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B05/1994 DEPARTMENTALLY INITIATED REVIEWS (DIRs) ASSETS)
DATE OF ISSUE: 3 FEBRUARY 1994
DEPARTMENTALLY INITIATED REVIEWS (DIRs) ASSETS)
Asset tested cases are to be reviewed during the period February to early June 1994.
2.The cases selected for this review are:
.those assessed under the Assets Test; and
.those assessed under the Income Test, with assets within $10,000 of the prescribed assets limit.
3.The Assets test selection run is scheduled for 5 February 1994. The forms will be lodged with Australia Post for mailing on 11 February 1994. This allows ample time for action to be completed before the asset threshold statutory increase on 7 July 1994. Should this date change, you will be advised.
4.Those asset tested cases selected for review will be issued with an income and asset statement (form SP3). The form requests full income and asset information from pensioners. This form is only used for review of asset tested cases (including ad hoc reviews during the year).
5.Each Branch will receive stocks of the covering letter for manual adhoc use.
PRODUCTION OF FORMS
6.Form preparation and mailing will be undertaken through a commercial mailing house and arranged by Central Office. The forms will be despatched with an accompanying letter which will specify that the form must be completed and returned within 21 days.
7.Schedules of cases requiring manual examination will be produced. These must be examined and forms prepared and issued as required. Action records will be automatically registered for all cases listed. Delete the action record, as soon as possible, for cases not requiring a review.
8.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; and
.manual method of assessment cases (other than 52 - Working Rule B)
CONTROL OF DEPARTMENT INITIATED REVIEWS (DIRs) ASSETS
9.Full CMS report facilities will be available by using attribute number 405 for the Assets Test review.
10.Control of reviews will be by means of a CMS action record. When forms are despatched an action record will be created. The process type used is departmentally initiated review assets (S152). This action record will initially be in Form Sent status. The action record should be updated during the various processing stages.
11.For asset tested reviews, a Classification type Departmentally Initiated Review Assets (915) will be used for the action record. Regular statistical reports will be sent from Central Office to enable States to evaluate the status of the review exercise.
12.The review action number will be printed on the form. This action is only to be used for DRA processing, and should be updated to reflect each processing stage.
13.When a form 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.
NON-RETURN OF FORMS
14.A schedule showing cases sent and their postal address will be printed. This schedule is the only proof of the address to which the form was sent. This information will be needed should follow up under the provisions of section 54A of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) be necessary. The schedule of forms despatched is not provided for control purposes.
15.Twenty-eight (28) days dispatch of the forms, Branches should arrange for the production of an outstanding case listing. This case listing should be produced using the CMS Reporting Facility. The pensioners on that listing should be contacted on the telephone about the outstanding form.
16.If telephone contact can't be made, another form is mailed to the pensioner. A letter issued under section 54A of the VEA, requiring return of the form within 21 days to avoid possible suspension of payment, is included with the form.
17.Seven weeks after the initial dispatch a further listing of outstanding cases should be obtained. If checking of those files shows the forms were sent to the correct address and no other reason for non-return is obvious, suspension action in accordance with section 56 of the VEA should be considered.
COMPLETION OF REVIEWS
18.There will be cases with urgent action to be processed during the review exercise. The review action (if in Investigation or Submission status) should be reverted to Registration status. The urgent action is to be processed using existing manual process codes, after which DIR processing may resume.
19.Some pensioners in this group have real estate assets for which valuations have been obtained from AVO. These valuations are subject to annual review by AVO and the updated values are to be included in the asset test review.
20.In some cases the revaluation of the property may not be available before the cut-off for 7 July 1994. For these cases, the old value should continue to be held pending a revaluation. Central Office should be advised of any cases where a revaluation has not been received by 31 May 1994.
21.Effective dates for processing of asset test reviews will be determined as follows:
(a)where pension will be assessed under the Income Test following the review, the variation should take effect from the first pension payday after receipt of the completed form;
(b)where pension will be assessed under the Assets Test following the review and an increase will result, the increase should take effect from the first pension payday after receipt of the completed form; and
(c)where pension will be assessed under the Assets Test following the review and a reduction or cancellation will result, consideration should be given to the choice of effective date. If the reduction is because the pensioner has acquired new assets, the current reduction date can be used. However, if the reason for the reduction is an increase in the value of existing assets an effective date of 7 July 1994 must be used. (Please see GOSP Part 19 Effective Dates for further information).
22.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 AFA run which is scheduled for the weekend 18-19 June 1994. This is to ensure that the SI increase is passed on automatically to those clients.
23.States will be notified immediately if any of the above dates change.
24.Revised asset valuations provided by AVO are to be included in pension assessment as follows:
(a)any increased valuation that would affect the rate of pension payable should be included in the assessment form 7 July 1994 (regardless of whether the SP3 review has an earlier effective date in accordance with paragraph 21); and
(b)any reduced valuation that would affect the rate of pension payable should be included in the assessment in accordance with paragraph 21).
25.It will be necessary for all States to keep statistics on the Asset Review Processing again this year. The statistics 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.
26.The statistics should be kept until the July cut-off. It will be necessary to keep all of the above information if any processing is outstanding at the July cut-off
27.The contact officer for the asset test review will be Pat Webb on telephone (06) 289 6444.