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Dept responsibility to use correct information

What obliges the Family Assistance Office to use the correct Customer Reference Number


I divorced in 2006.

During the income year 2008-09 my Customer Reference Number (CRN) was used by a child care provider for the provision of child care for my children.

I did not use child care during this period. My ex-wife used the child care provider while the children were in her care.

I received a Child Care Benefit debt from the Family Assistance Office (FAO) for this period.

I provided a formal complaint and objection to the FAO.

The FAO's verbal response, formal letter to be issued, is that it is my responsibility to correct the CRN usage with the child care provider, and the debt remains my obligation until the child care provider changes their records.

The FAO stated that they merely process the information given to them.


1) Is there some over-arching federal legislation or regulation which requires public servants to have a duty of care to their clients?

2) If the FAO have incorrect information on their records, do they not have a responsibility to investigate and correct it? Again is there legislation/regulation enforcing this?

3) If they are wasting my time, getting me to do their job for them, is there a system of complaint and reimbursement for the inconvenience?

A person who can't pay gets another person who can't pay to guarantee that he can pay. Like a person with two wooden legs getting another person with two wooden legs to guarantee that he has got two natural legs. It don't make either of them able to do a walking-match. Charles Dickens
I had my ex do this to me too, I had previously used the childcare but no longer needed it. the childcare provider agreed with the ex to use my child care benefit so it would be cheaper for him. I filed a complaint and also asked for an authorised reviews officer to review my case and it was fixed in just a week.
I would contact the childcare first and see if it is a legitimate mistake or laziness. If they refuse to deal with the matter then contact complaints and ask for an authorized review officer to investigate the debt. If you have told the centre you are no longer requiring the service or your ex used your crn then it is not your fault and centrelink should act on this.
I was told child care benefit fraud is a big problem in shared care situations by a centrelink worker. But you may find if you got the childcare benefit tax refund you may still be liable for that debt as you were not using or paying for the service.
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