This audit would examine the effectiveness of the Department of Home Affairs’ coordination of border intelligence activities.

In 2018–19, the Department of Home Affairs processed 47 million international air and sea travellers, and inspected more than 1.1 million cargo consignments. An effective ability to identify and manage risks arising from the movement of people and goods into Australia is critical to the safety and security of Australian citizens. Following the 2015 Integrated Intelligence Review of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s intelligence capabilities (the Irvine review), the Border Intelligence Fusion Centre (BIFC) was established in 2016 within the Australian Border Force. The BIFC brought together the department’s existing National Border Targeting Centre and the intelligence collection and analysis capabilities of seven federal agencies, and also formalised operational links with key international partners.

The BIFC’s function is to identify and assess immediate threats to the Australian border on a 24/7 basis through targeted analysis, and to provide immediate tactical intelligence on time-sensitive events. This audit would assess whether the BIFC’s collaborative ‘intelligence-led/risk-based’ model enables resources to be deployed effectively in identifying and managing risks. It would also examine the coordination and communication arrangements between partner agencies, including resource allocation.