Centrelink streamlines fraud investigations

Centrelink has deployed a new Investigation Management System to assist in managing fraud and its investigations.

Centrelink has deployed a new Investigation Management System to assist in managing fraud and its investigations.

(Parkes NSW image by Amanda Slater,
CC BY-SA 2.0)

The government engaged SAP in March this year to roll out its Investigative Case Management product, which went live shortly after in July. A national roll-out is now underway. It is designed to help investigators automate processes, streamline intelligence gathering, and increase productivity and efficiency.

The project comes after the Australian National Audit Office found that Centrelink's former systems had limited functionality and the data held within it was not considered to be reliable.

Centrelink's requirements for the new system were more consistent workflow, efficient management oversight, enhanced operational visibility, policy compliance and systems support. SAP said that it had met most of these business requirements and provided additional functionality.

"The aim for us throughout this project was to help support Centrelink's operational needs with the right solutions. SAP worked very closely with Centrelink from the start of the project to ensure company-wide buy-in and to keep the risks to an absolute minimum," said SAP Australia vice president, federal government and ANZ defence, Steve Thompson.

Centrelink praised the implementation, acknowledging the speed at which the project had progressed.

"SAP was able to demonstrate solution capabilities specific to Centrelink's business processes and issues, and quickly established itself as a partner, rather than just a software vendor. The easily configurable framework and user interface have already been described as 'next generation' by the people using them. The fact we went from development to testing in six weeks was also a great achievement," said Centrelink business integrity applications national manager, Mike Brett.

Centrelink saved taxpayers about $100 million in the last financial year alone through its team of 500 case offices and investigators. Although the Australian Financial Review reported that it has since fallen on hard times, with the number of cases falling due to a drop in tip-offs and the loss of a court case, which has set a precedent for others not to report changes in income.