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Public Administration News  
Australia to Improve Central Bill Payment Service
Source: futuregov.asia
Source Date: Friday, August 16, 2013
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Country: Australia
Created: Aug 20, 2013

An independent review of Australia’s central bill payment system has made several recommendations to fortify the system provided by the Department of Human Services  (DHS).


Centrepay is a voluntary bill payment system for citizens receiving payments through Centrelink, the social security payments and services disbursement system. Payments amounting to around AU $2 billion were made via Centrepay during the last financial year.


Minister for Human Services, Jan McLucas, said, “Centrepay alleviates some of the stress of budgeting by assisting people to manage their bills”. Through regular deductions from social security payments, almost 600,000 people use Centrepay to pay for rent, utilities, education, child care and medical services.


The report suggests improving the operation of the Centrepay system in order to provide a more robust and reliable service in the future. Recognising the need to strengthen the service, DHS supports majority of the recommendations.


DHS acknowledges the need to scrutinise the existing regulatory frameworks used to protect the financial wellbeing of Centrepay users and minimise additional regulatory burden on business.


An advisory group chaired by a senior DHS official is to be set up to review the future direction. “I have asked the Department to establish an advisory group which will bring together the welfare, finance, business and consumer sectors to provide advice on the future direction and improvements to Centrepay”, informed the Minister.

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