This audit would review the effectiveness of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT’s) strategies, processes and coordination arrangements for preparing for, and responding to, crises involving Australians overseas.

DFAT leads the Australian Government’s responses to overseas crises. In the event of a crisis overseas, Australia’s consular services will be relied upon to assist from both a humanitarian and consular support perspective. In 2018–19, DFAT provided 13,715 Australians in difficulty with consular assistance. Auditor-General Report No. 21 2014–15 Delivery of Australia’s Consular Services, noted that Australians are travelling abroad more often, in increasingly higher-risk groupings (such as the elderly and children), and that DFAT’s dispersed network of service delivery locations and the variety of work undertaken across this network creates challenges in ensuring effective coordination and response.