- Risks relating to the robodebt scheme were understated while benefits were oversold, an inquiry has heard.
- Departments overseeing the scheme were also faced with a “difficult leadership environment”.
- There were also unrealistic expectations were set about how much debt could be recovered, an official said.
The policy began in 2015 under the Liberal-National coalition and falsely accused welfare recipients of owing the government money.
“It’s disappointing that the benefits were oversold and the risks were understated,” he said.
The department completed a trial involving 1,000 people before it was rolled out to everyone.
‘Challenges and chaos’
“There was an attempt to essentially make it look like everything was going fine.”
The commission is accepting submissions from people affected by the scheme until February 2023, with a final report due by mid-April.