Departmental Instruction

DATE OF ISSUE:  23 December 2008

Property Valuation Exercise – 2008/2009 Financial Year

Replaced by DI No.


Replaces DI No.



The purpose of this Departmental Instruction is to provide information on the annual property valuation exercise.  Details on each of the four stages are provided below.


Every October/November, income support cases requiring a property valuation are automatically selected and forwarded to the Australian Valuation Office (AVO) for valuation by April in the following year.  Once the valuations have been completed, cases are returned to the DVA ACT Office with the new valuation amount.  This information is then forwarded to locations for individual case updating.

A listing of manual cases (those that have not previously been valued by the AVO) is also produced at the time of the bulk run.  Locations are required to manually prepare and forward requests for valuation for these cases to the AVO if required.

Stage 1

Production run

The data extraction was carried out on 19 November 2008.  The data containing information on the automatic reviews was handed to the AVO on 26 November 2008.  An Excel spreadsheet containing the manual cases has been forwarded to Sukey Angeloni, Assistant Director, Departmentally Initiated Reviews, Income Support Business Group for distribution.

Number of cases extracted

The data has been extracted through the Ad-Hoc Inquires System (AIS).

The following is a breakdown of automatic and manual cases extracted from this year's bulk run:

























Criterion for extracting cases

The following criteria was used for extracting cases:

  • All income support pension recipients (SP, AP or ISS) who have a property, farm or sublet portion of their home and who are either;
    • assets tested, or
    • income tested and have total assets in their assessment within $10,000 of their prescribed assets limit (PAL).

Cases excluded from exercise

The following pensioners have been excluded from this year's bulk run:

  • Pensioners who have had a property valuation done since the last bulk run (14 November 2007);
  • All single pensioners who are assessed as blinded and are not paid rent assistance; and,
  • All couples where both are assessed as blinded and are not paid rent assistance.

Stage 2

Locations to action manual cases

Manual cases have been forwarded to Sukey Angeloni, Assistant Director, Departmentally Initiated Reviews, Income Support Business Group in an Excel spreadsheet for further action.  The processing of manual cases will be undertaken in specific locations as agreed to by the relevant Assistant Director's.

Action is required to provide the AVO with a form containing detailed information on each of the manual cases where a property valuation is required.  Records are to be kept and a case registered in the Claims Management System (CMS) to ensure that all such requests are returned by the AVO and action completed.

3 month period of grace

There is a maximum 3 month grace period commencing from the date of the new pension rate determination for those income tested pensioners affected by property reviews.  The grace period enables pensioners to rearrange their circumstances if they choose, before the pension is varied due to the property valuation.

This policy applies in circumstances where the property valuation affects the entitlement to the extent of moving the pensioners from the income test to the assets test or reduces their pension to nil.

Refer to DI C44/2005 for further information.

For pensioners receiving maximum rate service pension and war widow(er)s who would be receiving maximum rate income support supplement other than due to the application of the ceiling rate, the 3 month grace period also applies to these pensioners when moving from maximum rate pension to being assets tested or to nil rate pension due to the value of their assets.

Refer to DI C17/2007 for further information.

Processing of cases that may require 3 month period of grace

For the 2008/2009 property valuation exercise 121 auto cases and 19 manual cases have been identified as currently being income tested and therefore possibly affected by the 3 month period of grace.

The AVO will provide valuations on the 121 auto cases by the end of February 2009.  This will provide time to do some preliminary assessment of which cases are likely to require the three months notice.  Such cases can then be targeted for priority processing in July.

To assist with preliminary assessment of which cases are likely to require the three months notice the 19 manual cases have been listed at the top of each state tab in the Excel spreadsheet that has been forwarded for distribution.

Using AVO Online Valuation Register

All requests to AVO should be submitted via the AVO online valuation register, using the project code of 'Bulk Valuation'.

Stage 3

AVO conduct valuations

The AVO will conduct the property valuations in the period from December 2008 to April 2009.  The AVO will provide updated valuation information to the ACT office by the end of April 2009 for asset tested cases and February for income tested cases.

Stage 4

Updating valuations

Once the updated data for both Income and Asset tested cases is received back from the AVO a Businesslines will be issued detailing how cases are to be processed.

The majority of assets tested cases will have the property valuations automatically updated by a batch process as was done in 2007-08.

Manual action will be required to update the valuations for income tested cases.

Date of valuation to be used in PIPS

The date of valuation to be used is 19 November 2008 when updating cases in PIPS (Pensioner Information Processing System) for this exercise.

This is not necessarily the date that the AVO has valued the property.

It is essential that this date be used to enable all the appropriate cases to be selected for next year's exercise.  Using another date creates complications for the bulk extraction.

Processing Information

Screens and processing information for PIPS/PC can be found in Departmental Instruction C54/96.


Contact Officer

The contact officer for this exercise is Sarah Paras ext 16534, Cards, Systems & Advices, Income Support.

John Sadeik

National Manager

Income Support

23 December 2008