Purpose: To detect people who are receiving income support payments while imprisoned, and to assist MSD in the recovery of outstanding debts.
Year commenced: 1995
Features: Data transferred daily by online transfer.
Corrections disclosure to MSD: Each day, Corrections sends MSD details about all prisoners who are received, on muster or released from prison. Details disclosed include the full name (including aliases), date of birth, prisoner unique identifier and prison location, along with incarceration, parole eligibility date and statutory release date.
MSD's eligibility checking ensures current clients are being paid their correct entitlements.
|New match runs started in the reporting period|
|Records received for matching||17,201,022|
|Possible matches identified||13,687|
|All processing activity in the reporting period|
|Matches that required no further action||4,904|
|Notices of adverse action||8,768|
|Value of overpayments established||$380,960|
MSD receives debt recovery notifications for all former clients who have outstanding debt. The notifications enable MSD to re-establish contact with debtors, or to maintain accurate contact information.
Debt recovery notification results
|Notices of adverse action||341|
|Debtors under arrangements to pay||13|
|Balance owed under arrangement||$114,026.91|
|Debtors paid in full||11|
Commentary: This is the first year of detailed reporting about MSD's use of Corrections data to recover debts from former clients. In the coming year MSD intends to tighten the matching algorithm settings for debt recovery notifications to reduce the number of false positive matches.
An audit, required as a condition on the use of online transfers, found that encryption standards may not have been met. To remedy this issue, additional file encryption was implemented and became a requirement for future transfers from July 2012.
On 30 May 2011, MSD started using information received through this programme to assist them in the recovery of outstanding debts. Detailed reporting on this activity will commence in the next annual report.
Compliance: Compliant but see comments.
|Information matching provision||Corrections Act 2004, s.180|
|Programme type||Confirming eligibility|
Detecting illegal behaviour
Each day, Corrections extracts from their Corrections Analysis and Reporting System (CARS) details of all prisoners who are received, on muster, or released from prison and send this information by secure online transfer to a post box' held by a third party service provider. Prisoner details disclosed include the full name (including aliases), date of birth, prisoner unique identifier, prison location, along with incarceration, parole eligibility, and statutory release dates.
MSD accesses the Corrections file held at the service provider web services location and import it into their systems using a secure communication channel. The MSD matching process uses name and date of birth information to determine a match. Each positive match receives a rating ranging from match level one where the surname, first name, second name, and date of birth all agree, to match level 13 where there is a less exact match.
Since May 2008, MSD have been immediately suspending benefits rather than sending a notice of adverse action and waiting five working days before taking the action. Notices (following the suspension action) are still sent to beneficiaries at their home addresses with a duplicate addressed to the prison.
Since November 2008, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of records disclosed from Corrections to MSD due to the following changes made;
all prisoners on muster are included rather than just new arrivals
all prisoner alias names are included, linked to their true name (to reduce the possibility that an innocent person's benefit is suspended).
The programme has also been extended to match against MSD's student records, following the discovery that prisoners were fraudulently accessing the government's student loan scheme.
Since 2008, overpayments have dropped by about 75% from an annual average of $1.8 million, because MSD now immediately suspend benefits without waiting for a response to the notice of adverse action. This change in process aims to reduce prisoner debt levels and their impact on prisoner rehabilitation.
|New match runs started in the reporting period|
|All match runs active in the reporting period|
|Notices of adverse action||5,185||4,702||7,520||9,650||9,444|
|Overpayments established (number)||2,587||4,884||2,233||3,442||3,151|
 Immediate suspension of benefits for this programme was authorised by Parliament in April 2008. Despite the authorisation MSD do not immediately suspend sole parent beneficiaries who still receive the protection of the five day notice period.
 The number of overpayments established exceeds the number of notices of adverse action sent because some overpayments related to notices of adverse action sent in the previous period.