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B05/1991 DEPARTMENTALLY INITIATED REVIEWS (DIRS) ASSETS
DATE OF ISSUE: 29 JANUARY 1991
DEPARTMENTALLY INITIATED REVIEWS (DIRS) ASSETS
"Assets" cases are to be reviewed during the period February to early June.
"Assets" cases for the purposes of the DIR exercise are:
.those assessed under the Assets Test; and
.those assessed under the Income Test but with assets within $10,000 of the prescribed assets limit and on less than maximum rate.
All other service pensioners are "income" cases.
2.Approximate numbers for this year's Assets Test exercise have been derived from a test run in November. They are only near figures so there will be slight difference in the actual run. These are NSW 1,153; VIC 1,041; QLD 663; SA 295; WA 297; TAS 203.
3.The issue of review forms for "assets" cases will take place in early February (this will be possible because of the lower number of cases that are to be tested this year). Issue of forms at this time will enable completion of subsequent action prior to the asset threshold statutory increase on 13 June. If this date changes, you will be advised.
4.Reviews of "assets" cases are to be by means of an income and asset statement (form SP3). This seeks full income and asset information from pensioners, and is only to be used to conduct reviews of "assets" cases (including ad hoc reviews during the year).
5.It will be arranged for each Branch to have stocks of forms SP3 for manual use where appropriate.
PRODUCTION OF FORMS
6.Issue of forms SP3 for "assets" reviews will be initiated from Central Office.
7.Forms SP3 will be produced for "assets" cases and despatched in early February, to allow for return and completion of processing by the beginning of June. Cases will be selected for SP3 despatch automatically. Forms preparation and mailing will be undertaken through a commercial mailing house and arranged by Central Office.
8.The forms SP3 will be despatched with an accompanying letter which will specify that each form is a request for information under section 127 of the Veterans' Entitlements Act, and will specify that the form must by completed and returned within 21 days.
9.Schedules of cases requiring manual examination will be produced. These must be examined and forms prepared and issued ?manually as required, based on the circumstances of the individual cases. Action records will be automatically registered for all cases appearing in this listing. If a review is not to be undertaken in any case listed, the action record should be deleted as soon as possible.
10.The manual case listing will include:
.special register payments;
.trusteeship cases (except where veteran/spouse is trustee);
.overseas address cases (including Papua New Guinea);
.unknown address cases;
.manual method of assessment cases (other than 52 - Working Rule B); and
.Those rent assistance review cases where DRA was registered on 13.12.90.
11.The recent rent assistance review cases can be identified by ?accessing the inquiry screens IC and IH. Those cases will be ?recorded as Dept. Review Rentas.
CONTROL OF DIRs
12.A schedule of cases will be printed listing forms despatched, and showing the postal address. This schedule MUST be retained until processing of ALL cases is finalised, as it will be the only proof of the address to which the form was despatched should follow up under the provisions of Section 127 be necessary. Form return is to be recorded on PIPS, as this will be used for control purposes (including production of outstanding case listings and management information). The schedule of forms despatched is not provided for control purposes.
13.Control of reviews will be by means of a CMS action record. When forms are despatched, an action record will be created under process type departmentally initiated review assets (S152). This action will initially be in Form Sent status. Update of this action record through the various processing stages will enable control of cases to be handled automatically.
14.For "assets" reviews, a Classification type Departmentally Initiated Review Assets (915) will be used for the action record. Regular statistical and case reports will be sent from Central Office to enable States to evaluate the status of the review exercise.
15.The review action number will be printed on the form SP3. This action is only to be used for DRA processing, and should be updated to reflect each processing stage.
16. When a form SP3 is returned, receipt MUST be noted on the ?action record. This may be done by accessing the Form Return ?(FR) screen. Form return should be noted on the day on which the ?form is received. This will place the action in Registration ?(RG) status.
17.On completion of each review, it will be necessary for the examiner to set details of the next annual asset review (including date, periodicity and reason) on the Regular Review (RR) screen. Failure to do so will cause the Submission transaction to be rejected.
NON-RETURN OF FORMS
18.To distinguish between the Rent Assistance Reviews and the annual Asset Reviews when requesting case and statistical reports, an inactive attribute has been set. This means that Branches cannot access the attribute as it is not visible, however full CMS reporting facilities will be available for both exercises by using attribute number 400 for the Rent Assistance review and 405 for the Assets Test review.
19.Branches should arrange for the production of an outstanding case listing 28 days after despatch of the forms, using the CMS Reporting Facility. The pensioners listed on that report should be contacted by telephone about the outstanding form.
20.When telephone contact cannot be made, a further form is to be mailed to the pensioner. This is to be accompanied by a letter issued under section 127, requiring return of the form ?within 14 days to avoid possible suspension of payment.
21.Seven weeks after the initial despatch a further listing of outstanding cases should be obtained. Files should be checked to ensure that the form has been sent to the correct address, and that no other reason for non-return is obvious. If not, suspension action should be considered in accordance with S58 of the VEA.
COMPLETION OF REVIEWS
22.When PIPS processing is undertaken, the Regular Review (RR) screen MUST be updated in all DIR cases to record details of the next cyclical review. Failure to do so will cause the Submission transaction to be rejected. (The next annual review noted in each case should be programmed for the same month as that in which the current review is being processed.)
23.It is expected that there will be cases with urgent actions which need to be processed during the review exercise. If so, the review action (if in Investigation or Submission status) should be reverted to Registration status. This is done by accessing the Assessment Control (AC) Screen and deleting the action assessment details (if a case is in Submission status, it will first be necessary to revoke the Submission transaction.) The urgent action is to be processed using existing manual process codes, after which DIR processing may resume.
INCOME TAX RETURNS
24.Questions 8 and 10 of the form and Parts A and B of the form request pensioners to provide copies of income tax returns. Unfortunately with the current format of the Tax Pack there may be some difficulty in gaining the correct information needed for the Department's purposes. It is recommended that each State acquire several copies of the 1989/90 Tax Pack as reference when processing forms. The information should be contained in the pensioner's records and in the majority of cases the pensioner will include the information that has been supplied to his/her accountant for taxation purposes. These questions will be amended to more accurately reflect the Department's needs following this year's exercise.
25.When this documentation is not provided (and no explanation is given by the pensioner) it will be necessary to check the file to ascertain whether the latest financial statements have been received. If not, the pensioner is to be requested to provide the required documents or extracts from his/her Tax Pack.
26.Should financial statements not be held, pension should be either continued or reduced as appropriate on the basis of the SP3 information pending receipt of the statements. Increases in pension should only be actioned at your discretion where financial statements are not held.
27.Some pensioners in this group have real estate assets for which valuations have been obtained from AVO. At present these valuations are subject to annual review by AVO and the updated values are to be included in the "assets" review. However, once the statistics for the current financial year have been collected and analysed, we will be in a better position to determine the most effective strategy for requesting valuations in future years.
28.Processing of "assets" reviews and revaluations should be completed by the cut-off for payday 13 June 1991, the date of the Statutory Increase. Timing of processing may be determined locally, having regard to case numbers and available resources.
29.In some cases the revaluation of the property will not be available before cut-off for 13 June 1991. In these cases, the old value should continue to be held pending a revaluation.
30.Effective dates for processing of SP3 ("assets") reviews will be determined as follows:
(a)where pension will be assessed under the Income Test following the review, GOSP Part 13/12 will apply;
(b)where pension will be assessed under the Assets Test following the review and an increase will result, GOSP Part 13/12 will apply; and
(c)where pension will be assessed under the Assets Test following the review and a reduction or cancellation will result, an effective date of 13 June 1991 shall be used.
31.Where Asset cases lead to a reduction special arrangements should be made locally. Cancellations and Reductions should be processed up to investigation status, but not submitted until the day following the BAL run which is scheduled for the weekend of 25/26 May 1991. This is to ensure that the SI increase is passed on automatically to those clients.
32.States will be notified immediately if any of the above dates change.
33.Revised asset valuations provided by AVO are to be included in pension assessment as follows:
(a)any increased valuation which would affect the rate of pension payable should be included in the assessment from 13 June 1991 (regardless of whether the SP3 review has an earlier effective date in accordance with paragraph 28); and
(b)any reduced valuation which would affect the rate of pension payable should be included in the assessment in accordance with paragraph 28.
34.It will be necessary for all States to keep statistics on the Asset Review Processing this year. The statistics that will be required are:
.Number of staff used for Assets Review processing;
.Number of hours taken at each ASO level for Asset Review processing; and
.Actual hours and staff levels for overtime used for Asset Review processing.
35.It will be necessary to keep these statistics until the June cut-off. It will also be necessary to keep all of the above information if any processing is outstanding at the June cut-off. In addition to the above statistics it will still be necessary to keep and supply to Central Office quarterly statistics of all ?valuations sent to AVO as requested in Carol Bates' memorandum of 27 June 1990.
36.The contact officer for the "assets" reviews will be Traci Hogg on telephone (06) 2896436.
NATIONAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR