Centrelink is the trading name of the Commonwealth Service Delivery Agency (CSDA) a statutory authority responsible for delivering human services on behalf of agencies of the Commonwealth Government of Australia. The majority of Centrelink's services are the disbursement of social security payments. Centrelink delivers services primarily on behalf of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services & Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) Halligan, J: "The quasi-autonomous agency in an ambiguous environment: the Centrelink case" Public Administration and Development 24(2): 147-156, 153.] .

Centrelink differs from earlier welfare agencies as it acts merely as a conduit for the delivery of services. Centrelink's client agencies provide funding for payments and are responsible for policy development, including development of social security entitlement and payment policies. [Australia. Public Service Commission. 2003. The Australian Experience of Public Sector Reform. Canberra: APSC, 147.] Services are delivered according to Business Partnership Agreements (BPAs) negotiated periodically with each client agency, although does Centrelink receive some direct funding from the federal budget.

Centrelink was created by the Commonwealth Service Delivery Agency Act 1997 [http://www.comlaw.gov.au/comlaw%5Cmanagement.nsf/lookupindexpagesbyid/IP200401742?OpenDocument] and primarily took over the service delivery functions of the then Department of Social Security (DSS) and the functions of the former Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA) Student Assistance Centres. It also took on a referral role for employment assistance such as to the DEEWR administered Providers of Australian Government Employment Services (PAGES), originally Job Network, which were created through the privatisation of the functions of the Commonwealth Employment Service (CES). The reforms aimed to simplify access to Commonwealth services by providing a 'one stop shop', [Australia. Public Service Commission. 2003. The Australian Experience of Public Sector Reform. Canberra: APSC, 142.] , and to encourage efficiency through a purchaser-provider service delivery relationship. [Halligan, J. 2004. The quasi-autonomous agency in an ambiguous environment: the Centrelink case. Public Administration and Development 24(2): 147-156, 153] .

The United Kingdom has implemented strikingly similar unemployment/welfare policies, which also have official titles based on informal, colloquial terminology; eg. New Deal, Jobseeker's allowance and Work Fare.

Centrelink's IT

Centrelink operates one of the largest and highest throughput OLTP database systems in Australia, and is one of the largest users in Australia of Model 204. Ann Steward led the implementation of 'Refresh', a project described as a "major new service capability initiative". She was in overall charge of Centrelink's enterprise architecture and strategic planning and technology strategies [ [http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/business/soa/Centrelink_manager_appointed_federal_CIO/0,139023166,139198867,00.htm Centrelink manager appointed federal CIO: News - Business - ZDNet Australia ] ] .


ee also

* Social Security (Australia)
* Job Network

External links

* [http://www.centrelink.gov.au/ Centrelink]

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