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View topic: COA decision that involves a third party – Family Law Web Guide
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COA decision that involves a third party

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Ok then, i have been doing a lot of reading on this site and a few others as well as looking at the CSA Guide and i really think i need some help. So here is a brief outline as to what is going on.

Ex put in for a COA with regard special needs of one of the children.

CSA decided to allow her application. Csa disregarded all information i put forward with regard her application, disregarded that i showed she was purpusefully remaining on an extrememly low income,disregarded the 20% medical rebate and a few other things. I did not contest that the child needed the medical procedure, only the circumstances surrounding the mothers circumstances.

CSa then instructed that my income was not $xxxx but was $xxxxx as they had checked my wifes company ATO records and had decided as i was the principal earner and my wife did nothing, that the supposed profit figure that the SCO came up with was mine and has as a result put me on an income that i am not. This resulted in a decision by the SCO that the new payment amount would be 4 times higher than under a normal assessment. This assessment goes for the next 22 months at a rate i have no way of affording.

The SCO in his decision clearly states that he got the information from the ATO after conference. The SCO also accepted further documents from my Ex after conference. The conference was on one day, the decision is dated the very next day. I was given no right of reply to any of the information the SCO obtained or was presented with and did not know about it till i recieved the decision in the mail a few days later.

The SCO did not request information from my wife, did not have permission from her to acess her company records and he certainly did not have permission to put supposed figures he obtained from the AATO into the decision.

The SCO did not tell me that he was going to review my income through a CSA initiated change of income, he just did it. My EX did not ask for a change of income in her application. For the last several years the CSA have been happy with my income amount.

I did not, either now or in the past ever try to hide my income or do anything that could be construed as attemptintg to lower my income. Everything has been done above board and openly from day one.

there are a few other things in the decision that i will not post as it may be a tad to revealing.



Help.



tired dad
Tired Dad, the legislation allows for a reason 8 change of assessment to be registrar initiated.

What you need to do is object to the decision (time is of essence).

It is very likely that the objection will result in little but it opens the door to SSAT (Social Security Appeals tribunal).

If the decision is still unfair then you could take the matter to SSAT, where you might get fairer treatment some do some don't. The next and final step is to take the matter to court, but this has to be on a point of law. You are much more likely to get a fair crack of the whip in court. Both SSAT and the CSA should be totally ashamed of some of the findings and words said of them by the magistrates who deal with CS matters.

Last edit: by MikeT

As Mike says, you need to get an objection in right away.
It needs to be in within 28 days of your receiving the COA decision advice.

It sounds like the SCO may have erroneously used your wife's income as part of yours
 

Section 117 (7A)(b)(i) Provides that:

(7A) In having regard to the income, property and financial resources of a parent of the child, the court must:


(b) disregard:
  (i) the income, earning capacity, property and financial resources of any person who does not have a duty to maintain the child



Perhaps you should also register a complaint against the actions of the SCO:

If you would like to make a complaint you should follow these steps:


 Step one: Contact CSA on 131 272* and speak to a Customer Service Officer. They will try to solve the problem or let you know if you can object to a CSA decision.
 Step Two: If you are still not satisfied, you may ask to speak to the Customer Service Officers Team Leader.
 Step Three: If you are still not satisfied, call CSAs Complaints Service on 132 919 and speak to a Complaints Resolution Officer who will take a fresh look at the facts of your case and your complaint.


Correct me if I'm wrong, Mike T., but I would suggest going straight to Step Three with the complaint - ring the Complaints Service and then immediately follow up with a written complaint once you get their postal address.

All correspondence with CSA on the matter in writing.
All letters sent to CSA by Registered Mail with signed confirmation of receipt
This COA decision appears to go totally against all the CSA expounds regarding procedural fairness and the right to know matters to be considered by the decision maker (known as Administration Law which public sector departments are largely bound by).

I don't think you will get much of a reception from the CSA Complaints (woops! known as FEEDBACK) Section, they are more likely to try an pass the buck but by all means go for a SSAT Appeal.

Make sure you state the reason for your appeal is centred around the CSA process that has resulted in a incorrect decision being made as incorrect/false facts were used.
valere said
This COA decision appears to go totally against all the CSA expounds regarding procedural fairness and the right to know matters to be considered by the decision maker (known as Administration Law which public sector departments are largely bound by).

I don't think you will get much of a reception from the CSA Complaints (woops! known as FEEDBACK) Section, they are more likely to try an pass the buck but by all means go for a SSAT Appeal.

Make sure you state the reason for your appeal is centred around the CSA process that has resulted in a incorrect decision being made as incorrect/false facts were used.
  While the Objection/SSAT process is underway, I reckon using the complaints  process to highlight the actions of the SCO is worthwhile - if you get no satisfaction from the CSA Complaints Dept, you can escalate the complaint to the Ombudsman for investigation:

Commonwealth OmbudsmanIf you have been unable to resolve a complaint with the CSA you may wish to contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Commonwealth Ombudsman can consider and investigate complaints from people who believe they have been treated unfairly or unreasonably by an Australian Government department or agency.

Call 1300 362 072 or visit www.ombudsman.gov.au


I say attack them from all angles - show how serious you are…
I would respond to the hostilities on a few fronts.  

Lodge an objection.

Lodge an estimate, showing you income as the amount you are likely to report to the ATO on your tax return, making sure it meets the requirements for an estimate to be accepted.  DO this in parrallel with the objection which you will lose almost certainly.  

Also, make a Privacy complaint - under the IPPs they need to clarify third party information with you before using it to ensure its reliability.  ALso go the CSA complaints/Ombudsman/local MP route on the administrative fairness grounds.

… and get ready for the best part of a year of grief.
Valere said
I don't think you will get much of a reception from the CSA Complaints (woops! known as FEEDBACK) Section, they are more likely to try an pass the buck but by all means go for a SSAT Appeal.

Valere,
          if everyone were to take the advice you appear to imply (i.e. don't bother with complaint). The the CSA would have no complaints. I believe everyone with a complaint should make that complaint. It may not help the individual but it may well help others in time. It would appear that you have a valid complaint against the "Feedback Team", I'd advise you to make that complaint. :)
May be a separate topic should be started regarding various complainats processes and avenues that could be followed regarding adverse decision making processes and decision maker behaviour. I really do hope that CSA have improved their approach to complaints (feedback) since I last had dealings with them, so I admit that my last comment was subjective.

Tired Dad - please keep us posted on how you go. :offtopic:
Well, firstly, thankyou to you all for replying.

It has been a stressfull few days since i posted that resulted in a call to CSA.

The lady there let me go over everything that the SCO disregarded that i had brought up at conference and advised that i lodge an objection.

However, an objection opens the door to the CSA getting into my wifes private details and i am not to happy about that, niether is she.

Then today things took a completely different turn that my wife and i have suspected for a fair few years but have never been able to substansiate.

I found proof that my ex has been in a family partnership with her husband for a few years and before that he operated as a sole trader. My ex has never informed CSA of this and has in fact continued to claim that she is on a very low income. I contacted CSA to inform them of the information i had found and where to find it.

From reading the legislation and the guide for CSA it seems clear that misleading CSA with false information, or not providing true and up to date information is a criminal offence and can lead to a conviction.

The CSA response to the information i gave when i quieried what happens now is that the CSA is a toothless tiger and the most they could do is growl at her.

I was told that the decision will remain even tho the CSA did not have all the true facts from my ex. I asked whether the decision would be recinded and a new decision made with all information and was told no. I asked if CSA would initiate a full investigation into my ex as she had obviously been misleading CSA for years. The answer was no.

So here we are still getting acussed of a crime, convicted of that crime and sentenced for that crime with no proof being presented, without a right of reply for me except through an objection (which CSA brings my wifes income into the assessment ) and my ex still gets away with the real crime.

Someone out there care to tell me how that is a fair and just system that the CSA expounds.

My wifes suggestion is that to really make this a fair and just system, a commitee of the payers new partner's should be formed to ensure that all parties including the CSA do the right thing.



tired dad.
I would be very interested in finding out how we can proof that the mother we pay child support to has had or is living in a partnership even though she has been on sole parent pension for the past 14 plus years. I have a feeling though that frauding Centrelink is a different story to CSA. CSA collects money from payer, so in essence the payee has defrauded the payer by not advising of higher income and living situation, I guess. CSA really does not care as they have not forked out any money.
Tired dad said
…CSa then instructed that my income was not $xxxx but was $xxxxx as they had checked my wifes company ATO records and had decided as i was the principal earner and my wife did nothing, that the supposed profit figure that the SCO came up with was mine and has as a result put me on an income that i am not. This resulted in a decision by the SCO that the new payment amount would be 4 times higher than under a normal assessment. This assessment goes for the next 22 months at a rate i have no way of affording.
Are you working in her company as a bonifide employee at "arms length"? How many employees does she employ or are you the only one? Reading between the lines am I assuming correctly that you are "self employed"?  
Tired dad said
The SCO in his decision clearly states that he got the information from the ATO after conference. The SCO also accepted further documents from my Ex after conference. The conferencewas on one day, the decision is dated the very next day.
From what I have experienced this is quite the usual situation although getting a decision only a day after the conference is in itself suspicious in that a decsion appears to have been made made even before the conference. The SCO can take into account any evidence he /she discovers or wants to add in after a conference.
Tired dad said
I was given no right of reply to any of the information the SCO obtained or was presented with and did not know about it till i recieved the decision in the mail a few days later.
Your right of reply is the objection process. You have put your case at the conference and now you need to go further.
Tired dad said
The SCO did notrequest information from my wife, did not have permission from her to acess her company records and he certainly did not have permission to put supposed figures he obtained from the AATO into the decision.
The CSA need to be more open in these matters and I will take this to the Project Manager working on the SCO responses.

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
 
Just had another chat with CSA and i am not going to put in an objection. My wife has most definately had enough of the whole thing and well she is definately not happy that the CSA has taken her income,given it to me and made me pay CSA on the whole amount.

The chat i just had with them, they once again tried to turn the conversation away from my ex and onto my and my apparent hidden income (which i dont have).

I made it very clear that as far as i believed, my ex had clearly misrepresented her income,had hidden her income, had failed to inform CSA of pertinant matters that should have been taken into concideration a long time ago if the facts were known then.

I asked if the information i presented to them had been taken into consideration by the SCO when making his decision as there was no mention of it in his decision, only that he believed my ex when she told him that her income was only $xxx. He did not as far as i am aware make any real attempt at any investigation into my ex. He did however go through me with a fine tooth comb.

The answer was that they would not tell me.

I then raised the matter directly with the CSA as to what would be done with the information i presented. i was told it would go on file.

I asked if given the fact that the information was pretty cruical to the whole CSA process and that my ex had kept the information from them, if anything would be done.

I wass told no.

I asked directly if the CSA would investigate the information i presented and was again told no.

How is it possible that my ex can get away with this when i am, by CSA standards at least, found guilty of a crime and made to pay without any proof.

I believe their is provision under the various acts that make it illegal to do what my ex has done, i asked CSA about it and was told nothing would be done.

So much for a better system.

SEC SPCA, if you want to pm me i can send you a copy of the decision and the information i found, i would like uyour unbiased opinion if you consider things have been done right.



tired dad
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