Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert’s claim of “legal professional privilege” has been refused by the Senate Community Affairs References Committee, resulting in the committee asking the Minister responsible for Centrelink’s Online Compliance Intervention (OCI) program to hand over the documentation that Robert refused to provide.On 16 December 2019, the committee gave Services Australia the ability to provide further information on notice. The deadline for providing this information was January 24 before the committee decided to extend it to February 7, citing the department’s involvement in helping those affected by the country’s bushfire emergency.See also: Why Australia is quickly developing a technology-based human rights problem (TechRepublic) ”The minister sets out a claim of public interest immunity in relation to: … the confidential legal advice … and the details surrounding any such advice, including the frequency at which that legal advice has been sought, the source of any such advice and the dates it may have been provided,” a letter [PDF] penned by Robert states.In its interim report [PDF] into the Centrelink data-matching — robo-debt — program, the committee said the correspondence outlining the minister’s claim, which appears to be made on the grounds of legal professional privilege and prejudice to legal proceedings, “does not… Read full this story
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