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All persons, other than Australian nationals, are required to hold a visa to enter and stay in Australia. This audit's focus is on the entry component of the visa process and specifically the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). The ETA is an electronically-stored authority for travel, which facilitates the entry of tourists and short-term business travellers from countries where the risk of non-compliance with visa conditions is low, that is, in countries classified as ‘low risk'. The objective of the performance audit was to assess the administrative effectiveness of the ETA.
The audit reviewed six budget-funded agencies (Australian Customs Service, Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink, Department of Defence, Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs, and Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs) and two off-budget entities (Airservices Australia and Reserve Bank of Australia). The ANAO also examined the Office for Government Online's (OGO, formerly the Office of Government Information Technology, or OGIT) whole-of-government coordination of the Commonwealth's Year 2000 efforts.
The objective of the audit was to assess the economy, efficiency and administrative effectiveness, including accountability, of the management of boat people by the Department and the providers of major related services to DIMA such as: the Coastwatch Service within the Australian Customs Service and the Australian Protective Service within the Attorney-General's portfolio. The audit examined key issues in the management of boat people largely from a risk management perspective. The audit conclusions are presented in terms of: the economy, efficiency and administrative effectiveness, including the accountability, of operations; and the administrative functions which support the management of boat people, such as detection, reception of boats and costs.
The objective of this follow-up audit was to assess whether the department had taken appropriate action in response to the recommendations in Audit Report No.35 1993-94, titled The Compliance Function, Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs. The recommendations of the 1993-94 report, which formed the criteria for the audit, were primarily concerned with compliance after entry to Australia had been gained.