In early September, the joint Department of Human Services (the department) and Australian Federal Police (AFP) Taskforce Integrity spent time at the department’s service centres in Elizabeth and Salisbury, as well as the Elizabeth shopping centre.
Set up to identify people who deliberately withhold or provide false information to claim welfare payments, Taskforce Integrity has been working in Adelaide’s northern suburbs for several months.
Newly appointed taskforce leader, Assistant Commissioner Andrea Quinn was impressed with the level of engagement from the community.
“Taskforce Integrity’s major focus is identifying people who intentionally do the wrong thing, however a very important aspect of our work is educating the community about their obligation to keep their information up to date,” Assistant Commissioner Quinn said.
“This is how we spent our two days in Salisbury and Elizabeth, and we were very pleased with how it went – people were curious about the work we are doing.
“The community also passed on a lot of tips offs, which has given us plenty to follow up.
“We rely on the public’s information to identify people who might be claiming more from the welfare system than they are entitled to.
“While most people do the right thing, unfortunately there are some out there who defraud the system – and they are the ones the taskforce is focussed on finding.”
In the last week of August, Taskforce Integrity sent more than 10,000 letters out to the department’s customers, reminding them of their obligation to keep their details up to date to avoid accumulating a debt with the department.
“In our time on the ground at the service centres, we had people coming in with their letters to update their details,” Assistant Commissioner Quinn said.
“It is great to know that so many in the community are engaged and willing to do the right thing.”
In the Craigmore area up to 26 August 2016, the taskforce has:
- initiated 2,217 compliance reviews
- identified 15 cases of suspected fraud for further investigation
- referred four matters to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions
- identified over $2 million of debt for the Commonwealth
- identified 845 cases of overpayments.
Download image: Taskforce team visit Salisbury Service Centre.
Download image: Taskforce Integrity visit Elizabeth shopping centre.
- Read more about Taskforce Integrity.
- Read the Minister’s Media Release Taskforce Integrity targets welfare fraud in Adelaide.