Media Release: Strong new leadership for Taskforce Integrity

22 August 2016

The Hon Alan Tudge MP

Minister for Human Services

Taskforce Integrity will continue to have strong leadership when Assistant Commissioner Andrea Quinn replaces inaugural head, Assistant Commissioner Ray Johnson, this month.

The joint initiative with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) has proven very successful at cracking down and recovering incorrectly or illegally obtained welfare payments since starting on 1 July, 2015.

Assistant Commissioner Quinn is well equipped to build on this excellent work, bringing more than 30 years experience in the AFP across a wide range of operational areas including fraud, and serious and organised crime.

The taskforce conducted operations in multiple states during the last financial year which included 12,000 compliance reviews, 135 investigations and the referral of 16 cases of suspected fraud to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

In addition, almost $20 million in debts were identified – taxpayer’s money that would have been lost without these strong measures.

Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge, commended Assistant Commissioner Johnson for establishing such a strong foundation for the successful Taskforce Integrity.

“I look forward to continuing this important work with Assistant Commissioner, Andrea Quinn,” said Minister Tudge.

“We should be proud that we have a strong social security safety net but must always remember that welfare payments come from taxpayers – they have a right to expect payments are targeted and there is integrity in the system.

“Most people receiving welfare are honest and do the right thing but a small number deliberately cheat the system and take more than they are entitled to which is why Taskforce Integrity plays such an important role.

“Taskforce Integrity is a great example of the innovation we are now using to ensure taxpayer funds are protected and I am grateful for the support of AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin in assisting with launching and implementing this new approach.

“During the election campaign we announced further measures to crackdown on welfare fraud and overpayments which show we are serious about continuing to protect the integrity of the welfare system.”