Kathryn Campbell, the secretary of the Department of Human Services from 2011 to 2017, has been suspended without pay following the release of the final report from the Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme.
In 2022 the Albanese government "technically demoted" Ms. Campbell from her role as Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to a senior role within the Defence Department engaged in the AUKUS agreement. Ms. Campbell was suspended without pay from this role, which earned a yearly salary of $900,000, 3 days after the report was released. Ms. Campbell had taken leave a day before the release of the report.
The Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme reported that Ms. Campbell had kept the true nature of the debt recovery scheme a secret when advising cabinet as she knew then-social services minister, Scott Morrison, intended to continue with the program. The commission also reported that Ms. Campbell had instructed her own legal team to cancel a request for legal advice on Robodebt and had "shelved" a $1 million audit conducted by PwC into the scheme shortly before its completion as she "feared its contents would be damaging."
"Ms Campbell had been responsible for a department that had established, implemented and maintained an unlawful program...When exposed to information that brought to light the illegality of income averaging, she did nothing of substance. When presented with opportunities to obtain advice on the lawfulness of that practice, she failed to act."