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CSA IT data issue - 18 months and still no one knows how to resolve it!

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Can someone please HELP! What do i do?

Here is the scenario in its absolute bare minimum (there is so much more to tell in this story!):

In June 2010, an issue arose where the CSA computer system (Puma?) incorrectly calculated my child support payment which resulted in my tax refund being with held and from being in credit in excess of $1000 to being in debit.

CSA admit that they are in the wrong and have NEVER denied this but do not know how to fix the problem! For the last 18 months they have done there absolute best to try and brush it under the rug in the hope it might just go away!

I have tried so far:

Legal Aid - Advised to write to my local Federal MP & The ombudsman.
The Ombudsman - Doing his absolute best but admits that after 3 months he is still being given the run around by CSA.
Local Federal MP - all quiet on this front apart from the initial contact and i left a message today for a call back.

I also have a person looking after my case in Personalised Services at CSA - who as of today cannot provide any more information than "We have a problem and we don't know how to fix it!"

To make matters worse this is the second time i have what CSA call a "Data Interrogatory Issue" with the last time it occurring back in 2008

But where do i go now?

I have looked at the possibility of claiming under the CDDA scheme, but without any resolution from CSA how can i claim this?

I'm at my wits end! I pride myself as being solid as a rock, but any CSA contact or documents almost brings me to tears!

What do i do now? Contact the media? Take legal action?
Hi, what is their explanation for the problem and why do they claim to be unable to "fix it"? A Registrar Initiated Change of Assessment would do that in a trice, I should have though. Why have they not done one? June 2010 is less than 18 months ago.
You might want to bring this to Channel 9 (ACA) or Channel 7 (TT). These current affairs shows will love to cover "govt dept stuffup" stories like this. If you do this and tell the CSA then I bet this problem would resolve itself to a fair outcome very quickly.
Craigo said
Hi, what is their explanation for the problem and why do they claim to be unable to "fix it"? A Registrar Initiated Change of Assessment would do that in a trice, I should have though. Why have they not done one? June 2010 is less than 18 months ago.

  CSA have never given an explanation to what the problem is or why they cant fix it! The response is always "we are still investigating it" and even the Ombudsman is unable to get any answers!

This is just one of the attempts I've made to resolve it (i have removed personal info with XXX)

Matthew Arber
Phone Hm: xxxxxxxxxxxx
Phone Mb: xxxxxxxxxxxx
Email: xxxxxxxxxxxx

The Hon Tanya Plibersek
Minister for Human Services

Child Support Agency, unresolved Data Integrity Issue

Dear Minister Tanya Plibersek

I am writing to you requesting your assistance in an ongoing matter with the Child Support Agency. The Ombudsman has been unable to get any answers from your department in the last 3 months and in desperation I am now seeking your intervention, and your assistance to get your department to provide a resolution.

Your department CSA have for over 18 months been unable to resolve what has been termed as a Data Integrity Issue with my case in the CSA computer system CUBA.

I have spoken repeatedly to officers within CSA during this time; all have said they recognise there is a technical issue and that they are unable to resolve it.

In desperation after 15 months of no resolution or progress, I have seen Legal Aid, written to the Ombudsman and Laura Smyth my local Federal MP, and I am now seeking your help.

The Ombudsman has subsequently been in contact with me but they are indicating that

1. They unable to get any meaningful information from CSA

2. There are implications of mistakes being made by staff and a cover up of incompetency

3. I have been told that the CSA computer system is presently inadequate and unable to cope with my case.

4. There is no timeframe to when or whether this will ever be resolved.

If the Ombudsman is helpless in providing answers who can I speak to?

My 2008/09 tax return has been withheld for over 18 months with no justifiable reason and I am unable to lodge subsequent tax returns for 2009/10, 2010/11 or claim childcare benefit or family assistance until this is resolved.

As of the time of writing this letter to you and after 18 months I am still unable to be given any information other than its being investigated. This is also the second time this has happened with a similar incident occurring during 2008/2009.

I have spent over 200 hours in phone calls and correspondence. Your department has phantom case numbers, has reassessed me 5 times in a single 24 hour period, I have thousands of pages of paperwork often contradicting itself. There is incompetency, cover-ups, lack of communication and lack of any intention to solve this matter by your department.

This last 18 months and the 12 months prior with the other data integrity issues have put extreme pressure on my relationship. It has impacted on my partners and my own mental health and has harmed my relationships with the other cases holders.

There is a sense of absolute helplessness. Who is responsible for the competency of your department? If the Ombudsman can not get any answers, who can?

I am a simple PAYE income earner.

I was retrenched in 2007, was unemployed and as I was unable to find work I became a house husband, took paid work where possible and studied. I am willing to pay my child support as appropriate to my income but CSA are unable to provide what this amount should be. Why is this so complicated that the computer system is unable to handle it?

The details of my case are outlined in the attached correspondence.

My present contacts are:

CSA - xxxxxxxxxxxx

Ombudsman office - xxxxxxxxxxxx

Laura Smyths office - xxxxxxxxxxxx

As the Minister I am calling upon you to investigate and find out why your department can not resolve this matter after 18 months.

Yours sincerely,

Matthew Arber

CSA Reference Numbers

Calls made: xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx and many more.

My CSA REF: xxxxxxxxxxxx

Case: xxxxxxxxxxxx - Cxxxx Arber
Case: xxxxxxxxxxxx - Sxxx Arber
Case: xxxxxxxxxxxx - Cxxx Arber (Unknown Duplicate)
Case: xxxxxxxxxxxx (Unknown Phantom Case)


Oh my god how frustrated must you be. 
What was the reply from the Minister and when?

If you send me the case details and a letter outlining exactly what the issues are I will make sure it gets to someone who can deal with it on Monday and get a reply.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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Secretary SPCA said
What was the reply from the Minister and when?

If you send me the case details and a letter outlining exactly what the issues are I will make sure it gets to someone who can deal with it on Monday and get a reply.
Thanks Percolo,

Any help at this point is more than just merely welcomed!

The letter to the Minister of Human Services was only last week, so to be fair i shouldn't expect a reply until at least Mid Jan 2012?

I have contacted:

CSA on 26/6/10, Legal Aid 19/7/11, The Ombudsman on 1/9/11, Laura Smyth Fed MP on 7/9/11 and have on going conversations with all parties during this time.

I have an appointment with Legal Aid on 13/12/11, in which i hope to discuss "Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration" as avenue to push for a resolution.

It seems to me it is after this appointment i will have pretty much exhausted all my avenues for seeking a resolution?

I wish to also highlight this is now the 2nd time that i have had a "Data Corruption Issue" but the last time (2008) it was resolved after seeing Legal Aid. But it appears that it wasn't actually "resolved" simply because it has occurred once again.

How would you prefer me to send you the relevant documentation?

Matthew Arber

me too!

Hi Matthew,
This Data Integrity Issue has happened to me too, once last year and now again.  Only difference is I'm not waiting on a tax return but rather am losing about 25% of my average weekly income (wage/FTB/CCB).  My case involves shared care arrangements suddenly and with no reason changing from 86% to 50%. 

Last August and now this January I received letters from CSA and Centrelink claiming I had only 50% shared care.  My FTB rates dropped and I was advised I owed money.  CSA advised me it was a Data Integrity Issue, that I was not the only one, that technicians were on the case and that they had no idea when it would be fixed.  Eventually, after a couple of months and refreshed information from CSA, Centrelink fixed their end of the problem and I was back paid money I was entitled to.

Now it has happened again.  This time I apparentlly owe thousands of dollars which preclude me from applying for an advance payment to help cover costs until this gets fixed!  Ahhh.
A conference call between Centrelink, CSA and myself last Friday had CSA confirming my 86% shared care so an email was sent to the Child Support Unit within Centrelink requesting them to 'action' the case and correct the information.  There was no time frame given of when the information would be corrected.  I phoned today and still nothing has been done and again they cannot tell me when it will be fixed.  The staff member sent an email to Customer Relations at Centrelink.  Twice I have requested a call back using the online request.  So far I have heard nothing.  I am losing about 25% of my total average weekly income (about $200) and my rent is about 40% of my income!   Difference this time is I have very little savings to absorb the difference until things are fixed.  We are currently living on 2 minute noodles and weetbix.

I phoned the wrong MP today, his representative was very sympathetic and kindly offered to call the correct office and get back to me.  She did so and advised the correct office would phone Centrelink and call me back.  So far nothing….

I'm sorry it's happening to you but in the  same breath I am relieved to hear about this Data Integrity Issue from someone else, I thought I was the only one and that no-one believed me.  Everytime I ring Centrelink I have to explain the story all over again, they have to read the many many notes and then can do nothing to help me.

What has happened in your case since you last posted.  Do you have any advice for me?O_o

All the best.
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