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The Immigration and Border Protection Portfolio consists solely of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, which is responsible for managing the stay and departure of non-citizens, implementing visa, citizenship and refugee and humanitarian assistance programs, facilitating international trade and collecting border revenue.
The Immigration and Border Protection portfolio consists solely of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. The department is responsible for managing the stay and departure of non-citizens, implementing visa, citizenship, and refugee and humanitarian assistance programs, facilitating international trade and collecting border revenue. The Australian Border Force is the operational arm of the department, and has statutory responsibilities to enforce the customs and migration laws and to protect Australia’s border.
This audit would examine whether the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) is being effectively administered.
The TRS enables a traveller to claim a refund, subject to certain conditions, of the goods and services tax and wine equalisation tax that has been paid on goods purchased in Australia. The TRS operates at Australian international airports and international cruise terminals.
The scheme is operated by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection under a memorandum of understanding with the Australian Taxation Office. There is also a contractual arrangement in place between the department and an external provider (responsible for dispersing individual payments to claimants each day, for later reimbursement by the department). In 2015–16, more than 96 per cent of the 765 503 applications received were approved, to a value of $194.4 million.
This audit would examine the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s collection of visa revenue. Using the power provided by section 18B of the Auditor-General Act 1997, the audit would also include an examination of the performance of the department’s contracted service delivery partners (SDPs).
Australia’s migration programs allow people from any country to apply for a visa to migrate to Australia or to enter the country on a temporary basis, provided that they meet criteria set out in law. There are a number of different ways to apply for a visa, including online (for certain categories) and via four SDPs contracted by the department who operate Australian Visa Application Centres in 46 countries. The services provided by SDPs include responding to enquiries both before and after the lodgement of visa applications, distribution of visa information to clients, collection of visa applications and biometrics, and banking of visa application charges. SDPs do not have a role in assessing visa applications or in granting visas. The SDPs draw income through a service charge paid by applicants that the SDPs retain.
The revenue from visa application charges totaled $1.91 billion in 2015–16. This revenue is expected to increase to more than $2 billion in 2016–17, primarily due to growth in visa applications. Visa application charges are classified as taxation revenue, as the fees collected are well in excess of the costs of providing the service.
This audit would examine the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s operation of the Border Intelligence Fusion Centre.
In 2016, the Border Intelligence Fusion Centre was established within the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to better identify potential threats across the border continuum. The centre brings together intelligence gathering and targeting functions that support border operations, including those functions that were previously delivered by the National Border Targeting Centre. Through the operation of the centre, the department aims to enhance risk assessments of international passengers and cargo by improving access to analysis, coordination and sharing of border-related data; and collaborate with similar targeting centres in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
This audit would examine the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s administration of the support arrangements that are designed to ensure the Cape class patrol boats are achieving contracted availability and performance requirements.
In August 2011, a contract for the acquisition of eight Cape class patrol boats and in-service support was signed with Austal Ships Pty Ltd, based at Henderson in Western Australia. The first vessel was launched in January 2013. The final vessel was delivered in August 2015.
The key function of the in-service support arrangements is the through-life support of the vessels, including engineering, maintenance and supply to ensure that they are able to meet operational requirements over their planned 20-year life. This includes achieving the contracted availability and performance requirements. In order to support the capability objectives, the contractor is required to measure and report on higher level performance measures (critical success factors) and more detailed performance measures (key performance indicators).
This audit would examine the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s administration of staff integrity measures.
The department is responsible for administering Australia’s customs and immigration laws and for enforcing compliance with these laws. In 2015–16, the department introduced new integrity and security measures to mitigate the risk of fraud and corruption among departmental staff.
This audit would examine whether the Department of Immigration and Border Protection is efficiently processing citizenship conferral applications.
The department reported in 2015–16 that 76.6 per cent of citizenship conferral applications had been decided within 80 calendar days. In December 2016, the Federal Court of Australia declared that there had been an ‘unreasonable delay’ in making a decision under section 24(1) of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 for two applicants on protection visas. At the time the court proceedings had been instituted, 18 months had passed for one applicant and 23 months had passed for the other applicant. The audit would examine whether the department has addressed the issues raised in the Federal Court case. It would also consider prioritisation of resources given growing caseloads.
This audit would examine the Department of Human Services’ management and delivery of programs, services and payments on behalf of other Australian Government entities, as well as the department’s performance against its respective obligations and service standards.
Human Services provides a range of programs, services and payments for, and on behalf of, a number of Australian Government entities, such as income support payments for the Department of Social Services, and aged care payments and the maintenance of various health-related registers for the Department of Health. Arrangements for these services and payments are outlined in various memorandums of understanding and business partnership agreements. In the 2017–18 Budget, Human Services estimated that it would process around $175 billion in payments on behalf of other government entities.
The proposed audit would provide assurance that business agreements support Human Services in meeting the expectations of entities on behalf of whom it delivers payments; and that roles, responsibilities and performance reporting arrangements are clearly defined.