Public servants referred to federal police, the anti-corruption body or the public service inquiry for their role in the robodebt scheme have begun being placed on leave, some without pay, or suspended.
Within a week of the royal commission handing down its 990-page report into the former Coalition government's "crude and cruel" income-averaging program, an undisclosed number of senior bureaucrats are being placed on the chopping block.
Defence Minister Richard Marles confirmed referrals to the Australian Federal Police, the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Australian Public Service Commission began on Monday, but insisted the "real villains" were the politicians in charge, tasking public officials to do the work.
The number of referrals made over the week remains a tightly-held secret with the anti-corruption watchdog and public service body refusing to disclose any details.
Both agencies claimed revealing how many referrals had been made could inadvertently reveal the identities of those involved individuals.
Attempts by The Canberra Times to have those decisions reconsidered in the public interest were pushed back on Thursday.
The Australian Federal Police responded it had "no comment" when asked how many referrals it had received since Monday.
In a sealed unpublished chapter of the report, Commissioner Catherine Holmes recommended a number of individuals involved be referred to the bodies for further investigation into their conduct.
Commissioner Holmes recommended those named in the sealed chapter remain unidentified to avoid jeopardising potential future investigations.
Mr Marles said on Thursday those who had been referred this week had also been placed on leave or suspended.
Others had been placed on leave without pay.
"There were processes [in the report] that were recommended to be pursued. They began on Monday, literally the next working day, in terms of referrals of people to the APS Commissioner, to the AFP, to the National Anti-Corruption Commission," Mr Marles told ABC Radio on Thursday morning.
"In addition to that, decisions were taken in respect of all of those people about their ongoing status, be they on leave, on leave without pay, suspended, whatever the particulars were, and they varied from one person to another.
"Again, all of those decisions have been made. So, we've acted in respect of the Royal Commission."
In the publicly-released section of report, the commissioner chastised senior public servants for a lack of independence from government, calling it a "costly failure of public administration, in both human and economic terms".
Among those named are senior public servants, including the Defence Department's "special adviser" Kathryn Campbell and former social services department deputy secretary Serena Wilson.
Former prime minister Scott Morrison, and former Coalition ministers, including Alan Tudge, Christian Porter and Stuart Robert, have also been named as playing a key role in the illegal scheme.
The Canberra Times is not suggesting these individuals named in the public section are part of the group that have already been referred for investigation.
Mr Marles said the blame should lie with the former Coalition government rather than those in the bureaucracy delivering on their requests.
"The guilty party here is the Liberal Party," he said.
"They are the ones that put in place the culture and the climate, and made the decisions which enabled the appalling gross maladministration that we saw in the handling of robodebt to impact the lives of half a million Australians.
"That is where the blame lies and people need to have their focus on that."
Meanwhile, speculation is mounting over the future of Ms Campbell's role in the Defence Department.
The department has gone to ground since Friday, refusing to comment on her employment status or her position within the department.
A report by The Canberra Times highlighted she is paid a $900,000 per year salary, making her the third highest-paid official behind Chief of the Defence Force General Angus Campbell and Defence secretary Greg Moriarty.
But her ongoing role is unclear after the Nuclear-Powered Submarine Taskforce, of which she was a "special advisor" for, transitioned into the Australian Submarine Agency on July 1.
An organisation chart for the new agency, led by Vice-Admiral Jonathan Mead, shows no "special adviser" role in its executive management team.
It is otherwise unclear what Ms Campbell's role has been within the department since the start of July.
Nine newspapers over the weekend reported she had taken personal leave a day ahead of the report's release.