Today’s reporting that CDP providers have been claiming fees for ‘dead people’ is incorrect and could have been corrected if journalists had contacted my Office.
Embarrassingly, Labor Senators accepted these statements when in fact this reference in the ANAO report was in relation to payments made under a former remote employment service program, prior to the introduction of the CDP in 2015.
It has nothing to do with the CDP.
In contrast to claims by the Labor Party, the ANAO report actually concluded that the Government CDP had established:
- transparent and rigorous performance management, monitoring and reporting arrangements for providers
- a strengthened, formal approach to compliance and fraud prevention in response to risk
- key frameworks and guidance material to assist in the administration and delivery of the CDP
- suitable arrangements to support the administration of provider funding under the program.
It is disappointing that some media outlets and the Labor Party have criticised the increased funding that the Coalition Government has provided to remote employment services.
We are proud of the additional support provided to job seekers in remote areas – particularly when considering the cost of service delivery, different labour market opportunities and reduced access to technology and services in remote areas.
The additional investment into CDP was required to overturn the failings of Labor’s dysfunctional Remote Jobs and Communities Program and has delivered significant improvements – active participation under the CDP has increased from 7 per cent to 72 per cent.
Surely additional support for remote Indigenous communities is something that should be welcomed by the Labor Party as it is by the communities it is invested in. Or is the Labor Party advocating for cuts to this important funding?
The Government welcomes independent evaluation of its programmes. I thank the ANAO for its work – under its independent scrutiny the CDP is shown to be working.