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Notice given 10 May 2006

1764  Senator Kirk: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Human Services—

(1) Does the Child Support Agency (CSA) have the authority to access tax file numbers from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or Commissioner of Taxation; if so, what is the relevant legislation and/or determination that grants this authority.

(2) Has the CSA accessed tax file numbers from the ATO or Commissioner of Taxation; if so, how many tax file numbers were accessed in the 2003-04 and 2004-05 financial years.

 

 (3) If tax file numbers have been accessed, did the CSA get the permission of the individuals concerned in every instance; if not, how many tax file numbers were accessed without permission.

(4) Has the Government received representations on behalf of child support payers claiming that the CSA has accessed tax file numbers from the Commissioner of Taxation without the proper authorisation from payers; if so: (a) has a response been provided; and (b) if a response has been provided, can details of that response be provided.

(5) Was advice sought or obtained within the past 12 months with respect to the use of tax file numbers in the administration of child support legislation.

(6) If the advice was sought, in what capacity was it sought.

(7) Has advice been received.

(8) Is the advice privileged in any way.

(9) Can the following information be provided: (a) a copy of the advice; and (b) the memorandum or brief requesting the advice.

1766  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—

(1) Can a copy be provided of the evaluation framework mentioned on page 6 of the Australian Federal Police 2004-05 annual report that was created in conjunction with Flinders University and the Australian National University.

(2) What were the findings of this research.

1767  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—Can a list be provided of the Minister’s accepted public speaking engagements for 2006, in Australia and overseas, in his capacity as Minister for Justice and Customs.

1768  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—

(1) For the 2004-05 financial year, how many investigations did the Australian Federal Police launch into fraud, specifying both against the Commonwealth and against other parties.

(2) Of those investigations: (a) how many were finalised; and (b) can the source of the allegations that led to the investigations be indicated.

(3) Of those investigations that were finalised: (a) how many resulted in charges; and (b) how many individual people were charged as a result of those investigations.

(4) In relation to those people charged in (3) above: (a) what charges were laid in each instance; (b) how many have proceeded to trial; (c) how many are still before the court; and (d) how many have resulted in: (i) a verdict of not guilty, (ii) a verdict of guilty, (iii) a mistrial, or (iv) charges being withdrawn (specify reason).

1769  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—

(1) Does the Australian Federal Police (AFP) conduct surveys of the general public of the jurisdictions in which it conducts community policing to gauge satisfaction with community policing; if so: when are these surveys conducted and can a copy of the results of all surveys conducted since 2001 be provided; if not, why not and what alternative efforts does the AFP undertake to gauge satisfaction in the Australian Capital Territory community.

 

 (2) Were any AFP personnel assigned to the Australian Capital Territory Community Policing Program diverted for any duties under the Protective Services Output in the 2004-05 financial year; if so: (a) how many were diverted; (b) for how long were they diverted; (c) was any reimbursement given to the Australian Capital Territory Government for the cost of these personnel; and (d) how was the Community Policing Program affected by this diversion.

(3) (a) What is the total cost of the Australian Capital Territory Community Policing Program; and (b) can a breakdown be provided of the total cost by funding source.

1770  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—

(1) What information is a business or person required to provide to the Australian Custom Service (ACS) for the damages claim arising out of the implementation of the Integrated Cargo System.

(2) Who is eligible to claim damages under this scheme.

(3) What is the criteria for damages.

(4) How many separate claims has the ACS received for compensation.

(5) How much in total has been claimed so far.

(6) How are the claims being assessed.

(7) Are the claims being assessed by an independent authority or are they being assessed by ACS.

(8) If the claims are not being assessed by ACS, who are they being assessed by and how was this body chosen.

(9) If the claims are being assessed by ACS, what body within ACS is undertaking the assessment.

(10) (a) Of the claims received so far, how many of them have been processed; and (b) of those processed: (i) how many have been approved, (ii) how many have been partially approved, and (iii) how many have been disallowed.

(11) (a) What appeal mechanisms are there for a claim which has been disallowed or only partially allowed; and (b) in how many cases have claimants availed themselves of those mechanisms.

(12) How much compensation has been approved so far.

(13) How much of the compensation that has been approved has been released.

(14) What is the average waiting time between the date on which the ACS receives a claim form and the date on which it releases compensation.

1771  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to the statement on page 20 of the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) 2004-05 annual report that the Ombudsman found that the ACC is generally complying with the requirements of the Telecommunications Interception Act:

(1) What aspects of the Act was the ACC not in compliance with at the time of the Ombudsman report; and (b) can a description of the nature of each instance of non-compliance be provided.

(2) (a) What action was taken to ensure that the ACC was fully compliant rather than just generally compliant with the requirements of the Act; and (b) what is the current status of the ACC’s compliance with those requirements.

 

 (3) Is the ACC now fully compliant with the requirements of the Act; if not, when does it expect to be fully compliant.

1772  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to the statement on page 81 of the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) 2004-05 annual report that the ACC’s budget for the 2005-06 financial year may cover an approved $2 million deficit to enable enhancements to infrastructure and to remedy a number of other issues relating to the transition to the ACC from three former agencies and that the ACC will fund the deficit from previously un-drawn appropriations:

(1) What are the ‘enhancements to infrastructure’ referred to.

(2) (a) What are the remaining outstanding issues relating to the formation of the ACC; and (b) when will they be finalised.

(3) Is it normal to have $2 million in un-drawn appropriations; if so, can other instances be provided in which the ACC has had similar levels of un-drawn appropriations; if not, why is it so in this case.

1773  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) 2004-05 annual report which mentions on page 49 that the use of the coercive powers has increased by 77.2 per cent from the 2003-04 financial year:

(1) (a) What is the reason for this increase; and (b) could the same results have been achieved by other means; if so, what.

(2) Are there any internal integrity processes which monitor the use of the coercive powers; if so, what are they; if not, why not.

(3) Has there been any progress on the provision of a practice and procedure manual for the benefit of practitioners and those summoned for examination or to produce documents, as recommended in the report on the ACC Act: if so, when is it expected to be completed; if not, why not.

(4) What progress has been made on the implementation of the recommendations of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Crime Commission’s report on trafficking in women for sexual servitude.

(5) The report gives details of initiatives taken on illegal firearms, and in particular, international and domestic consultation: what is the status of the strategic paper on deactivation.

1774  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—The summary of court results at appendix C of the Australian Crime Commission 2004-05 annual report shows that a significant proportion of the charges and penalties are at the lower rather than the higher end of the scale and most of the outcomes appear to have attracted sentences of less than 5 years, and there are several quite minor fines (i.e. $600 and $250) which would not suggest crimes of significance:

(1) Why is this.

(2) In some cases charges were withdrawn or a nolle prosequi entered: was this the result of a lack of evidence or flaws in the investigations for those matters.

(3) Can a breakdown of the reasons for the withdrawal of charges and the entrance of a nolle prosequi be provided.

 

 1775  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General—With reference to the joint registry project to create a single point of entry for family law matters:

(1) What arrangements will be made for staff to retain their current positions.

(2) Will there be any staff losses following the creation of the joint registry or are there any proposals for shedding jobs as a result of the creation of the registry.

(3) How will the duties and responsibilities of retained staff be affected by the creation of the joint registry.

(4) (a) What consultations have been undertaken with staff regarding the creation of the joint registry; and (b) when and how were these consultations undertaken.

(5) Can an overview of the proposed changes and their impact on staffing be provided.

1776  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) 2004-05 annual report and the charges arising out of determinations mentioned on page 48:

(1) Can a breakdown of the outcome of charges arising out of the determinations be provided, including: (a) how many were subsequently dropped; (b) how many resulted in a verdict of guilty; and (c) how many resulted in a verdict of not guilty.

(2) How many pharmacists (broken down by state) have been charged with offences relating to precursor drugs.

1777  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) 2004-05 annual report, in particular page 79 which states that the ACC has continued to provide facilities for Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) examinations of several terrorist suspects under the Commonwealth’s new national anti-terrorism laws:

(1) Why does ASIO use ACC facilities to examine terrorist suspects.

(2) Are ACC personnel involved in these interrogations.

(3) Is this arrangement expected to continue.

(4) On how many occasions has ASIO used ACC facilities to conduct examinations of terrorist suspects.

(5) Can a breakdown be provided of the dates on which these examinations were conducted.

(6) How many individual terrorist suspects have undergone these examinations.

1778  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) 2004-05 annual report and the workload increases that saw the creation of a new position of Examiner:  (a) have the workload increases continued; if so, to what extent have they continued; and (b) is the ACC currently exploring any new positions to assist with this workload increase.

 

 1779  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) 2004-05 annual report, in particular the statement on page 81 that the recent cabinet decision approving the recommendations of the Sir John Wheeler Review into Airport Security and Policing has resulted in an additional $20.5 million from the 2005-06 to 2009-10 financial years for enhancements to its intelligence functions and systems:

(1) Can further details of this development be provided.

(2) What specific enhancements are planned.

(3) Can a breakdown of the planned enhancements and their estimated cost be provided.

1780  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) 2004-05 annual report, in particular the statement in the report that the ACC created a Specialist Services Group in the Operations Directorate to create greater ‘synergy’ in the gathering of evidence and actionable intelligence:

(1) What exactly is meant by ‘greater synergy’.

(2) (a) How is this synergy measured; and (b) can specifics of key performance indicators related to this synergy be provided.

(3) (a) What action was undertaken by the ACC to achieve ‘greater synergy’; and (b) what are the results of this action so far.

1781  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to the Australian Crime Commission 2004-05 annual report, in particular statements regarding the increasing number of strategic intelligence products disseminated: (a) what are the reasons behind this increase; and (b) has this trend continued in the 2005-06 financial year.

1782  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) 2004-05 annual report, where on page 79 it is indicated that throughout the 2004-05 financial year the level of security risk to the ACC remained as ‘major’, requiring senior management attention to be given to vulnerable areas of the agency in accordance with Commonwealth standards:

(1) Why was the level of security risk judged to be ‘major’ during the 2004-05 financial year.

(2) Has it always been at this level since the creation of the ACC; if so, why; if not, can a timeline indicating the different levels of risk for the ACC be provided.

(3) (a) What are the other levels; and (b) will the level of security risk ever be below ‘major’ for the ACC.

1783  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) 2004-05 annual report, in particular the statement on page 82 that, during the 2005-06 financial year, the responsibility to host the secretariat for the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering is being transferred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and that the transfer will not have a material impact on the ACC’s 2005-06 financial statements: (a) why was this responsibility transferred from the ACC to the AFP; and (b) why was this considered not to be the role of the AFP rather than the ACC.

 

 1784  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to the Australian Crime Commission’s review of the outcomes and outputs framework that was undertaken in the 2003-04 financial year and the subsequent changes in the frameworks: has there been any follow-up work to ascertain the effectiveness or otherwise of the changes; if so, can details be provided; if not, why not.

1785  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—

(1) Was the notice to extradite Dragan Vasiljkovic issued by the Minister for Justice and Customs rather than the Attorney-General; if so, on what basis was the Minister authorised to issue this notice.

(2) Has either the Minister or the Attorney-General, or either of their departments, had any communications regarding the representation of Dragan Vasiljkovic with members of Parliament, or Mr Tom Hughes QC, or any other legal representatives; if so, can the following details be provided:

(a) the date of communication;

(b) the method of communication;

(c) all parties to the communication;

(d) the part which initiated contact; and

(e) a copy of the communication where available, or a summary of the exchange that took place.