consequences of legislated “Breaching/Compliance Measures”.

  1. Annual Reports are supposed to be impartial by reporting both the benefits and the “unintended” negative downside consequences of government policies.
  2. Instead, Centrelink’s annual reports appear to be more about Public Perception Management than about providing the truths that would enable the public, to whom both Parliament and public servant administrators are accountable, to make informed decisions about the humanitarian effectiveness of our nation’s welfare system.
  3. Silence can be deadly! By deliberately withholding the uncomfortable truths about the frequently fatal consequences of Compliance Measures, these annual reports represent compelling documentary evidence that Criminal Negligence by a decades long Act of Omission has resulted in the failure to halt a totally preventable humanitarian disaster.

New developments in Internet technology are now beginning to enable victims of the Breached Generation to learn the previously unreported truths about how Breaching legislation was hi-jacked by unscrupulous and uncaring people. One major consequence is that the so called “Savings” achieved by Breaching/Compliance Measures policies and practices will, like the discredited Stolen Generation and the Forgotten Generation policies, once more prove to be yet another case of “Penny, wise, Pound foolish”.

Compliance is a two way street and the key to Accountability when considering the impact of Centrelink’s “Compliance Measures” is Transparency.

Transparency implies the impartial and frank disclosure of the facts, regardless of the political or legal consequences, so that both Federal Parliament and the public can make informed decisions about the merits and effectiveness of government policies and practices. Centrelink’s annual reports lack the required degree of Transparency needed for the Parliament and the general public to be able to make informed decisions about the validity, fairness and humanitarian consequences of Centrelink’s “Compliance Measures” procedures.

The Auditor-General’s Report No.3 2009-10. Audit Report – Administration of Parliamentarians’ Entitlements by the Department of Finance and Regulation is an exemplar of how Public Servants should be totally impartial when reporting to the Federal Parliament. In this report, the Auditor-General identified serious failures of Due diligence that had not been addressed for years that had resulted in what might be described as “legitimized fraud”.

“As elected officials holding public office, Parliamentarians are expected to act with integrity in accordance with the public trust placed in them.”

Page 12, Auditor-General Report No.3 2009-10.

The Auditor-General would not have made the above statement unless he had held some grave concerns, backed up by empirical evidence, about the integrity with which some politicians were accessing and ‘double dipping’ into their ‘entitlements’. After nine years of his advice being ignored, this frank and forthright report forced the current Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd; to finally take action to address the Auditor-General’s long held concerns. By being completely impartial in exposing dubious policies and practices, the Auditor-General was a positive agent of change that resulted in a beneficial outcome for taxpayers.

For years, DSS and Centrelink annual reports have lacked the objective impartiality required to ensure that the public, to whom both Parliament and the Public Service are accountable, had the necessary information needed to make informed decisions about the overall effectiveness of welfare policies and practices. These annual reports are extremely misleading for they have all failed to be impartial and objective when it came to the reporting of the humanitarian consequences of legislated “Compliance Measures” such as Post-Breaching Terminal Outcomes, i.e. deaths, Survivor Sex, Eviction, and no money for food, electricity, shelter or live preserving medications. These disastrous consequences are still not on the public record. It appears that from the very beginning, when it came to the reporting on welfare management issues, Public Perception Management was deemed to be far more important than revealing the truth about the humanitarian consequences of Compliance Measures.

Who knows have many lives would have saved, how much suffering avoided if those responsible for submitting these annual reports had been as frank as the Auditor-General and had made sure that Parliament was confronted with the truth about breaching policies?

The consequence of this lack of Transparency, this concealment of the truth, has resulted in a decades long rolling humanitarian disaster that, like the Stolen Generation and Forgotten Generation humanitarian disasters, has profound future legal implications and political consequences.

“I was only following orders” was not an acceptable excuse at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunals. In the same manner, “I was only following standard operating procedures” or “I was only implementing government policy” is also not an acceptable excuse for the appalling humanitarian disaster caused by the consequences of Breaching/Compliance Measures.

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