7. 'A bit of a fixer-upper' - DHS and the botched launch of Robodebt

The Westminster Tradition

01-07-2023 • 27 mins

In this episode, Caroline takes us through how DHS responds in early 2017 when things start hitting the fan. Aggressive defence is the name of game in the media, while in the background frantic efforts are made to improve 'the customer interface'.
We talk about how DHS backed themselves into a corner, and despite a lot of senior attention to solve problems,  never picked up the rock to check what was underneath.
We also talk about how hard it is to fix something while it's operating.
We finish by discussing the importance of departments maintaining relationships with stakeholders irrespective of the flavour of the government of the day.

This podcast was recorded on Kaurna land, and we recognise Kaurna elders past and present. Always was, always will be.

Intro grab features Ms Tenille Collins and Commissioner Catherine Holmes, 3 March 2023

Now for some appropriately bureaucratic disclaimers....

Those of us in the employ of the State Government speak in a strictly personal capacity, consistent with the Public Sector Code of Ethics that permits public servants to promote an outcome in relation to an issue of public interest - in this case, the betterment of the public service.

Nothing we say should be taken as representing the views of the Government or our employers.

While we have tried to be as thorough in our research as busy full time jobs and lives allow, we definitely don’t guarantee that we’ve got all the details right.

If you want rigorous reporting on Robodebt, we recommend the work of Rick Morton at the Saturday Paper, Chris Knaus and Luke Henriques-Gomes at the Guardian, Ben Eltham at Crikey, Julian Bajkowski at The Mandarin, and of course, the Robodebt Royal Commission itself.

Please feel free to email us corrections, episode suggestions, or anything else, at thewestminstertraditionpod@gmail.com.

Thanks to PanPot audio for our intro and outro music.

'Til next time!

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