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COA telephone conference

Hi folks

I have a COA telephone conference set for 22nd September, however after reading everything here on COA I dont wish to be answering/providing information over the phone. How do I go about this in "writing" so to speak. Is a telephone conference the only avenue I dont want to appear non compliant in the least and have issues I want to put forward but dont want to be coerced into giving information over the phone by some of their underhanded techniques.



Thanks
I think you can use these two extracts from the CSA Guide :-

The CSA Guide - 2.6.5 said
Unlike a court hearing, the CSA cannot take evidence under oath, or cross examine a party about the evidence they give at conference, or in their application.

The CSA Guide - 2.6.5 said
Procedural fairness

CSA must deal with a change of assessment application in a way that is procedurally fair. A decision-maker must ensure that a person is aware of any adverse information and that they have an opportunity to be heard and make submissions in support of their case. In addition to providing each party with a copy of the other partys response or application and supporting documents, CSA will also advise each party of any additional information that it intends taking into account in a way that is adverse to them, and invite them to comment upon that information. This would include information provided by the other party at a separate conference, or by a third party after the conference.

Perhaps also have a good read of the entire section and subsections of 2.6. Here's a link The CSA Guide - 2.6: Change of assessment in special circumstances. Perhaps also check out the underlying legislation.

Hi

In Answer to your question, my partner was ordered by CSA to make a date for the telephone conversations regarding his change of assessment. We both decided to refuse this request and be advised of outcomes in writing only, with a 7-14 days right of reply, as would be required for a court of law, for the same reasons that you do not want the phone technique used. It was accepted and they only interviewed his ex wife, via phone, not him. This seemed to work and eventually the COA did not go ahead as there was not substantial proof of anything the ex wife had said, just more of the same. Over a 16 year period with CSA we have got very cunning. They know nothing about where we live ( CSA only have a PO Box No., no phone numbers, no mobiles so they have to send everything vial mail or to my email address)or our day to day expenditure, I stated in a letter that I fully supported my partner (financially) and he was unable to claim Centrelink. After 16 years of CSA we are on the home run with only 24 months left!

The ex partner & children also don't know where we live (their choice, not ours!)

PS, My partner also has nothing in his name, bank accounts, cars, ABN, and the mortgage is joint names,( Myself, my partner and my 22yr old daughter)

We leave nothing to chance as we know how intrusive the CSA can be. He still pays, but we ensure we have a Credit value of a few thousand dollars with CSA at all times.
You can request a face to face meeting with them.

Depending on what your claim for special circumstances is will depend on how you will be treated.

If you have filled out the COA form and given them everything they have asked for, then there should be no secrets that might come out in an interview.

When you sign the COA form you are agreeing to allow C$A to consider information from a third party such as your partner. I think this has caused a lot of problems for people as a payee's partner's income and resources are not supposed to come into the assessment. Just like they are only meant to look at taxable income but believe that it should be grossed back for whatever reason they can come up with.

Perhaps give us a bit more info on your COA claim and then people here might be able to provide further help.


My advice is to attend in person, be polite and assertive, don't volunteer and correct any impressions they may have formed.  CSA don't like people offering to attend these conferences.  Why is that CSA?
Bigred said
My advice is to attend in person, be polite and assertive, don't volunteer and correct any impressions they may have formed.  CSA don't like people offering to attend these conferences.
I have had numerous face to face meetings with CSA officers and have arranged for many members here to discuss their cases face to face. I have never heard of CSA suggesting that the agency is not keen on face to face meetings. Have you any specific examples of this I can take up?

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
I do.  My own COA just recently.  They attempted to discourage me from responding saying it wasn't necessary and suggesting no need to attend the case conference.  Of course, I lodged a far ranging response and attended in person and challenged the evidence. Procedural matter are with Ombudsman and factual errors are with rubber stamp objections offficer at moment. Sec, as you know, I am well qualified to fight my own battles on this, but intelligence may help others.
Bigred said
I do.  My own COA just recently.  They attempted to discourage me from responding saying it wasn't necessary and suggesting no need to attend the case conference.  Of course, I lodged a far ranging response and attended in person and challenged the evidence. Procedural matter are with Ombudsman and factual errors are with rubber stamp objections officer at moment. Sec, as you know, I am well qualified to fight my own battles on this, but intelligence may help others.
Yes indeed I can imagine the "far ranging response". It really does not do anything for the COA when they appear to be reluctant participate in face to face discussion regarding evidence put. I am fortunate not to have had any examples of this reluctance and as you know we recently saw a member attending his CO in Canberra a week or two ago. If you get stuck you know there is course of action open to you that would be mightily supported in this place…


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
I had a similar where my ex made a cross application and I was told not to respond in writing. After the COA conference, which suprisingly did not go in my favour, the officer made special mention that I did not challenge the application in writing as part of the reason. Having said that it would not have mattered what I did as I truly believe they look for any way possible to find for the payee even if based on the most flimsy of reasons or even lies as was my case.

I have been amazed and appalled by the CSA. I was never advised of a face to face. Fortunately I found more sucess through the SSAT as they don't seem to be influenced by the money they make for CSA and are a little more impartial.

So my little input for the initial question is you are quite right not to want to give anything away that will not support your COA. Having said that don't hold out much hope for the COA but put in your SSAT app ASAP afterwards.

On a side note the aforementioned lies were brought up with my ex at the final hearings and blended well with my assertion her parenting application was more linked to money rather than best interests of the child. A SSAT application gets you the entire CSA file including screens notes and notes taken by CSA staff of anything you say to them. I was shocked to read how rude my ex was to the staff!  But remember this can go for either side so be squeaky clean.

"When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside can not hurt you"
My CSA SSAT file showed cosiderable errors/misreporting of telephone conversations, hence my advice that you give them information in writing, and be succint.  Also, challenge any requests for information that do not appear relevant - they usually are. For example, I refuse to supply my residential address, providing a PO box.  I have reasons for this which I have not explained to them because they do't need it.  

Oh another thing they do during a COA as a matter of course is write to your employer seking wage/salary details.  They often do this by fax, with the fax cover sheet saying they need the information to finalise a COA.  Trouble here is they have breached their own secrecy provisions, aside frm collecting information thye don't always need - privacy breach.  

The golden rule is that CSA are not to be trusted.
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