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Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Page: 8630

Australian Federal Police: Solomon Islands Aid Program

(Question No. 967)

Mr Laurie Ferguson asked the Minister for Home Affairs, in writing, on 8 May 2012:

In respect of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) ingredient of the Solomon Islands aid program, does the AFP internally advertise expressions of interest, if so, (a) how, and (b) what measures have been undertaken to ensure (i) enhanced consultation with the Solomon Islands Ministry and Police personnel, and (ii) that a proportion of AFP personnel sent to the Solomon Islands has recent front line policing experience.

Mr Clare: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Does the AFP internally advertise expressions of interest: Yes, for selected roles requiring specialised skill sets. For general policing roles members of the Mission Component (i.e. the permanent deployable pool of experienced staff) are selected and deployed based on field of expertise.

(a) How: The AFP advertises Expressions of Interest (EOI) for mission roles openly through internal communication channels such as all staff emails or via the AFP's intranet. A selection process is undertaken in accordance with internal governance documentation (Australian Federal Police Commissioners Order on Selection for Vacant Roles (CO7)).

(b) What measures have been undertaken to ensure:

(i) Enhanced consultation with the Solomon Islands Ministry and Police personnel: AFP personnel in the Solomon Islands are deployed through the multi-national Participating Police Force (PPF), the policing component of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). The PPF Commander (an AFP member) also performs the role of Deputy Commissioner Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF). There is a great deal of engagement between the PPF and the RSIPF both at the executive level and at the rank and file level with PPF members working along side RSIPF members in an 'advisor' role, often as a one on one counterpart arrangement. The PPF remains engaged with the Solomon Islands Government Ministry for Police, National Security and Correctional Services, in partnership with the RSIPF Commissioner.

The transition plan for the PPF was developed in consultation with the RSIPF including identification of key roles and areas of responsibility where an advisory capacity was seen as appropriate. The PPF structure, which is the catalyst for any internal opportunities, has been developed to complement the new RSIPF revised structure.

(ii) That a proportion of AFP personnel sent to the Solomon Islands has recent front line policing experience: Selection processes for mission roles, either through an EOI process or through selection from the Mission Component, ensure that contemporary front line policing experience is delivered in mission roles.

Mission Component members rotate between mission deployment and Australia based deployments. Whilst in Australia they perform a variety of front line roles to ensure contemporary experience is maintained.

RAMSI has embarked on a process of drawdown which commenced in 2010 and as a part of this drawdown the PPF has been transitioning from front line policing to capacity development. This transition requires a broad range of both policing and non-policing skill sets, in a variety of traditional and non traditional policing functions. The PPF ensures that the correct balance of skill sets from the AFP and all other contributing nations continues to meet the ongoing requirements of the RSIPF.