Medicare revelations raise questions over Tudge’s competence

New investigation reveals DHS knew private Medicare details were for sale.

Medicare deception revealed

An investigation by The New Daily has revealed that the Department of Human Services (DHS) knew that private Medicare details were for sale on the dark web before the story went public.

An investigation by The Guardian in July revealed that millions of Medicare numbers and patient details were available for sale on the dark web.

At the time, Human Services Minister Alan Tudge stated that his department was unaware that millions of Australians had had their details for sale on the dark web since October 2016, until the story became public.

Internal emails, obtained by The New Daily under freedom of information laws, revealed that department officials discussed the security issue as early as 22 June – nearly two weeks before revelations that Medicare numbers were being sold online.

While a great deal of the email conversations released under the freedom of information laws are heavily redacted, when the story was published, Mark Withnell, General Manager of Business Integrity at the DHS emailed colleagues stating “this is the one I was mentioning last week”.

Mr Tudge reiterated that he had no prior knowledge of the breach.

“I was not aware of this case until 3 July when the journalist alerted me to them,” he told The New Daily.

Mr Tudge’s response can only lead to two possible conclusions: he is not telling the full truth about what his department knew and when; or he was not competent enough to understand what issues were arising in his department and his staff were not confident enough to approach him with the details.

Either way, what is totally clear is that this latest revelation provides further evidence that Mr Tudge should be replaced as Human Services Minister.

He somehow managed to hold onto his job after the department controversially released the private details and personal information of a Centrelink recipient to a journalist in order to diffuse claims she made in the media earlier this year

Surely, this latest deception has to be the final straw.

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    COMMENTS

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    billy boy
    23rd Nov 2017
    11:28am
    the guy's a goose, along with his mates ;)
    TREBOR
    23rd Nov 2017
    11:39am
    Countless years ago, after I was involved in a rear-ender car accident, I went to the DMR (then) to get details of the other motorist, who fled the scene. I was told it was covered by 'privacy'...... what this means, in effect,is that ONLY the state government had access to private information, and no matter what the issues involved, nobody else could.

    Possession of knowledge is power... power is control over others .....

    Now we see the end game involved - your 'government' now sees itself as the 'owner' of your personal information, with which it can do whatever it chooses, regardless of your views and opinions.

    In an ideological sense, this is an arrogation by the State of a 'power' to which it is no more entitled than those who are controlled by that power - it is the State stating that it alone has any 'right' to power and control, and the individual has none.

    Once that 'government' holds that power, it can use it at whim for any reason and is answerable only unto itself.

    This is a sure sign of a despotic government, regardless of its 'hue', and is akin to Stalinism (as currently practiced in North Korea - not 'socialism' as some seek to say) and Hitlerism, and every other kind of despotic government that people have thrown off for centuries - now we here in 'the lucky country' are going backwards.

    This kind of thing is one reason I began to oppose 'our' 'government' in its current form many years ago.
    hmmm
    23rd Nov 2017
    11:48am
    there are two major parties, if you don't vote for either we may still have a chance.
    GeorgeM
    23rd Nov 2017
    9:09pm
    Agree. Vote them & Greens (especially all current seat-warmers) last in preferences to get rid of them.
    Fairness
    23rd Nov 2017
    12:14pm
    SO......When do Medicare contact those of US (could be any of US I imagine!) to say "We regret your details are no longer available to Medicare alone........" and I do also wonder whether the recipients of any such details can be prevented from passing on.....??????
    Fairness
    23rd Nov 2017
    12:33pm
    Adding to my previous comment today re Medicare, if the Minister were made aware of the situation in July, i do have to wonder whether anyone affected has been contacted or whether this article above would their first intimation.....!!
    TREBOR
    23rd Nov 2017
    8:15pm
    They had no idea, in far too many cases, that they had foreign semi citizenship or whatever that excluded them from Parliament.

    Why would they have any knowledge of anything occurring in their own Ministry until it became public knowledge and they could read about the debacle it cause in the papers?
    TREBOR
    23rd Nov 2017
    8:23pm
    Did they ask for our permission to use our data? Did they clearly come out and say that the 'user' accepts conditions etc as unspecified, such as the 'right' of the governing body to use data as it sees fit and then hold any issues involved in 'commercial confidence'?

    This is government of the people, for the people and BY the people we are talking about here..... not some forking business!!

    23rd Nov 2017
    12:21pm
    Tudge is a Lieberal. Of course he's incompetent!
    TREBOR
    23rd Nov 2017
    8:23pm
    A former Young Liberal - that says it all.
    GeorgeM
    23rd Nov 2017
    9:11pm
    He needs to go, not only for this, but also the failed Robo-debt recovery system not just because the system was a failure but also his refusal to immediately stop it's use until it was properly tested.

    Actually, I think he is making sure that Turnball will be removed!

    23rd Nov 2017
    12:23pm
    Oh yes, sack the Minister! What if the head of department chose not to tell the Minister in contradiction of the Minister's request to be kept abreast of all matters of importance? How can the Minister know that information is being kept from him? It would be nice to have an investigation prior to a knee jerk reaction of "Sack the Minister!"
    Rosret
    23rd Nov 2017
    1:21pm
    Yes - its the bureaucrats behind the scenes that need auditing.
    TREBOR
    23rd Nov 2017
    8:19pm
    Actually it's both.

    OM - if you ran your org like that, how far would you get? Just asking here...

    It starts at the top and works down - if the top doesn't have it right, the bottom will never respond since they have no real idea of how they are expected to function.

    It comes down to the amateur nature of politicians - and of their senior staff in far too many cases, who have generated their promotions for the wrong reasons not including competence.

    Been there - done that.
    anonysubscribe
    23rd Nov 2017
    12:44pm
    It seems we must respect our overlords as they feel they have the full right to exercise the powers they gained for themselves by fair means and foul. it was alright to vilify the centrelink recipient because the ruling classes despise 'dole bludgers' and will bludgeon anyone who stands in their way. Because they can.

    "...While a great deal of the email conversations released under the freedom of information laws are heavily redacted, when the story was published, Mark Withnell, General Manager of Business Integrity at the DHS emailed colleagues stating “this is the one I was mentioning last week”.

    our leaders should always treat laws with contempt. Freedom of information is an unnecessary irritation which they are right to censor. Other laws are also being subverted so our leaders are consistent.

    It is unfortunate we live in a pretend democracy, as our leaders have to go through so much inconvenience to rule us. If only they could aspire to tinpot dictatorship, life would be so much easier for them.

    They are changing laws to ensure their fascist models return so maybe we should hold our breath.
    Rae
    26th Nov 2017
    7:39am
    Yes and it will all be commercial in confidence soon I suspect. Wait until Serco take over Centrelink.

    If people would prefer a fascist controlled government party to a socialist one they really can't complain about the consequences.

    By the time they figure out the bad, bad unions are not really as dangerous as the mussolini model believers it is always too late to undo without a lot of disruption and often violence.

    Divide and conquer. This has been a long game played with propaganda and deceit.
    Rosret
    23rd Nov 2017
    1:19pm
    Yahoo, Uber, Medicare ...... good grief. - and we didn't this coming??
    geofftuke
    23rd Nov 2017
    2:33pm
    Surely you mean DEFUSE? Would gov't public servants ever want to DIFFUSE our view of the situation?
    TREBOR
    23rd Nov 2017
    8:20pm
    Spread it around into the ether, make it so diffuse that nobody can ever get a firm grip on it? Par for the course ....
    maelcolium
    24th Nov 2017
    2:18pm
    It's very frustrating, but water under the bridge as an early election looms due to the citizenship fiasco, which will sort the matter out within a matter of a few short months. It's clear that by December 1, which is the deadline for politicians to provide details of their lineage, there will be so many ineligible that the GG will have to dissolve the parliament, install a caretaker Government, and order a fresh federal election. The LNP coalition will be consigned to the history books by the electorate, so Tudge will become unemployed and no longer required to fess up his incompetence.

    This is the reason why Turnbull suspended Parliament for a week which gives his Government an extra few weeks to bombard us with propaganda over the Xmas break via the repulsive television adverts which are already appearing on the tube. In caretaker mode he would not be able to expropriate funds to advertise, so this delay of parliament is to give him some air time as a last gasp to rescue his failing Government. It's not very pretty, let alone very clever, as the community can see through this deception which I imagine will be the final nail in his political coffin.


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