Immigration and Border Protection

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September 16, 2017

A Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) inquiry report into Commonwealth Procurement has put the Turnbull Government, Peter Dutton and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection on notice to shape up or face further audits from the Auditor-General.

The JCPAA reviewed the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) Auditor-General’s report Offshore processing centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea: Procurement of garrison support and welfare services on the consolidation of contracts in Nauru and on Manus Island in 2013-14 under the then-Abbott Government.

In response to their concerns, the JCPAA made three recommendations about the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, including that the Auditor-General consider conducting a performance audit of the next DIBP procurement of garrison support and welfare services.

“The Committee was concerned at a consistent and repetitive theme identified by the ANAO throughout all three phases with respect to a lack of appropriate documentation by DIBP, including in relation to conflicts of interest, assessments and performance management of contracts. During the public hearing DIBP stated that ‘the record-keeping of the department was porous when it came to some of the decisions that were made.”

Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, Report 465, page 42.

This highlights the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s inability to manage the complexities of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and echoes Labor’s long-held concerns as highlighted in the ANAO’s report including:

  • $1.1 billion in taxpayer funds spent by officers who did not have the required authorisation;
  • DIBP entering into contracts without prices or services being defined;
  • Failure to keep appropriate records, including 94 of the department’s 122 files containing no records; and
  • Systemic issues that “resulted in higher than necessary expense for taxpayers and significant reputational risks for the Australian Government and the department”.

Labor believes Australians deserve better than an Immigration Minister who can’t take responsibility, manage his department or simply just do his job.