12th Oct 2017

Centrelink to outsource call centre to a UK-owned company

Centrelink to outsource call centre to a UK-owned company
Leon Della Bosca

Centrelink announced it will outsource its strained call centre to multinational services company Serco, in a three-year test program that will cost the Government $51.7 million.

This is after the Department of Human Services (DHS) already paid a whopping $474 million to Telstra in a bid to shorten waiting times.

That deal led to half of all Centrelink calls going unanswered and waiting times blowing out by another 50 per cent.

So, the DHS is again turning to the private sector for help.



Serco, is a UK company that provides "catch-all" services for governments and private companies around the world.

It has already had experience with this Government, running Australia's immigration detention centres.

Contracting Serco means that private contractors will be taking Centrelink calls, prompting privacy concerns from welfare recipients. But Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge says that “Serco will ensure that no services or data will go offshore”.

The new contract also comes after 1200 Australians were recently ‘released’ from DHS jobs.

Community and Public Sector Union National Secretary Nadine Flood said that the contract added insult to injury to those who’d lost their jobs and will be a disaster that will put vulnerable people at risk.

"Trusting the highly sensitive needs and information handled by Centrelink staff to a private operator is scary in itself and this situation is even worse," said Ms Flood.

"Providing Serco with even the most basic access to client records would be giving the company a frightening amount of personal information.

"Centrelink clients need real help, such as that they are given by our members who have permanent jobs in the department and, therefore, the proper training and experience to actually resolve peoples' problems.

"A private call centre that's designed merely to make the department's call waiting times look better isn't going to genuinely help anyone."

The announcement comes hot on the heels of the Government’s rejection of the Senate inquiry’s finding that the ‘robo-debt’ payment recovery system is inherently unfair. The committee has called for the system to be suspended, but the Government has defended its program against evidence of procedural unfairness.

Do you think this is a good idea? Are you happy knowing that your details will now exist within the private sector? Or are you satisfied that the Government is doing what it can to fix a flawed system? Do you think this issue could have been averted by not dumping 1200 former DHS employees?

Related articles:
Centrelink phone wait times will worsen
Centrelink still threatening clients
Centrelink's 42 million call fail





COMMENTS

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Raphael
12th Oct 2017
9:35am
About time !
Been saying this for years
Improved services at lower cost.
jackie
12th Oct 2017
11:22am
A lower cost? I think not when you can't understand what they are saying and they can't understand you.

Give the jobs to Australians or send our politicians offshore with them.
Lookfar
12th Oct 2017
11:29am
Raphael, money spent overseas is money Australia loses, money spent in Australia goes around and helps Australians, - where do you get the idea that it is lower cost to spend money overseas?
Please explain.
AutumnOz
12th Oct 2017
11:30am
Agreed Jackie, why sack so many Australian workers then turn around and employ an offshore company to do similar work for the DHS
Sundays
12th Oct 2017
1:47pm
I worked as a manager in a government business which was sold to the Private Sector as part of outsourcing. It is not cheaper or more efficient. The 'workers' are paid less than the public servants, but the managers a lot more including bonuses and senior executives ridiculous wages. The first thing that goes is client service which is replaced by impossible targets. I resigned after 3 years when I couldn't get a training budget for the team. The amount spent on food and alcohol at my farewell was more than I asked for training.
Not a Bludger
12th Oct 2017
1:47pm
Well said, Raphael - I could not have put it better myself.

Just watch the service improve now that the Public Service Union
can no longer interfere and dumb down these workers - we shall now see a decent day’s work being done and phones answered.
Raphael
12th Oct 2017
1:56pm
Call center will be in Australia - read before you whine
jackie
12th Oct 2017
2:59pm
Sundays I agree....privatisation is not more efficient nor is it cheaper. There are even politicians admitting to this but none are willing to take it back. The majority of our freeloaders in parliament are just that. They are incapable of governing that is why they dump everything off that previous Governments did govern to overseas companies.
George
12th Oct 2017
3:29pm
Agree, jackie. Really BAD idea, even worse than this incompetent Minister's decision not to suspend the robo-debt system till it is fixed. "Human" Services should be delivered by AUSTRALIAN humans in a humane manner, not by outsourced, uninterested, low-paid contractor robots. Turnbull seriously needs to act and sack this Minister immediately.
Retired Knowall
13th Oct 2017
3:54pm
Great Idea, current system not working.
Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.
George
13th Oct 2017
7:56pm
No, RK, a really dumb-ass idea from a Minister who has now become known for a number of bad ideas & decisions. He will ensure Turnbull loses at the next election - hope you cheer for that too, I don't mind although I don't want Labor (without "U") either.

Nobody said no change is needed to fix the current mess, but to sack 1,200 staff from a Dept short of resources is shocking, especially when their current staff on phones I think are their best performers (never had a bad experience with them), when the main issue is lack of sufficient number of them to handle all calls, plus their BAD systems which drop-out calls (rather than say take call-back numbers) and keep people stuck in endless queues. Privatisation is a known method to deliver LOW-QUALITY services for making their profits, and is definitely a NO-NO in this area of "Human" services where idiots, such as from Serco with their detention centre experience, and overseas call-centres such as from Telstra, cannot deliver half-decent services and will cause much more angst to older, vulnerable members of our society who need support.

Their disastrous robo-debt recovery system is another recent privatised venture which has failed, although in this area I think they could have insisted on better performance - again, IF the Minister had any focus on QUALITY OF DELIVERY.
Retired Knowall
15th Oct 2017
6:24pm
So George, just keep employing the same drones and put up with the pathetic service heh? Brilliant, no wonder we are in the mess we are in.
Pamiea
12th Oct 2017
10:44am
Heaven forbid. Dealing with people who are hard to understand. Put your phone on speaker, keep it near and do what you want to do.
DrPolymath
12th Oct 2017
12:06pm
That's no good when someone with a foreign accent and poor English refuses to speak more slowly, despite being repeatedly asked to do so.
niemakawa
12th Oct 2017
4:36pm
They will never learn while people vote for these incompetents. Libs/Lab/Greens no difference all Globalists in outlook, they care not a damn about Australia and true Australians.
TREBOR
12th Oct 2017
4:56pm
You got it in one, niemie - take two jelly beans.... all the same.
Retired Knowall
16th Oct 2017
8:06am
Did you read & understand that "No Services or Data will Go Offshore"?
PlanB
17th Oct 2017
9:15am
Jobs and Growth ???? who for not Aussies thats for sure -- this Government is despicable
floss
12th Oct 2017
10:49am
On past experience with over seas call centres it will be another Government disaster when will these fools ever learn, what about the loss to Australian jobs , less tax for our government to waste.These blundering idiots are turning Australia into another third world country.
jackie
12th Oct 2017
11:29am
They don't care about Australians and jobs. Their only agenda is to drive the wages down to African standards. All thanks to Gina Rinehart's greedy advice.
DrPolymath
12th Oct 2017
12:09pm
"These blundering idiots are turning Australia into another third world country."

Well now, that's the Lieberal/Coalition morons all over. And they're supported by the majority of the elderly! Any retiree who voted for those bastards has no right to complain, in my opinion.
niemakawa
13th Oct 2017
5:23pm
DrPolymath. It is all intentional. Why do you think the Government is flying in thousands of third worlders to this country every week. The Globalists want to eradicate the white European heritage of this once great Nation. Who would have thought this 40 years ago??
Retired Knowall
16th Oct 2017
8:07am
Could it be that we need to fly in thousands of worker on 457 visa's because our entitled unemployed wont do the work?
arbee
12th Oct 2017
10:54am
Yes the current service is shocking, but where will the outsourcing end up. Wherever the cheapest labour can be found, which means India or Asia. There is virtually nothing that Centrelink doesn't know about us including having access to our banking details. North Korea and other countries have recently had no problems hacking high security sites and these would be a pushover for them. Also most overseas call centres I have had to deal with have a distinct language problem and are sometimes impossible to understand. What guarantee is there that wait times would be improved. What does a 3 year test program mean, can they get out of it if it isn't working, I doubt it. By all means improve your service, but keep it in Australia. Put it out to the private sector or increase the size of the current call centres, because it sure as hell doesn't work now.
Oars
12th Oct 2017
10:59am
i AGREE 100%. tHEY USED TO HAVE A nEW zEALAND CALL CENTRE, BUT OBVIOUSLY THAT WAS TOO EFFICIENT FOR THE LOCALS, SO THEY NOW SEND IT TO mUMBEY !!!
Annie
12th Oct 2017
1:29pm
Totally agree. Maintain the services, and employment in Australua.
Retired Knowall
16th Oct 2017
8:08am
Did you read & understand that "No Services or Data will Go Offshore"?
floss
12th Oct 2017
10:55am
Can these people be trusted I think not on their past performance.
Troubadour
12th Oct 2017
12:08pm
Have not heard any good things about Serco previously,
but a lot of negative ones.
Surely we need to keep our own Australians employed.
Seems ludicrous to sack (was it 1200) and then employ
others off shore at such a high cost!! Does not make
any sense to me....
Oars
12th Oct 2017
10:56am
This action is yet another example of poor governing beaucrats who run thIS COUNTRY. No WONDER THESE OFFSHORE GROUPS TAKE OVER. tHIS AINT NO LUCKY COUNTRY NO MORE.
dreamer
12th Oct 2017
11:31am
oars you are right this goverment is a joke yesterday it was electricity today centrelink god knows what its going to tomorrow
niemakawa
12th Oct 2017
4:12pm
In reality it is no longer a Nation State but an outpost shackled to the Globalists and Governed by the UN. Nothing can convince me otherwise.
floss
12th Oct 2017
10:57am
Fully agree arbee you have said it all.
Doc
12th Oct 2017
11:05am
More jobs for their mates. Stuff the public.
jackie
12th Oct 2017
11:40am
Does someone in the Liberal party own shares in a call centre? That wouldn't surprise me.
niemakawa
12th Oct 2017
4:41pm
Jackie, the pigs always have their noses in the trough.
Rosret
12th Oct 2017
11:08am
? Centrelink is supposed to be getting people off welfare and yet cuts its staff by 1200. They then employ a private firm (we have an example where this is more efficient???) to replace those people.
I feel as though the Minister for Human Services reflects an insidious character from a Charles Dickens's novel. How the title belies its function.
On one hand they talk about being careful with online security and the next they say,"Let's give this vitally important financial data to a bunch of multi-national contract workers!" So where is the security? Ugh.
I guess if they privately contracted a flawed software package and made it active without live testing this really won't make too much difference.
jackie
12th Oct 2017
11:32am
By having the Centrelink system collapse is getting people off welfare. Don't you think? This Illuminati Government agenda is ingenious.
PlanB
13th Oct 2017
7:01am
Yes, Jackie, you have it right there it is getting more and more ORWELLIAN day by day, this Face recognition etc is also just another step towards it too
john
12th Oct 2017
11:15am
Whats a concern for me would be like some call centres from other parts of the world , I find it difficult sometimes understanding what they say. This is not a slur on peoples nationality that work in call centres, but on many occasions I have had to ask quite a few times over for a person to repeat what they said. Now this actually can make you just hang up, especially with all the unwanted survey calls or sales pitches, I have actually told a woman off , because I couldn't understand her and assumed that it was a scam caller or something, I had so many I got angry and off the line!
Later on found out it was genuine, but the English was not good, I have experienced this many times. But I suppose you can get New Australians who are not that great at speaking English , at a Centrelink call centre now, still doesn't help. About the privasy thing , well I don't trust anyone or anything much these days, so be careful what you tell people if you cannot understand them properly.
As for the Government outsourcing, well that is the beginning of privitisation where by profit becomes the main issue, SERCO, by the way, had some issues in WA running the prison security set up. So heaven knows what this Fed Government and is state governments are up to. They sure can't run a country.
jackie
12th Oct 2017
11:37am
Haven't you noticed that most workers of today are incompetent because they are being employed for cost-cutting reasons, not excellent work skills? The job criteria for a call centre worker are excellent communication skills with clear diction. They hardly exist anymore.
niemakawa
12th Oct 2017
4:13pm
jackie, lip service only.
Jurassicgeek
12th Oct 2017
11:18am
ha ! ...Now we will be talking to an indian or a filipino...you only have to look at other companies that use "outside" call centres to see how that will work.....naaa dont waste our money put more aussies on telephones ..simple as that...
jackie
12th Oct 2017
11:26am
Yes, and they will have access to so much personal information ready for exploitation. What a bonus to them.
Retired Knowall
16th Oct 2017
8:11am
Did you read & understand that "No Services or Data will Go Offshore"?
Lashy
12th Oct 2017
11:24am
What an absolute joke. More Australian jobs lost to overseas. I have enough trouble already trying to understand the accents of overseas call centres.
Charlie
12th Oct 2017
11:25am
UK owned, but do the call centre staff speak good English.
If it is anything like Telstra, you will put your complaint in writing, then a person (who doesn't have a copy of the complaint) will phone you randomly asking you to explain it all.
You will have to repeat things they don't understand and you will have to hold on the line while they ask their supervisor for advice.
Just another way of giving the public the run around, I bet.
AutumnOz
12th Oct 2017
11:29am
Isn't Serco the company that supplied guards to Manus Island and Nauru? That didn't turn out very well so I can't image the same company doing a good job with Centrelink.

This is a major disaster. Can't out pollies tthink? Stupid question of course they can't - or we wouldn't be in this mess.
TREBOR
12th Oct 2017
5:01pm
"... you call has been placed in our queue and we can give no definite time for its acceptance..... do not hang up or you will be punished by withdrawal of canteen privileges and confinement to your barracks ... ....there is no guarantee that even if your call is accepted and approved, you will be given a response since government policy is now that no phone caller to Centrelink will be placed in a position of satisfaction in Australia... this is intended to stop the bloats of too many calls..... in the meantime please enjoy our elevator music of the British Beatles hits....."
Ageing but not getting old
13th Oct 2017
1:54am
Yes, Autumn Oz: They ARE the one! As well, they have had security work in some(?) of our prisons here in WA, and I believe they have had at least one prisoner escape while being seen in hospital, and I think another one escaped when on a work detail outside the prison. But they've also been contracted to run a number of areas at the new-ish Fiona Stanley Hospital, which has had a lot of problems. Not impressed with Serco's track record here, Centrelink.
Jacka
12th Oct 2017
11:31am
the company that runs immigration detention centers now running Centerlink call centre that's not a recipe for disaster is it.obviously all the ice uses aren't in the country there in Canberra. What the hell are they thinking. Not to mention Australian jobs. Good one Malcolm. Cheers Jacka.
Eddy
12th Oct 2017
11:38am
I have had experience with Serco in Defence, personally I would not contract the running of as public toilet to this company, but then I am not a highly paid contracted public servant on limited tenure who gets bonuses for improving so called efficiency. Unfortunately they are not the only organisation which use questionable means to achieve maximum profits. The only way to keep control and protect our personal information is to keep it in-house, not contracting out.
Dot
12th Oct 2017
11:41am
AUSTRALIA TOTALLY FOREIGN OWNED THAT'S WHY EVERY THING IS RUN BY FOREGNERS TIME TO ABOLISH COMPULSARY VOTING THOSE MONGERLS IN CANBERRA ARE CARE TAKERS FOR THE FOREIGN OWNERS AND THESE B----- POLITICIANS ARE COSTING US BILLIONS
jackie
13th Oct 2017
10:33am
Dot...I agree and I wouldn't be surprised those Mongrels in Canberra are getting paid on the side by those foreign companies too.
andytwo
12th Oct 2017
11:49am
Mr Tudge says that no info will go offshore, but if the call centre is offshore does that not mean the info goes offshore?... I believe Serco lost the contract for security at our Defence bases not long ago, says something..........Am I on the right planet?.
DrPolymath
12th Oct 2017
12:04pm
The whole thing is yet another Lieberal Party stuff-up. Their 'solution' will probably make Centrelink even less accessible.
BrianP
12th Oct 2017
12:23pm
Sack Tudge the Fudge for squandering our tax payers money.
Triss
12th Oct 2017
12:23pm
So, Centrelink will save money by sacking some staff and taxpayers will have to fork out for their unemployment benefits and the wages for outside workers.
TREBOR
14th Oct 2017
1:06am
.. and their termination payments.....
Chrissy L
12th Oct 2017
12:31pm
Another poor decision by this inept Government. Why can't they locate a Call Centre in Far North Queensland or Regional Australia and give our young people an opportunity to get a job. Youth unemployment rates are so high, young people have given up trying to find work when at least 25% are unemployed. As for security, rubbish, this will open us up to more scammers, crooks and dodgy people trying to get our information to empty our bank accounts. I have already personally had someone try to do this to me personally when moving house and getting my phone reconnected via a call centre in India. Having managed call centres myself, the alarm bell went off. I reported this situation to the company concerned, never received a response and had to go to the Telecommunications Ombudsman to get some action. Once control is lost in overseas call centres, anything can happen. Dumb move Mr Tudge.
Dr Beat
12th Oct 2017
12:35pm
This is appalling and not being implemented by greedy shareholders from the Corporate but by an AUSTRALIAN government department. Over the last 20 years so many companies have taken the opportunity to outsource to cheap labour foreign countries and our young people are yet again denied entry level employment opportunities and we receive a degraded service having to deal with these robots who are difficult to deal with and have no rapport, while our economy loses from the loss of wages and spending power in Australia, meaning taxes will have to go up to pay for all our middle eastern and African immigrants who are just using and abusing our generosity through Centre link.
niemakawa
12th Oct 2017
6:55pm
Governments today only interested in third worlders and that is what they are planning for us all. Some call it the NWO. Back to serfdom in reality.
Alan
12th Oct 2017
1:00pm
After the debacle with the hacking of the defence commercial contract, can this thoughtless government guarantee that all Australians personal data won't be hacked and used for identity fraud? If it is hacked I'm sure they won't get away with it this time and get sued. The only problem is it will be too late. Why didn't they use the $55million to hire more government personnel, or is that too simple.
Fiona
13th Oct 2017
9:59am
Alan just what I was thinking.
ozirules
12th Oct 2017
1:00pm
WTF....I had to check the calendar to make sure it isn't April 1st.
fey
12th Oct 2017
1:03pm
Jobs and growth! Isn't that what our PM said that his government was about! More fool us hey.
Spondonian
12th Oct 2017
1:04pm
Just a thought , we cant have politicians with dual citizenship because they might act against this countries interests , But we are willing to place all our citizens private information into the hands of another country ?
Rae
12th Oct 2017
1:13pm
If Telstra couldn't fix it with $474 million then Serco won't be able to either. Serco has never made a profit yet even though the share price is astronomical.
Retired Knowall
16th Oct 2017
8:19am
Fact Check, 2017 $3.1B revenue with $80M profit.
But don't let facts get in the way of your dribble.
Dollars over Respect?
12th Oct 2017
1:15pm
Such decision-making is plainly ridiculous. All the Dept needed to do was employ more Australians with competent clerical skills - especially in using the English language (or other specified language speakers when and as required) to handle individual routine issues - they can't be that complicated. Wages earned here are spent here and if it is deemed too expensive to employ Australians to do this, just how has this come about?
niemakawa
12th Oct 2017
10:16pm
True Australians redundant to requirements. Everything for the newcomers under the care of the UN to whom the Australian Government is beholden and must answer. Goodbye Australia as a proud Nation State, you are no more.
KB
12th Oct 2017
1:20pm
This is not a good idea. We have Australians out of work who could be trained to answer calls. Over 1200 were sacked and to employ people from overseas adds insult to injury.
KSS
12th Oct 2017
1:27pm
The out of work Australians also have experience of the system too!
TREBOR
12th Oct 2017
9:52pm
There's a good future in it for those who know how to rort the system, in answering queries from those who have yet to learn how to rort it.... only someone who can manipulate Centrelin's services knows how to prevent that happening...
KSS
12th Oct 2017
1:21pm
Serko? Is that the same Serko running prisons and detention centres on and off shore?
Rae
12th Oct 2017
2:32pm
Check them out KSS. Interesting Corporation. It's SERCO as in Service Corporation and they have been around since the Great Depression in one form or another. One of these days they may even make a lot of money but they bleed billions currently as they build business contracting in all sorts of service delivery for Governments.Everything from logistics through transport, health delivery systems, security, It, prisons, detention centres etc.

I imagine their security would be excellent although no system is infallible.

In some ways this is an attempt to lower costs and wipe responsibility for Centrelink which has been pretty incompetent lately.
This could have been deliberate though as it is the mode to create a fuss deliberately and then privatise afterwards claiming the system needs to be fixed.
Alky
12th Oct 2017
1:26pm
I wish to opt out of having my personal information being passed on to a foreign-owned company. In fact I want to opt out of having my personal information being passed to anyone.

The govt has been spruiking "Jobs and growth, jobs and growth". What they didn't tell us was the jobs and growth were for every other country except Australia. Contracting out Australian jobs after sacking 1200 people is definitely NOT promoting jobs and growth for Australia.

I have observed how Serco operates in the health sector and it is not good. The workers are there purely to answer inbound calls. At the moment the call is answered, half of the contract is fulfilled, provided it's answered within the agreed number of seconds. The workers have very little training other than being told to follow set scripts and they're not allowed to think for themselves or use their initiative. So, if your question/problem falls outside their scripting, you're stuffed. Even their supervisors are just following scripts, albeit with a slightly wider scope. You will usually have to go through three levels of supervision before you can get to a decision maker. And don't get me started on the problems with foreign accents.

The NAB outscourced their call centre to the Phillipines a while back and at the time I was applying for a personal loan. I had to talk the call centre operator through how to seach back on my banking records to see proof of income. Not once, but three bloody times. Needless to say I wrote a tersely worded letter to the NAB. Surprisingly I did get a call back from someone in Australia apologising for the problems.

Outsourcing doesn't save money in the long term. All it does is drive your customers away. However, is an area like Centrelink, where there is no opposition for the customer to take their business to, all it's going to do is make more people frustrated and in danger of losing their payments. The workers have no duty of care other than to answer your call withing the contracted timeframe. From that point, there is pressure on the operator to close the call quickly and to answer the next call. The more calls they answer, the better their pay is. If they give misleading or wrong information, it's no skin off their nose, they'll still get paid. The govt is giving these workers a lot of power which will affect whether the caller gets to eat and have a roof over their head for the next fortnight
Janran
12th Oct 2017
4:17pm
That's interesting, Alky, that they are paid per phone pickup, not per customer question answered or problem solved.

It explains why I have been (not so) mysteriously cut off, while waiting to be transferred to a supervisor at a call centre.

It's not real service at all - it's just ticking a stat sheet for payment.
Alky
13th Oct 2017
12:15am
Janran, they are paid to answer calls within a contracted timeframe. So, provided they answer the call within the time, the company is paid. There are other things they're contracted and paid for, but the call answering is the main one. That way they can go to the govt (or whoever contracted their services) and say Yes, 90% of the calls are answered withing 240 seconds, or whatever the contracted time is.

Some of the other things they're judged on are:

Rework - did the caller have to call back in about the same problem because it wasn't resolved the first time

Time on call - in the health sector, the max time allowed to resolve the call was 4 minutes. If you spent more than 4 minutes, you were told you were over-servicing the caller. So the pressure was on to get the call over within that time.

There were a couple other things like call quality etc etc, but those are the main ones
TREBOR
14th Oct 2017
1:09am
How are these things supposed to be monitored, Alky? Is the government paying people to sit and eavesdrop on Serco to ensure they are doing it right and not fudging it?

What a joke... no genuine oversight at all.
Alky
17th Oct 2017
11:10am
And therein lies the rub young TREBOR...... self regulation

Need I say more?
Paul52
12th Oct 2017
1:27pm
Centrelink has been deskilling it's workforce for the last 15 years at least and wonders why the call times blow out. Lack of "Skilled" staff is the main problem. Most Centrelink management are simply taken up space because they have statistics that they call staff. They have forgotten the staff are actually people and on the other end of the phone is also a person. Get rid of most of the management then watch Centrelink improve out of sight.
marto
12th Oct 2017
1:50pm
Instead of blowing your trumpet here send your comments to trudge and trumble its about time we took control of our country and put these morons on notice that the next election is coming and the toilet bowl is where they will go if they continue with this garbage
jackie
12th Oct 2017
3:03pm
marto They know what they are doing and are laughing all the way to the bank....Their agenda is to abolish welfare, medicare, free education and drive the slave job wages down to African standards so the rich can keep getting greedier.
niemakawa
12th Oct 2017
4:05pm
Jackie , no doubt to encourage ( read invite) more Africans etc to come here.
Andy
12th Oct 2017
2:27pm
number one problem is the loss of Australian workers and loss of their tax payments, all this is caused by our lazy useless Government, second big problem, although it is stated the call center will not go out of Australia, I consider this to be a lie, when it does the gov. will not be able to tax the overseas workers a double loss as has been happening for a long time and all the gov, can say the retired pensioners are causing this loss of money
Mahamelb
12th Oct 2017
3:24pm
As long as they speak English clearly I can't say I care that much.
Janran
12th Oct 2017
4:20pm
They NEVER speak English clearly - that's why they've been hired in the first place.
Janran
12th Oct 2017
4:21pm
Cheap labour.
TREBOR
14th Oct 2017
1:10am
.. and tame, non-Unionised labour who are all part-time casuals apart from the Kommissars at the centre.
StewieIJ
12th Oct 2017
3:43pm
I had to make a call recently and received exceptional service from 2 operatives. Although the wait time initially might seem long to some, less than 20 mins, like have heard from ATO commercial clients they want correct answers and good advice, not fast call times. I'd rather not have further outsourcing, even if it is in Australia.
niemakawa
12th Oct 2017
3:53pm
This is totally outrageous and in my opinion no less than an Act of Treason by the Government. How long will it be before personal data is compromised ? Probably within a week.

The Government will then again be on the back-foot apologising for their treachery. This is what all Globalist Governments do they care not about their own people.

Labor/Greens may cause a stir over the implementation of this outsourcing, but that’s about all. They will not commit to reversing it. An insult to all true Australians.
floss
12th Oct 2017
3:58pm
Our P.M.did say jobs and growth what he failed to say they would be in bloody India.Raphael and Not a Bludger what drugs are you on your not on this planet.
niemakawa
12th Oct 2017
4:17pm
Will those operating these call centres staffed by Serco be allowed to update records of Centrelink recipients. If so there is a distinct possibilty that records will be corrupted. Expect a letter from Centrelink claiming that you have been overpaid and must make amends or else!!
John
12th Oct 2017
4:32pm
Calm down all of you. The Article does not say the call centres will be overseas. If no information is to go overseas the call centres will have to be in Australia.

I agree if the call centres are in India it will be a disaster. I helped someone recently contact Telstra to get the Internet Connected. We rang nearly every day for weeks and it was like reinventing the wheel each time. The standard of English was very poor.
niemakawa
12th Oct 2017
4:38pm
Only the naive will believe what the article states.
jackie
13th Oct 2017
10:39am
It will be run by an overseas company the same one that runs the detention centres. Look at how much that has cost the taxpayer.
Raphael
12th Oct 2017
4:36pm
BUNCH OF WHINGERS
CANT YOU READ ???

CALL CENTRE WILL BE IN AUSTRALIA - EMPLOYING AUSTRALIANS !!!!!
niemakawa
12th Oct 2017
4:39pm
Only the naive will believe what the article states.
Rosret
14th Oct 2017
9:54pm
Raphael have a read of Alky's comment. It is very informative and I know this happens because a similar requirement was asked of a friend I knew who worked for Telstra. It is incredibly stressful for the workers and frustrating for the person with the query.
Retired Knowall
16th Oct 2017
8:25am
Yep, better to believe the CRAP you post Niemy.
disillusioned
12th Oct 2017
4:54pm
Have had experience with this Serco mob, privatised gaols, refugee camps, etc. NOT GOOD!!
TREBOR
12th Oct 2017
4:55pm
It has nothing to do with any intrinsic 'woes' of Centrelink - it has everything to do with THIS 'government' starving its call centre of staff and funding so as to create the 'need' to out-source' it to one of their mates.

A trick as old as the hills, and I want to see the figures on costing for running the current call centre AND the 'new' 'out-sourced' one - AND I want to seed who are the principals in the companies to whom this luscious contract will be handed.

It'll be a long string of The Usual Suspects getting their paws on the government money tree again while masquerading as genuine business people.
niemakawa
12th Oct 2017
5:13pm
More taxpayers' money down the drain. Give these incompetents enough rope and they will hang themselves, literally , I hope.
Kangooroo
12th Oct 2017
7:53pm
First, they closed gov, service centres, they sack hundreds or thousands of workers and now they as a present to an international company the answering of the phone, not in the best interests of us. It will be cheap and you get what you pay for, give back jobs to Australians in Australia, and lower the unemployment.
TREBOR
12th Oct 2017
9:59pm
When they came for the public servants,
I said nothing.

When they came for the contracted part-time employees who replaced the public servants,
I said nothing.

When they came for the oversight people,
I said nothing.

When they came for the call centres in Australia,
I said nothing.

When they finally came for me to abolish my social security rights,
There was nobody left to say anything.
Raphael
13th Oct 2017
12:11am
Boo hoo
Cry me a river
TREBOR
13th Oct 2017
11:04am
.. too late.....
TREBOR
14th Oct 2017
1:12am
.. the river has dried up.....

... and a river of rorting runs through it now ......
Kato
12th Oct 2017
9:53pm
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-11/hacker-stole-data-from-defence-subcontractor/9040906?utm_source=sfmc&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=%3a8935&user_id=aea43578450f9cfc1fea53156440f8b333c796bd9f2245c5d9ea396830ea3ac1&WT.tsrc=email&WT.mc_id=Email%7c%7c8935&utm_content=ABCNewsmail_topstories_articlelink
And you can bet London to a brick that centre link information will go the same way.
niemakawa
12th Oct 2017
10:31pm
I have no doubt it will and I believe it is intentional on the part of our Government. Barstewards the lot of them
Rosret
14th Oct 2017
9:58pm
Yes, and there it is subcontractor hackers. But that won't matter because its not the governments information its ours.
Crimmo
12th Oct 2017
10:47pm
Most systems in this country rely on people just giving up. When you constantly can't understand the enquiry officer and they cannot understand you, you are meant to just give up. Maybe Julian Knight had just got off the phone to Telstra.
TREBOR
13th Oct 2017
11:07am
Example:- The ex keeps getting notices to pay for a water licence that we haven't owned for over eighteen months on a property we no longer own, and which licence expired anyway. NSW government at work right there, and I've said to her several times that they are hoping you'll pay it just to shut them up. She's written to them, tried to call them, emailed them - several times - same response. Every time they are sorted out, they simply send another letter for payment.
Rae
15th Oct 2017
2:04pm
This was always going to happen with the Lands and Title Office sale TREBOR. Next they'll want land taxes and will have to pay the new owners overseas heaps for the information they already had and were earning a good dividend on.

This sort of nonsense starts when there are inadequate records held by incompetent firms with poorly paid staff who couldn't give a rat's anyway because they aren't Australian.
PlanB
13th Oct 2017
6:56am
" JOBS AND GROWTH" is it -- I don't think so -- I am SICK to death of not being able to understand these offshore people -- Telstra is bad enough -- now people that have to deal with Centrelink have to put up with this utter BS and a lot will be disabled in some way too -- bloody disgrace Mr Turnbull!
HS
13th Oct 2017
7:27am
Checked the calendar. No, it's not 1st of April BUT, it is Black Friday 13th !
Fairness
13th Oct 2017
5:17pm
Serco....Another scheme to divulge our private details..I stopped believing in the tooth fairy many long years ago!!
hmmm
14th Oct 2017
10:19am
I admit I haven't read other comments, but wouldn't reinstating the employees, extending the hours, and adding to the numbers out of our immense pool of unemployed people make more sense ?
ozirules
14th Oct 2017
11:56am
sorry, our pollies are all out of sense.
Fairness
18th Oct 2017
1:07pm
When is the next General Election??? More "costs to taxpayer" but "costs to taxpayer" are a bit like water off a duck's back to government.....obviously realise some older citizens are living on"borrowed time" so to hasten or prolong not a concern....BUT I am looking after myself and my mates!!!!


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