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Change of Assessment Process Appeals Changes

Will the change from SSAT to AAT make a difference?

Hi everyone,

As those in the know are aware I have been away from FLWG for a couple of years. Well I'm back briefly to share my latest experience with the C$A, oops CSP! Only been away as I guess life has been humming along quite OK anyway here is the story.

I recently received a call from a person who claimed to be working in the Change of Assessment Team at the Child Support Program. This person informed me the payee had lodged a Change of Assessment Application form. She also requested that I provide her with two payslips. Despite her request I responded that I won't do anything until I had received the written application in the post and have had time to consider it and prepare a response.


The next day I received the COA application in the post. It was concerning to read as the covering letter said I only had 7 days to respond to the application from the date of the letter and the 7 days had already expired the previous day hence why I had received a call. 

I then rang the CSP to ask for an extension of time in order to consider and respond to the application however I was informed that no-one expect the decision maker could approve such an extension and she was not available. 

As I was not happy with this response I was transferred to a person who was able to note my concerns re the unrealistic time allowance to receive and respond to a COA application and that I could not get an extension of time from anyone else other than the decision maker, and was going to inform this person of the situation.

During the course of the phone call I was looking over the Applicant's COA paperwork and noticed I had not received the complete COA form as there was no financial information provided. I then informed the CSP employee to let the decision maker know that I could not respond to the application as it was incomplete.

I then informed this person that if the CSP made a decision based on an incomplete application, after getting through the Objections process I would appeal the decision to the AAT and seek to have the decision set aside on the grounds that the CSP employee did not have all the relevant information to make a decision as per the relevant legislation.

About a week later I received a call from the decision maker to inform me that the payee had withdrawn the application. I have only recently become aware that as of July 1 the AAT replaced the SSAT for appeals to the Objections process.

As I have not had much dealings with the CSP in recent years the short experience was very stressful to my wife and I as it brought back many bad memories of the C$A.

I was very concerned that the CSP was providing impractical time frames for respondents to reply to an application, and was prepared to make a decision without having the relevant information required by Legislation, as it become clear to me that the decision maker's intent was to make a decision based on two pay slips and little financial information from the applicant other than access to ATO records.

So did the threat of taking the decision to the AAT make them change their ways?

Will this end the differences in the guide and legislation?

Will this end many years of abuse dished out to parents which also effected their children by the CSP?


 
oops i posted in the wrong place

Nothing i say should be taken as legal advice. I am not a Lawyer. If i help you it is of your own free choice to listen to what i say or not. I do not create documents for you. I do not represent you.... Purple Monkey Dishwasher
7 or 14 Days as per section 160/161 of the CSA (Child Support Assessment) act:-
CSA Act said

160  Notification requirements

             (1)  The Registrar may, by written notice given to a person to or by whom child support is payable, require the person to notify the Registrar, within 14 days and in the manner specified in the notice, if:

                     (a)  an event or change of circumstances specified in the notice happens; or

                     (b)  the person becomes aware that an event or change of circumstances specified in the notice is likely to happen.

             (2)  An event or change of circumstances must not be specified in a notice under subsection (1) unless the happening of the event or change of circumstances might affect the payment of child support or the rate at which it is payable.

             (3)  A person who refuses or fails to comply with a notice under subsection (1) is guilty of an offence punishable on conviction by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 6 months.

          (3A)  Subsection (3) applies only to the extent to which the person is capable of complying with the notice.

          (3B)  Subsection (3) does not apply if the person has a reasonable excuse.

          (3C)  Subsection (3) is an offence of strict liability.

             (4)  It is a reasonable excuse for a person to refuse or fail to comply with a requirement under subsection (1) if complying with the requirement may tend to incriminate the person.

             (5)  This section does not apply to a person:

                     (a)  in respect of whom an international maintenance arrangement applies; and

                     (b)  who is a resident of a reciprocating jurisdiction.

161  Obtaining of information and evidence

             (1)  The Registrar may, where it is reasonably necessary for the purposes of this Act, by written notice, require a person:

                     (a)  to give to the Registrar, within a reasonable period (being a period of not less than 7 days), and in a reasonable manner, specified in the notice, such information as the Registrar requires; and

                     (b)  to attend before the Registrar, or before an officer authorised by the Registrar for the purpose, at a reasonable time and place specified in the notice, and then and there answer questions; and

                     ©  to produce to the Registrar, at a reasonable time and place specified in the notice, any documents in the custody or under the control of the person.

             (2)  The regulations must prescribe scales of expenses to be allowed to persons required to attend under this section.

             (3)  A person who refuses or fails to comply with a requirement made under subsection (1) is guilty of an offence punishable on conviction by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 6 months.

          (3A)  Subsection (3) applies only to the extent to which the person is capable of complying with the requirement.

          (3B)  Subsection (3) does not apply if the person has a reasonable excuse.

          (3C)  Subsection (3) is an offence of strict liability.

             (4)  It is a reasonable excuse for a person to refuse or fail to comply with a requirement under subsection (1) if complying with the requirement may tend to incriminate the person.

             (6)  This section does not apply in relation to a person:

                     (a)  in respect of whom an international maintenance arrangement applies; and

                     (b)  who is a resident of a reciprocating jurisdiction.





HOWEVER regulation 11, according to the CS Guide, caters for time for service as per:-
CS Guide said

6.7.1 Methods of service

Context

Various provisions in the Child Support legislation allow the Registrar to give a 'notice in writing' or a 'written notice'. A notice must be served on the person who is required to receive, or comply with, the notice.

'Service' is delivery to the person who will be affected by the notice. The essence of service is that the relevant document must reach the person on whom it is to be served ('Holmes and Ors v DFC of T 88 ATC 4906'). A notice will be deemed to have been effectively served if it can be proved that the addressee actually received it.

There are various ways, or methods, by which a notice can be served on a person. In most cases, the Registrar will serve a notice by post.

Legislative references

CSA Regs regulation 11

CSRC Regs regulation 14

Evidence Act 1995 section 160, section 161, section 163

Electronic Transactions Act 1999 section 5, section 14A

Explanation

Personal service

Personal service is the most effective method for service of notices as there is direct evidence of receipt. However, it is not convenient or efficient to rely on personal service in all cases.

If a notice is personally served, Child Support will generally use a process server.

The person served has to be informed of the nature of the notice at the time it is handed to them. If a person refuses to take possession of the notice it can be left near them.

The person who served the notice should complete an affidavit of service (6.7.3).

Other methods of service available (regulation 11A Assessment Regulations and regulation 14 Registration and Collection Regulations) are by:

  • leaving the notice at the person's address for service; or
  • sending the notice by prepaid post to the person's address for service.

A company can be served by leaving a notice at, or mailing a notice to, the company's head office, registered office, or principal office.

Service by post

If postal service is used, the notice can be sent by normal prepaid post, by express post or registered post.

Service by post is deemed to occur at the time it would arrive in the ordinary course of the post. In proceedings in relation to offences under the Child Support legislation, a notice is presumed to have been received nine days after the date it was prepared (sections 160 and 163 Evidence Act) unless it can be proved otherwise.

Service by facsimile

A notice can be served by facsimile. However, Child Support's policy is that notices are usually sent by post. In limited circumstances, notices will be served by facsimile if there is a pre-existing arrangement with the recipient to accept notices in that way.

As a back up for a posted notice, a copy of the notice may also be sent by facsimile. This may be particularly helpful if urgent service is necessary.

Service by electronic communication

If a person consents to receiving notices or other communications by way of electronic communication, a notice can be served by leaving it at the person's designated electronic address. Express consent is not required, but can be reasonably inferred (Electronic Transactions Act section 5).

A notice can be served electronically by email or by way of CSAonline. A notice is deemed to be received at the time it becomes capable of being retrieved from the person's email or CSAonline account (Electronic Transactions Act section 14A).




As such I believe that the CSP have enacted and abuse of their power and or acted without due competence and or without respect for yourself and have thus breached the APS guidelines and act.
Fairgo said
So did the threat of taking the decision to the AAT make them change their ways?
uhhhm perhaps just for yourself. It is highly unlikely that the CSP will in general not abuse their power time and time again.
Fairgo said
Will this end the differences in the guide and legislation?
Undoubtedly, but not until I'm the Queen of Sheba. :)
Fairgo said
Will this end many years of abuse dished out to parents which also effected their children by the CSP?
..... :) PS Welcome back.
Hi Mike - Yes the advice contained in the letter says I should respond in 7 days but does not clarify if it is from the date of the letter. With these people one would have to assume the response time begins from the date of the letter.

They also advise that I should respond to the application by completing the response form which is just a copy of the application form which would then become a cross application. All very good advice to start a war between parents, commence realignment of the children etc…. etc… and they are concerned about family violence?

They even offer the option of contacting them about a mediation service to deal with it? Who in their right mind would trust them as mediators when their mantra is collection, collection, collection!!

Are we still paying these guys bonus pay for increased collection?

I must say this officer was very forward and was asking if I knew which bank the payee was with etc… I got the feeling that she would be accessing our bank, tax and other information without our knowledge to save time in dealing with us or to see if she had a justifiable case to increase collection.

With some of the questions she was asking I advised her she could easily get the info from my employer etc… and she was happy to make the threat.

She also had no problem accessing my home phone number which I had not ever provided to CSP. When I questioned her about this she casually mentioned that she found it on a Centrelink database so no respect here.

The general impression I got from this public servant is that she could do anything she wished and sounded like a real cowboy! Is it really worth our precious tax $$$.

When I was talking to the other CSP employee, after I advised what my response to the application would most likely be, I also mentioned that following the AAT process there would also be another CDDA claim coming their way as per the last one they paid out.

I was advised that what I have experienced has been normal CSP procedure for many years and I was lucky that it was post July and I knew what I was talking about.

I have not read about the reasons for the change to the AAT but I think the move may effectively remove some of the CSP's fangs which is a huge relief as the AAT will be more fairer than the SSAT.

If this is the case the CSP will have to tighten up by removing some of the double standards that exist between the Guide and the the Law as the AAT will more likely make decisions based on the law.

How do we educate the masses about this change as many will continue to fall fowl to their deception and abuse as it certainly did not change after July 1?
Fairgo said
and they are concerned about family violence?


Not really as such, just that their PI's include passing on, they don't do mediation just pass it on.

Fairgo said
Are we still paying these guys bonus pay for increased collection?
Not sure. However, KPI's often mandate collect $x.

Fairgo said
When I questioned her about this she casually mentioned that she found it on a Centrelink database so no respect here.

CSP is part of Centerlink and they each access both systems (eg care changes will be entered into both by whoever does the care change). My understanding is that Cuba (CSP system) is to be replaced by having it sucked into the Centerlink system.

Likewise SSAT has been incorporated into AAT, so little will likely change and it will most likely be ex CSO's who move into AAT in regard to CS.

Fairgo said
The general impression I got from this public servant is that she could do anything she wished and sounded like a real cowboy! Is it really worth our precious tax $$$.

There are undoubtedly some that do think as such. Have a read of http://flwg.com.au/forum/pg/topicview/findpost/52236
Although that is only part of the atrocities committed.

fairgo said
How do we educate the masses about this change as many will continue to fall fowl to their deception and abuse as it certainly did not change after July 1?

Nigh on impossible. Even the AG has no problem with anarchist terrorist administrators bypassing the constitution and inventing the existence of laws and then enacting those invented anarchist terrorist laws.
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