Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Report 471: Security of Overseas Missions
Appendix 2. B. ANAO Conclusions and Recommendations
ANAO Report No.5 (2017-18) Protecting Australia’s Missions and Staff Overseas: Follow-on

Conclusion (pp. 7-8)

The ANAO’s review of Australia’s overseas missions identified that DFAT has arrangements in place to provide security to overseas missions and staff. Aspects of the delivery of the overseas security, in particular the strategic planning, management of security measures and elements of the framework supporting staff training, have not been fully effective.
DFAT has a comprehensive Security Manual setting out policy, procedures and processes. DFAT undertakes threat and risk assessments of locations where DFAT has overseas posts. Implementation of the recommendations arising from DFAT’s security reviews would be more effective if a comprehensive plan was in place that encompasses the internal review recommendations, as well as a forward looking plan that articulates the desired end state for DFAT overseas security. A comprehensive plan would drive more consistent monitoring of reform activities underway. DFAT would also benefit from enhancing the recording of overseas post security measures to better inform the monitoring of post security risks.
DFAT’s arrangements to provide overseas security training have been generally effective. DFAT has established an overseas security training framework to support the delivery of training to overseas staff, and staff with dedicated security advisory roles. There are opportunities to further enhance security training and guidance for deployed and specialist security staff, as well as DFAT’s ability to monitor and analyse staff training across posts.
DFAT has arrangements in place to specify overseas physical security measures and select and deploy the measures to posts. The manner in which these measures have been deployed and managed has not been effective in all cases. Improving the specifications and guidance for all physical and operational security measures at posts would help mitigate security risks. DFAT has in place overseas security inspection arrangements to provide assurance on the effectiveness of security measures in place at posts. The effectiveness of these inspections could be enhanced through a centrally coordinated process for planning and recording security inspections.
DFAT has in place monitoring and reporting on security at overseas posts, however the effectiveness of the monitoring and reporting is limited as it is not consistently implemented or verified. This reduces the assurance provided by these arrangements that security at overseas posts is effectively mitigating risks.
The ANAO notes the department’s view that it has made progress in strengthening its security arrangements during the time of the audit.

Recommendations (pp. 10-11)

Recommendation No.1

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade develop:
a.
a strategic plan that addresses its future security needs and aligns with key activities of the department, including encompassing all the reforms and activities underway; and
b.
a detailed implementation plan for addressing the 2015 internal review recommendations, as one of the reforms captured in the strategic plan.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s response: Agreed.

Recommendation No.2

To better inform governance and oversight by the Departmental Security Committee, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade:
a.
develop and maintain a comprehensive database of physical and operational security measures at overseas posts; and
b.
develop a more consistent framework for assessing security risks for overseas posts.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s response: Agreed.

Recommendation No.3

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade develop mechanisms to provide assurance that staff receive the required security training for their posting, and to inform future planning and improvements to the security training program.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s response: Agreed.

Recommendation No.4

That the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade enhance the coordination of the deployment of security measures to achieve greater consistency when determining security measures to be deployed to overseas posts.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s response: Agreed.

Recommendation No.5

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade refine a framework for risk-based selection of posts for security inspection, improve the deployment of inspection staff resources, and develop consistent standards and accountability mechanisms to enable the timely identification and resolution of security vulnerabilities at posts.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s response: Agreed.

Recommendation No.6

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade strengthen arrangements for managing and maintaining security measures at overseas posts to ensure the measures appropriately mitigate identified risks.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s response: Agreed.

Recommendation No.7

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade develop an information system to respond to security breaches, and identify trends and mitigation strategies, based on reliable and useful breach data.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s response: Agreed.