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Great suggestion

Is it time to have another think about the operations of the CSA

Hi Secretary,

I think your suggestion about a 'Hex' style of system conducted by the ATO is a great idea. The SSAT & CSA should make decisions inline with the ATO.

It amazes me how they can just ignore taxable income figures and substitute them with their own. We pay allot of money to Accountants to get the tax right so why not place the trust in the ATO.

The other option which I believe is being canvassed is placing CSA under the Centrelink banner. This would even make more sense as the competing legislation of the different departments can be aligned.

Alessandro
Easily fixed and frugal to achieve. My idea:

1. Abolish CSA and absorb required staff into Centrelink and/or FAO.
2. CSA functions then performed by ATO (income determinations and using only ATI) and Centrelink & FAO (care levels).
3. No Part 6A exemption from judicial review. Rules of evidence now apply.
4. If required, CSA staff do debt collection for the ATO as a division thereof.
5. SSAT remains but no longer has a child support branch due to ATO determining income. AAT can address appeals involving care levels as they do already. In essence, if the SSAT remains involved their decisions should be accessible.
6. Remaining CSA staff made redundant.

If anyone can think of a cheaper or more effective reform process which would benefit all parties I'd appreciate your contribution.
Hi Sleepy,



Your idea sounds vey logical. I heard that this is why CSA has been merged under the Department of Human Services banner so that they can all be amalgamated.

I still can't understand why you cannot approach the CSA to resolve complex issues and have to escalate it to the SSAT anyway? This needs to be addressed as you end up speaking to multiple CSA officers in multiple states- a recipe for disaster. Not all are bad might I add. In Job Services you are assigned a case officer that you can liase with face to face or via the phone. Maybe CSA needs to adopt a similar system (which would cost more money I suppose) but help reduce the errors made.

Also I am studying crime at the moment and even a person that has been accused of a crime has the opportunity to address errors of law and fact??? It would be great if this process was adopted by the SSAT. So effectively what I am trtying to say is that an accused criminal has more rights than how the system of the SSAT treats you. Once again Sleepy, your idea would bring in the use of evidence law and stop the nonsense.

Alessandro
Alessandro said
I heard that this is why CSA has been merged under the Department of Human Services banner so that they can all be amalgamated.
CSA and other agencies are sharing common services and working toward a combined entry point for services. There is no "merger". They remain separate operating entities. They are now working toward sharing or co locating premises and back end computer systems are being consolidated.
Alessandro said
I still can't understand why you cannot approach the CSA to resolve complex issues and have to escalate it to the SSAT anyway?
The CSA are able to deal with complex issues and do so every day. We escalate some issues to our channel where there is a complex issue that is not adequately accommodated in legislation, in policy or in "the Guide".  There are numerous cases where we have reviewed and intervened and in the main there is an appropriate response. If you have an objection to a determination and the outcome is not what you want you THEN have the SSAT to fall back to. This HAS to be better than what was existing before. If the SSAT does not give a result due to a determination based on legislative deficiency then you also have the option of a Judge in the Circuit Court.
Alessandro said
This needs to be addressed as you end up speaking to multiple CSA officers in multiple states- a recipe for disaster. Not all are bad might I add. In Job Services you are assigned a case officer that you can liaise with face to face or via the phone. Maybe CSA needs to adopt a similar system (which would cost more money I suppose) but help reduce the errors made.
I will add that suggestion to discussion points. It is generally accepted that when "Personalised Services" get involved things usually look up.
Alessandro said
Also I am studying crime at the moment and even a person that has been accused of a crime has the opportunity to address errors of law and fact??? It would be great if this process was adopted by the SSAT.
SSAT does do exactly that. I have had a couple of SSAT matters where two thing were issues. The first that the value of the adjustment was such that it would not have covered even attendance. The other more concerning issue was that additional evidence was placed before the SSAT that was NOT placed before the CSA Senior Case Officer. Is it any wonder SSAT made a different finding than the CSA SCO.
Alessandro said
So effectively what I am trying to say is that an accused criminal has more rights than how the system of the SSAT treats you….
I don't agree, when did you last appear in an ex-parte DVO matter. Good luck with your on going studies and thank you for your contribution.


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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Thanks for posting the comments. Interesting view point. The point I was trying to make is that facts are considered as well not just errors of law,

In our particular case the CSA and SSAT had I believe too many facts and mixed them all up.

I believe it was too hard for the CSA to interpret because the issues were created a year before they were disclosed to us by the CSA. The entire thing just went on too long and became too complicated to understand due to the turnover of staff dealing with the case. The SSAT have not even read the documents properly and created a disasterous situation for us. It will be back in court soon and hopefully back to the SSAT again.

Each case is individual and I thnk we have just been unlucky. Lets hope it can be rectified so all parties are happy.
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