This audit would examine the effectiveness of the Department of Home Affairs’ (the department’s) procurement of services to deliver a new global visa processing system.

Australia processes up to 9.5 million visa applications per year, a figure expected to grow to 13 million within a decade. Visa applications generate around $2 billion in revenue annually. The Australian Government is seeking to modernise its use of visa processing technologies to increase the integrity and capacity of the system and to free up immigration officers to undertake higher-value work.

The 2017–18 Budget committed $83.2 million over four years for the ‘Immigration Reform — changes to Australia’s visa processing arrangements’ measure. The department is proposing to engage a private provider to design, build and operate a visa application and approval system based upon a service fee on application model. Market consultation estimates an investment of approximately $1-2 billion over 10 years. The department released a request for tender in December 2018, and plans to finalise an agreement with a provider by December 2019.