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THE HON KATE ELLIS MP
Minister for Employment Participation
Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care
20 April 2010
Review of Job Services Australia provider brokered outcomes
20 April 2012
The Australian Government has today released the review of Jobs Services Australia (JSA) provider brokered outcomes, which was commissioned by Minister for Employment Participation, Kate Ellis in December 2011 in response to claims of inappropriate JSA provider behaviour.
The review, which was overseen by Mr Robert Butterworth, involved a comprehensive audit of 14 organisations at 87 sites confirms the necessity of the strong action that was taken by the Government to reform the JSA payment system last month.
While JSA continues to perform better than the previous system, the review has shown evidence of inappropriate claims of provider brokered outcomes.
As soon as the early findings of the review were identified, the Australian Government moved quickly to amend all new employment services contracts so that there is no longer scope for providers to exploit the system.
Under the changes announced late last month, JSA providers will now be paid a single outcome payment for placing a job seeker in employment for 13 and 26 weeks from July 1.
This will replace the current system where a provider can claim a higher payment for making direct contact with an employer to identify a vacancy before the job seeker secures the position.
The review has found an unacceptably high rate of claims by JSA providers that should have been paid at the lower rate and made nine recommendations to improve the system.
The Australian Government has agreed to progress all nine recommendations to ensure the integrity of our employment services system.
Despite criticism from the Opposition of the Government's strong action, it is clear that these changes were absolutely necessary to ensure the integrity of employment services in Australia is maintained into the future.
The Australian Government will not allow any inappropriate conduct to endanger the good reputation and vital ongoing work of Australia's employment services.
Minister Ellis has directed the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations to immediately begin the process of recovering up to $1.1 million from providers who have been found by the review to have wrongly claimed higher fees.
All JSA providers will be required to review past claims and self-identify any errors and immediately repay wrongly claimed fees.
Random spot checks will then be carried out by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations to ensure that providers have undertaken the self-audit in the spirit in which it has been offered.
If further evidence of deliberate or systemic misuse is uncovered the Australian Government will not hesitate to fully enforce all available penalties under the contract, including referral for fraud investigation.
Whilst the Australian Government is confident that these changes will remove the scope for misuse of the system, anyone who has concerns is encouraged to raise them directly with the Department via a new tip-off line on 1300 874536.
Following the review and the changes the Australian Government has made to the system, the community can have confidence in employment services and the ongoing work they do to make the lives of disadvantaged people better.
A copy of the report is available at http://www.deewr.gov.au/Employment/Pages/LatestNews.aspx