The senate is looking at the proposed access card, which with a name, photo and signature is likely to become ade facto ID card. It is poorly thought out, rushed and mismanaged. Here is my submission to the inquiry.
Dear Committee Members,
I am writing to express my opposition to the Access Card in it’s proposed form.
Firstly, the card is costly as budgeted, and offers limited scope for
fraud savings in even the most optimistic projections.
Previous experience locally and internationally shows such complex IT
projects are extremely prone to budget overrun.
Secondly, the rationale for the card is unclear. The claimed benefit
of reducing 17 cards to one is nonsensical, since some of the 17 cards
are exclusionary nobody will see a benefit of that scale. For the vast
majority, it will replace a single Medicare card, and offer no
advantage. Additionally, the administrative costs and hurdles to
issuing the card are likely to negate any overall benefit.
If there are really too many entitlements cards, replace 16 with 1,
and leave the bulk of people with only a Medicare card unaffected.
Thirdly, the inclusion of a signature and photograph on the card face
will encourage its use as an ID card, even if laws prevent its demand.
Those reluctant to provide the card to a voluntary request will be
stigmatised as potentially somebody with something to hide.
The inclusion of card face photo and signature does not appear to
further any aims of the card as stated, and seems ripe for it to be
abused. Should the card proceed I strongly oppose the inclusion of
this information on its face.
Fourthly, the minimal analysis conducted to date provided
recommendations from Professor Fels group that have only partially
been accepted, there is a need for more considered analysis and a
commitment to implement any recommendations.
Finally, I object to the haste, lack of adequate consultation, poorly
articulated scope, secretive approach to process and the amateurish
approach to date in managing this project. A project of such scope is
extremely serious, complex and far-reaching. To attempt to deliver it
in the haphazard way demonstrated to date is seeking failure and
For these reasons I urge the committee to recommend:
– A careful, transparent and thorough review of the proposal,
including consideration of alternatives.
– A reduced scope for the card to maximise chances of success should
it proceed, including consideration of removing medicare card
replacement from the scope.
– Release of budget and analysis documents currently kept from the public, and;
– removal of photograph and signature information from the card’s face.
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