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CSA engages with SPCA and others on COA

The Child Support Agency have engaged in establishing a new initiative and project to look at the whole COA (Change Of Assessment ) program and process.

An experienced Project Manager has been appointed to flesh out a formal project around the COA process, the 30 page form, the reasons, the issues , what works and what doesn't and to make a wide range of findings into the process that has been an onerous burden on the part of payers, payees and the CSA support network dealing with these.

The members of the Child Support National Stakeholder Engagement Group (CSNSEG) who have expressed interest in being involved in CSA's work in reviewing the current COA process have been engaged.
Secretary of the SPCA said
We need to get behind this review and come up with positive and innovative suggestions on how to improve this process. The CSA have asked for direction and commentary on how to improve a process that has often handed down disappointing results to very disgruntled parties in the process.

The process is onerous, slow, complex, not understood by the vast majority and is open to wide interpretaion through different case officers engaged to review these applications. Outcomes are often appealed and there needs to be a completely new streamlined approach to simplify this system, not only for the applicants and respondents but also for the CSA officers who have to deal with the complex paper work.

We are asking for feedback from members on issues of importance.

In the early stages of framing this project it is important we feed back the key areas that the COA project should focus on.
There has been a period of gathering external stakeholder feedback, but also of looking internally at how Child Support Officers and Senior Case Officers involved in the process can be assisted in making fairer decisions, and in a much more stream-lined and efficient way for customers.

Currently, CSA have a number of proposals about how we can achieve this and are looking to commence some piloting of these suggestions.
Ed Dabrowski, the Federal Director of the SPCA said
This is a unique opportunity for us to engage with in meaningful dialogue on a process that we often have negative feedback on
The Policy Advisor for the SPCA said
We receive regular communication on the process and I have reproduced a letter received on Friday last.

I am at my wits end dealing not only, in the immediate sense, with a registrar-initiated departure determination procedure by the CSA, but, in a longer term sense, with years of manipulation by the mother of my children in an attempt to undermine our shared parenting arrangement and relegate me to the role of an absent father, whose only contribution is to pay child support. I really need someone to talk to for advice and support. I am in tears writing to you, have been forced to seek a referral to a psychologist and take antidepressants all because of this process. I would be grateful for any avenue for assistance which you could suggest.Thank you
These sorts of letters and emails are typical of the pressures and stress people are under when going into and through the COA process
We have established both a private executive forum and a public forum to make any suggestions on the Change of Assessment Process. Please contribute to ensure your suggestions, issues and complaints about the existing system are clearly identified.

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