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Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal Reports 2009-10
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Australian Government

** Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal

M igration Review Tribunal Refugee Review Tribunal

ANNUAL REPORT 2 0 0 9 -2 0 1 0

To provide visa applicants and sponsors with

independent, fair, just, economical, informal and quick

merits reviews of migration and refugee decisions

I

M igration Review Tribunal Refugee Review Tribunal

ANNUAL REPORT 2 0 0 9 -2 0 1 0

Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal Annual Report 2009-2010

Published by the Migration Review Tribunal and the Refugee Review Tribunal.

Design, artwork and printing by ZOO Advertising.

Cover image: “two sides of every story”.

Contact officer for this report

For all enquiries contact Hilary Lovibond, Deputy Registrar (A/g), Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal, GPO Box 1333, Sydney NSW 2001; or by telephoning (02) 9276 5060 or faxing (02) 9276 5099.

© Commonwealth of Australia 2010

This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act ig68, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the Commonwealth. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Commonwealth Copyright Administration, Attorney General’s Department, Robert Garran Offices, National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600 or posted at http://www.ag.gov.au/cca.

ISSN 1833-8518 (Print)

Contact details

The tribunals have registries in Sydney and Melbourne, open from 8.30am to 5pm on working days.The Principal Registry address is GPO Box 1333, Sydney NSW 2001.

NEW SOUTH WALES

Street address Level 11,83 Clarence Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Telephone: (02) 9276 5000 Fax: (02) 9276 5599

Postal address GPO Box 1333 Sydney NSW 2001

VICTORIA

Street address Level 12,460 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Telephone: (03) 8600 5900 Fax: (03) 8600 5801

Postal address PO Box 14158 Melbourne VIC 8001

Applications for review may also be lodged at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal registries in Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth:

ADELAIDE

nth Floor, Chesser House, 91 Grenfell Street, Adelaide SA 5000

BRISBANE

Level 4, Harry Gibbs Commonwealth Law Courts Building, 119 North Quay, Brisbane OLD 4000

PERTH

Level 5, in St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000

NATIONAL TELEPHONE ENQUIRY NUMBER

For further information contact the tribunals on their information line 1300 361 969. Local call charges apply from anywhere within Australia. Not available from mobile telephones.

TRANSLATING AND INTERPRETING SERVICE

To inquire about interpreting services for non-English speakers telephone 131 450 from anywhere in Australia 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Website www.mrt-rrt.gov.au

E-mail enquiries@mrt-rrt.gov.au

ABN 50760799564

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal

22 October 2010

The Hon Chris Bowen MP Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Minister

I have pleasure in presenting to you this Annual Report on the operations o f the Migration Review Tribunal and the Refugee Review Tribunal for the year ending 30 June 2010.

The Report has been prepared in accordance with the Requirements fo r Annual Reports fo r Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act bodies, which were approved by the Joint Committee o f Public Accounts and Audit under subsections 63(2) and 70(2) o f the Public Service Act 1999 and issued by the Department o f the Prime Minister and Cabinet in June 2010.

Yours sincerely

Denis O'Brien Principal Member

3

Contents

Contact information 2

Letter to Minister 3

The tribunals at a glance 7

Part i - Principal Member’s report 9

Part 2 - The role of the tribunals 13

Merits review 14

Matters reviewed by the MRT 15

Matters reviewed by the RRT 15

Applying for review 16

The conduct of reviews 17

Information available to assist applicants 18

Decisions 19

Vision, purpose and values 19

Membership as at l July 2010 20

Staff organisational chart 21

Part 3 - Performance report 23

Performance framework 24

Financial performance 26

Overview of caseload 26

Lodgements 27

Statistics 28

Conduct of reviews 35

Interpreters at hearings 35

Outcomes of review 36

Timeliness 37

Judicial review 37

Social justice and equity 44

Complaints 47

Migration Agents 49

Community and interagency liaison 49

Major reviews 50

Significant changes in the nature of functions or services 50

Developments since the end of the year 50

Case studies 51

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Part 4 - Management and accountability 59

Senior management 60

Corporate and operational plans 61

Ethical standards 62

Risk management 62

External scrutiny 63

Human resources 67

Members 68

Member professional development and performance 69

Staff 70

Workforce planning 72

Learning and development 72

Executive remuneration 73

Certified Agreement 73

Occupational health and safety 74

Workplace diversity 76

Disability strategy 77

Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance 78

Purchasing 78

Assets management 79

Consultancy services 79

Purchaser/provider arrangements 80

Discretionary grants 80

Advertising and market research 80

Correction of material errors in previous Annual Report 80

Part 5 - Financial statements 8i

Auditor’s report and opinion 82

Statement on financial statements 84

Table of contents to financial statements 85

Financial statements 86

Appendix 1 - Membership 119

Appendix 2 - Freedom of Information 125

Appendix 3 - Additional staffing statistics 129

Appendix 4 - Disability action plan 131

Appendix 5 - List of requirements 135

Glossary of terms and abbreviations 139

Index 149

Contents j C

List of figures and tables Part 3 - Performance report Table 3.1 - Performance information and results 25

Table 3.2 - Price of outputs 26

Caseload statistics

Caseload overview 28

Lodgements 29

Cases on hand 31

Timeliness of reviews 32

Outcomes of review 33

Table 3.3 - Judicial review applications and outcomes as at 31 August 2010 38

Table 3.4 - Report against service standards 44

Table 3.5 - Complaints 48

Table 3.6 - Complaints to the Commonwealth Ombudsman 49

Part 4 - Management and accountability Table 4.1 - Implementation of ANAO recommendations 65

Table 4.2 - Membership as at 30 June 2010 68

Table 4.3 - Membership as at 1 July 2010 69

Table 4.4 - Staff as at 30 June 2010 71

Table 4.5 - Salary range pay points as at 30 June 2010 73

Table 4.6 - Consultancy services let during 2009-10, of $10,000 or more 79

Table 4.7 - Annual expenditure on consultancy contracts 80

Table 4.8 - Advertising services 80

6 Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

The tribunals at a glance The Migration Review Tribunal (the MRT) and the Refugee Review Tribunal (the RRT) are established under the Migration Act 7958. The tribunals’jurisdictions, powers and procedures are set out in the Migration Act and in the Migration Regulations 1994.

Principal Member Denis O’Brien

Registrar Rhys Jones (Acting)

Established 1999 1993

Cases lodged 8,332 2,271 10,603

Cases decided 7,580 2457 9,737

Cases on hand 7,048 738 7,786

% of primary decisions set aside 45% 24% 40%

% of primary decisions affirmed 36% 71% 44%

% of cases withdrawn or otherwise resolved 19% 5% 16%

Average time taken to decide a case (weeks) 40 14

% of decided cases where applicant represented

69% 55% 66%

Hearings arranged 6,569 2,954 9,523

% of decided cases where hearing held 56% 75% 60%

% of hearings where interpreter was required 61% 86% 67%

Languages and dialects 90

% of decisions taken to judicial review 3% 24%

% of decisions set aside on judicial review 34% 10%

Members 94

Staff 272

Cost $40.2 m

Unless otherwise indicated, all information as at 30 June 2010 for the 2009-10 financial year.

Statistics

All statistics used in this report are o f‘cases’. Multiple applications for review are counted as a single case where the legislation provides that the applications for review can be combined, usually where members of a family unit have applied for the grant of

visas at the same time.

7

AN N U A L REPORT 2 0 0 9 -2 0 1 0

r

P r i n c i p a l M e m b e r ’s r e p o r t

PART 1

Part i - Principal Member’s report It gives me great pleasure to provide this report on the tribunals' operations in a challenging year which was marked by increased application rates, shifts within our caseload and significant member and staff movement. 2009-10 has also seen the combined tribunals decide the largest

number of cases since 2005-06; provide more and better information about our operations; and initiate enhanced arrangements for engagement with our stakeholders.

During the year the tribunals’ long-serving Registrar, John Lynch, left us. After moving in April on secondment to the Department of Immigration

and Citizenship, he accepted a transfer to the Department in August. John was appointed as Registrar of the MRT and Registrar of the RRT in 2002, and,

with the then Principal Member, led the two tribunals through their administrative amalgamation. Throughout, John was focused on the quality of service and the good reputation of the tribunals and I can say from the feedback I receive that our decisions, our policies and the openness in which we operate are held in higher regard by our clients and stakeholders than at any time in the past. John's departure is a great loss to the tribunals.

In April of this year, Ms Amanda MacDonald was appointed as the Deputy Principal Member of the MRT and the RRT. This is the first time that the tribunals have had a Deputy Principal Member across both tribunals. Ms MacDonald has a range of responsibilities, particularly in relation to the professionalism of the membership and community liaison activities.

The tribunals’ overall caseload increased in 2009-10, with a 12% increase in MRT lodgements more than compensating for the 11% decrease in RRT lodgements. With 9,737 cases finalised, the tribunals decided 18% more cases than were decided in 2008-09. However, this impressive result was offset by an increase in lodgements, with a total of 10,603 applications received for the year. Further strong growth is anticipated

this year, with both MRT and RRT lodgements trending upwards over the last 3-4 months. Reducing the growth in the MRT backlog continues to be a key challenge.

Reflecting developments in migration legislation and policy, there were significant changes in the makeup of MRT lodgements. There was a large growth in student refusal and student cancellation cases, which increased by 180% and 75% respectively from 2008-09 levels, and a 37% decline in skilled cases.

1 o Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

There were also some notable changes in the representation of source countries within the RRT caseload. A large increase in Fijian lodgements moved Fiji to second ranking by source country, accounting for 11% of all RRT lodgements for the year, compared with its ninth ranking in 2008-09. China (PRC), with 33% of lodgements, remains the largest

RRT caseload.

To respond to the increasing volume and shifting composition of the tribunals’ caseload we have developed strategies, underpinned by extensive analysis of the caseload, to allocate cases to members in a way that makes the most efficient and effective use of member resources. In 2009-10 the target was to allocate 10,000 cases for the year and,

in the end, 9,428 cases were allocated to members. This result was affected by the need to reallocate cases from 21 members who were not reappointed for a further term.

Following wide consultation with all staff and members and externally with members of the Community Liaison Groups on the proposed 2010-11 caseload and constitution direction, I issued a new Direction relating to the constitution of cases. PMDi/20io Caseload and Constitution sets out case priorities, time standards and allocation and decision targets.

Caseload management has been a focus of attention and on Friday 23 July 2010 all members and senior managers attended a workshop in Sydney on Managing our Caseload into the Future. The primary aims of the workshop were to provide an opportunity to share and develop ideas about effective case management and to discuss the caseload and constitution arrangements set out in the new caseload and constitution direction. It was a very successful day with a focus on the need to deal with a growth in cases on hand and improve decision output and timeliness.

A very pleasing development during 2009-10 has been the large decline in the number and percentage of tribunal decisions taken to judicial review. Judicial review applications were lodged in relation to 750, or 7.7%, of tribunal decisions made in 2009-10 compared to 1,089,or 13.2%, of decisions made in 2008-09. A further very positive feature of judicial review outcomes for the year was the marked drop in the proportion of tribunal decisions set aside by the courts. On the RRT, 10.4% of the 508 judicial review applications lodged against decisions made during the year resulted in the tribunal decision being set aside, down from 14.1% and 15.5% respectively in the two previous years. On the MRT, 33.9% of the 242 judicial review applications lodged against decisions made during the year resulted in the tribunal decision being set aside.

However, many of these were consent remittals as a result of changes in the law due to the High Court’s decision in Berenguel vMIAC [2010] HCA8 and the Federal Court judgments in Hossain & Mo [2010] FCA161/ [2010] FCA162.

In June 2010 the Governor-General appointed 43 members to the tribunals for 5 years with effect from 1 July 2010. Eight full-time and 17 part-time members were appointed for a further term, and 8 full-time and 10 part-time Members were new appointments. An induction program was conducted for new members over 5 days in July 2010.

I believe it is important to seek the views and consider the needs of our stakeholders and this year the tribunals have placed renewed emphasis on engaging with our stakeholders and providing information about our operations. The initiatives

1 1 part 1 Principal Member’s report

PART 1

PART 1

undertaken include development of a Stakeholder Engagement Plan, expanding our program of community liaison meetings to cover Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide in addition to Melbourne and Sydney, providing improved information on our website in the form of an “ information for representatives” page and consulting extensively on the development of key policy and procedural documents.

Alongside this enhanced community engagement, I am pleased to report that the tribunals have further increased the proportion of decisions published to more than 40% across both tribunals and have also initiated publication of country advice products used by members to assist their decision making. Country advice products published on the tribunals’ website include general and specific country information and research

responses to questions from members.

In a measure to enhance the accountability of the tribunals’ operations and their corporate governance, the tribunals have for the first time appointed an independent chair to the Audit and Risk Management Committee. Mr Jim Mitchell, a former NSW Deputy Auditor-General, has taken up this position and will guide the Committee in ensuring critical oversight of audit and risk matters.

As I have observed in previous reports, it is my view that the operations of the tribunals and the experience of clients in negotiating the review process could be enhanced if certain legislative changes were made. I am pleased that the policy platform of the incoming Government includes a commitment to review the merits and judicial review

architecture under the Migration Act.

In closing, I would like to thank the members and staff of the tribunals for their contribution to the very positive outcomes achieved this year. Their dedication, diligence and concern for the needs of our clients have enabled the tribunals to maintain high standards of service while meeting the changing demands of our environment.

Denis O’Brien

Principal Member

1 2 Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

PART 2

The ro le o f th e tr ib u n a ls

PART 2

Part 2 - The role of the tribunals The Migration Review Tribunal (the MRT) and the Refugee Review Tribunal (the RRT) are statutory bodies providing a final, independent merits review of visa and visa-related decisions made by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (the Minister) or by officers of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (the Department), acting as delegates of the Minister.

The tribunals are established under the Migration Act ig$8. The tribunals’jurisdictions, powers and procedures are set out in the Migration Act and the Migration Regulations 1994. The tribunals comprise members (appointed by the Governor-General under the Migration Act for fixed terms) and staff (appointed under the Migration Act and employed under the Public Service Act 7999).

All members and staff are cross-appointed to both tribunals and the tribunals operate as a single agency for the purposes of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 7997.

The MRT reviews a wide range of decisions in relation to visas other than protection visas.

The RRT reviews decisions in relation to protection visas.

A visa is required by anyone who is not an Australian citizen and who wishes to travel to, and remain in, Australia. The Migration Act and the Migration Regulations set out the criteria for visas. There are specific criteria which relate to the purpose of particular visas, and general criteria relating to matters such as health and character.

A visa is refused if a decision maker is not satisfied that a person meets the criteria for the visa. A visa may be cancelled if, for example, it was obtained by making false statements or if the visa holder has not abided by the conditions of the visa.

In reviewing a decision to refuse to grant or to cancel a visa, the tribunals are required to conduct a 'merits review’ that is ‘fair, just, economical, informal and quick'.

MERITS REVIEW Merits review is an administrative reconsideration of a case. A merits review body makes decisions within the same legislative framework as the primary decision maker, and may exercise all the powers and discretions conferred on the primary decision maker.

The principal objective of merits review is to ensure that the correct or preferable decision is reached in the particular case. The decision and reasons of a merits review body should also improve the general quality and consistency of decision making, and enhance openness and accountability of an area of government decision making.

The tribunals reconsider each case in light of the facts before them, the law and Government policy (to the extent that this is not inconsistent with the law). A decision made by a member in one case does not bind members in other cases. However,

consistency is highly desirable and it is generally expected that a decision in a particular case would be consistent with other decisions in like matters.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

The tribunals have the power to affirm the primary decision, vary the primary decision, set aside the primary decision and substitute a new decision, or remit (return) a matter to the Department for reconsideration with specific directions. For example, a matter may be ‘remitted’ if a member is satisfied that a visa applicant meets one or more of the criteria for the visa. The Department may then need to undertake further processing in

relation to other requirements for the visa.

MATTERS REVIEWED BY THE MRT

The MRT can review decisions relating to a wide range of visas. Reviewable decisions include decisions to refuse to grant visas, to cancel visas, to refuse to approve sponsors, and to refuse to approve a nominated position or business activity.

Bridging visas are granted to provide temporary lawful status to non-citizens in Australia, for example, while a temporary entrant is awaiting the outcome of an application for permanent residence. Visitor visas are granted to tourists and to persons visiting relatives in Australia. Student visas are granted to persons enrolled at schools, colleges and universities in Australia.Temporary business visas are granted to persons whose proposed employment or business activities will contribute to the creation or

maintenance of employment within Australia, the expansion of Australian trade, an improvement in links with international markets and/or greater competitiveness in the economy.

Permanent business visas are granted to successful business people, who obtain a substantial ownership interest in a new or existing business in Australia and actively participate in that business at a senior management level. Skilled visas are granted to persons in skilled occupations who have the education, skills and employability to contribute to the Australian economy.

Partner visas are granted to partners of Australian citizens or permanent residents. Family visas are granted to children, parents, remaining relatives (persons who have limited family contacts, other than relatives living in Australia), aged dependent relatives (elderly overseas relatives who have been financially supported by a close Australian relative for a reasonable period) and carers (persons who are able and willing to provide assistance needed by a relative in Australia).

MATTERS REVIEWED BY THE RRT

The RRT reviews decisions to refuse to grant or to cancel protection visas within Australia. The review of these decisions usually involves a consideration of whether or not the applicant is a person to whom Australia has protection obligations.This involves consideration of whether he or she is a ‘refugee’ within the meaning of the 1951 United

Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (as amended by the 1967 UN Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees) (the Convention).

The Convention was drafted between 1948 and 1951 with the principal aim of creating a regime to cope with the large numbers of people who had been displaced by the Second World War.The original definition permitted a person to be declared a refugee as a result of events occurring in Europe before 1 January 1951. However, the 1967

UN Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (the Protocol) removed the time and

part 2 The role o f the trib u n a ls j *]

PART 2

PART 2

geographical limitation in the Convention's definition of a refugee. The Convention now extends to all persons who are refugees because of events occurring at any time in any place. Australia became a signatory to the Refugees Convention in 1954 and to the Protocol in 1973.

The term ‘refugee’ is defined in Chapter 1, Article 1 of the Convention. In particular, Article i A(2) of the Convention, as amended by the Protocol, defines a refugee as a person who:

... owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to i t ...

Other provisions of the Convention may be relevant to an assessment of the entitlement to a protection visa.

A number of provisions of the Migration Act expressly qualify certain aspects of the Convention. These provisions focus principally on the concepts of persecution and the nature and seriousness of certain crimes relevant to the determination of whether Australia has protection obligations to an asylum seeker. Many aspects of the Convention, however, are not specifically defined by the legislation and must be

interpreted in accordance with established legal principles.

APPLYING FOR REVIEW

Whenever a decision is made which is reviewable by the MRT or the RRT, the Department is required by law to advise the person or persons involved of their review rights. This includes setting out who can apply for review, where an application for

review can be made and the time lim it within which the application must be made.

It is important that persons who receive a Departmental decision read the information about review rights carefully. The tribunals do not have discretion to accept an application for review which has been lodged outside the relevant time limit or by a person who is not entitled to apply for review.

Form Mi is the general MRT application form. Form M2 is the MRT application form for persons in immigration detention. Form Ri is the RRT application form. These forms are available on the MRT-RRT website or from tribunal registries.

A fee of $1,400 is payable for all MRT applications other than for the review of decisions to refuse to grant or to cancel a bridging visa in relation to a person in immigration detention. Payment of the fee may be waived if payment would cause severe financial hardship.

There is no application fee when applying to the RRT. However, a $1,400 fee is payable if the tribunal affirms the primary decision.

Ί i Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Personal profile - Mosharef Chowdhury I migrated to Sydney from Dhaka on 17 June 1994 with my wife, our little six year old daughter and 14 month old boy who cried on the plane all the way from

Singapore to Sydney. I migrated to Australia with a great dream and expectations for a better life. Prior to our arrival in Australia, I worked as an Agricultural Extension Officer in the Department of Agriculture Extension in Bangladesh.

Settling in Australia was not an easy matter for us. We missed our families, friends and the comforts and luxuries of our life in Bangladesh. The Australian economy had gone through a severe recession at the time of our arrival, so it was hard for me to get a job. I decided to pursue further study. I was awarded a scholarship for a Master of Science program with the Sydney University, at the Orange Campus. My degree was converted to a PhD at a later time. My youngest son was born in November 1998 while we were living in Orange. We

loved the clean environment and the friendly country people, but after four and half years we moved back to Sydney. After settling in Sydney, my wife and I started to look for jobs. My daughter and elder son started school and we gradually became used to life in Sydney.

Both of us started our first jobs as customer service officers in Coles Express.

Later my wife got a job in New South Wales Department of Health and I started my job with the Tribunal in November 2003. In my current position in the NSW Registry, I observe legislative requirements and follow tribunal procedures and policy to provide a high standard of service to clients. Although this allows me to assist in meeting clients' needs, after about 7 years with the tribunals, I feel there is still long way to achieve my dream of a career.

We all enjoy a peaceful, secure and harmonious social life and the pristine environment of Australia. Australia is our home and my children don’t even feel that we came from a different culture and environment.

THE CONDUCT OF REVIEWS The tribunals are usually constituted by a single member. The member is required to conduct an independent review and reach an independent decision.

An applicant may appoint a representative to assist with his or her case. With very limited exceptions, only a registered migration agent can act as a representative or provide immigration assistance to an applicant before the tribunals. A significant proportion of applicants are not represented and tribunal procedures and information

are designed to assist applicants who are not represented.

The applicant (or his or her representative) can request a copy of the documents before the tribunal and can at any time provide written submissions and written evidence.

part 2 The role o f the trib u n a ls 1 ?

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PART 2

A member must ensure that an applicant has the opportunity to address the issues arising in the review, particularly any information which may be the reason or part of a reason for affirming the decision under review. The tribunals can invite an applicant in writing or at hearing to comment on or respond to relevant information.

In most cases, the applicant is invited to attend a hearing to give oral evidence and present arguments on the issues arising in the review. The applicant can ask that an interpreter be present, and can be accompanied by a representative and/or a friend, relative or support person.The applicant can also request that the tribunal take evidence from other persons.

The hearings do not have a strict procedure; however, evidence is usually taken under oath or affirmation.The member will explain the procedures and ask questions.The applicant may or may not choose to make a statement. Neither the Minister nor the Department is represented.

Hearings are usually held in person, but may also be held through video or telephone links. All hearings are audio recorded, and the applicant can request a copy of the recording.

MRT hearings must be open to the public, unless there is a public interest reason for conducting the hearing in private. All RRT hearings must be held in private.

INFO RM ATIO N AVAILABLE TO ASSIST APPLICANTS

The tribunals provide information to applicants about procedures and processes throughout a review, and publish a wide range of information which can assist applicants or those assisting applicants. Information which is available on the tribunal website at www.mrt-rrt.gov.au includes:

• Principal Member Directions on the conduct of reviews, putting information orally to applicants, management of detention cases and caseload and constitution arrangements

• the Guide to Refugee Law in Australia prepared by the tribunals’ Legal Services Section

• guidelines on the assessment of credibility, vulnerable persons, expert opinion evidence, quality decision making, the use of interpreters, gender considerations and referrals of cases for Ministerial intervention consideration

• Precis- a bulletin produced π times per year, which summarises selected tribunal decisions, court judgments, country advice and selected statistics

• country advice information on more than 75 countries

• forms, brochures and factsheets

• statistics on caseloads and the timeliness of reviews

• a processing times calculator

• the tribunals'Service Charter

• a webpage specifically aimed at the needs of representatives

• a daily schedule for MRT and RRT hearings

"] § : Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Tribunal decisions are available on the AustLII website at www.austlii.edu.au.The tribunals currently publish at least 40% of decisions made by the MRT and the RRT.

RRT decisions are edited to remove information which would identify an applicant or relatives of an applicant, as required by the Migration Act. MRT decisions are published in full, as required by the Migration Act, unless the member has determined that publication of certain information or the applicant’s identity would not be in the public interest.

DECISIONS

The member may in some cases make an oral decision at the end of a hearing. In most cases, the member either allows time for further documents to be lodged or needs more time to consider the case.

In all cases, a written statement of decision and reasons is prepared and provided to the applicant and the Department.

VISIO N , PURPOSE A N D VALUES

The tribunals provide an independent and final merits review of decisions. The review must be fair, just, economical, informal and quick. We seek to treat all those with whom we deal with courtesy, respect and dignity.

The Tribunals’ Plan, Member Code of Conduct, Service Charter and Interpreters’ Handbook promote and uphold these values. All of these documents are available on the tribunal website. A membership chart is at page 20. A staff organisational chart is at page 21. An overview of information about the tribunals is set out in ‘The tribunals at a glance’ at page 7.

part 2 The ro le o f th e trib u n a ls 1 9

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Denis O’Brien

MRT and RRT PRINCIPAL MEMBER

Linda Kirk MRT and RRT Senior Member Vic

Full-time Members Tony Caravella Paul Fisher Margret Holmes

David Mitchell Charles Powles Mary Urquhart Part-time Members Wendy Boddison

Mary Cameron Jennifer Ellis Brook Hely Deborah Jordan

Gary Led son Sydelle Muling Alison Murphy Karen Synon

Lisa Ward Vanessa Moss

Amanda MacDonald

MRT and RRT DEPUTY PRINCIPAL MEMBER

Peter Murphy MRT and RRT Senior Member Vic

Full-time Members Jennifer Beard Danica Buljan Patrick Francis

Rosa Gagliardi George Haddad Dominic Lennon Adam Moore

Part-time Members Melissa Bray Nicole Burns Tim Connellan

Megan Deane Diane Hubble Anthony Krohn Peter Tyler

Belinda Wells Carolyn Wilson David Young

Kira Raif MRT and RRT A/g Senior Member NSW

Full-time Members John Cipolla Denise Connolly Suseela Durvasula

Ismail Hasan Simon Jeans Linda Symons Robert Wilson

Part-time Members Diane Barnetson Catherine Carney- Osborn Jonathon Duignan

Bronwyn Forsyth Rowena Irish Suhad Kamand Suzanne Leal Jane Marquard Ann O’Toole

Phillippa Wearne

Irene O’Connell MRT and RRT Senior Member NSW

Full-time Members Richard Derewlany Dione Dimitriadis Michelle Grau Louise Nicholls

Donald Smyth

Part-time Members Jennifer Ciantar Clyde Cosentino Glen Cranwell

Gabrielle Cullen David Dobell Jennifer Eutick Kay Kirmos

Christine Long Andrew Mullin Mara Moustafine Susan Pinto

Pauline Pope

Giles Short MRT and RRT Senior Member NSW

Full-time Members Paul Millar Shahyar Roushan James Silva

Andrew Rozdilsky

Part-time Members Christine Cody Angela Cranston Ted Delofski

Sally Hunt Andrew Jacovides Patricia Leehy Bruce MacCarthy

Philippa McIntosh Rosemary Mathlin Pamela Summers Mila Foster

Membership as at i July 2010

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2 2 al AN NU AL REPORT 2 0 0 9 -2 0 1 0

P e rfo rm a n c e re p o rt

PART 3

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Part 3 - Performance report The tribunals contributed to Australia’s migration and refugee programs during the year through the provision of quality and timely reviews of decisions, completing 9,737 reviews. The outcomes of review were favourable to applicants in 40% of the cases decided.

PERFORMANCE FRAMEWORK

The tribunals operate in a high volume decision making environment where the case law and legislation are complex and technical. In this context, fair and lawful reviews are dependent on a number of factors, including adequate resources, appropriate member numbers and skilled staff support services.

Both tribunals have the same statutory objective, set out respectively in sections 353 and 420 of the Migration Act:

The Tribunal shall, in carrying out its functions under this Act, pursue the objective of providing a mechanism of review that is fair, just, economical, informal and quick.

The key strategic priorities for the tribunals are to meet the statutory objectives through the delivery of consistent, high quality reviews and timely and lawful decisions. Each review has to be conducted in a way that ensures, as far as practicable, that the applicant understands the issues and has a fair opportunity to comment on or respond to any matters which might lead to an adverse outcome.The tribunals also aim to meet government and community expectations and to have effective working relationships with stakeholders. These priorities are reflected in the Tribunals' Plan.

During 2009-10, the key outcome agreed with Government was:

To provide correct and preferable decisions for visa applicants and sponsors through independent, fair, just, economical, informal and quick merits reviews of migration and refugee decisions.

The tribunals had one program contributing to this outcome, which was:

Final independent merits review of decisions concerning refugee status and the refusal or cancellation of migration and refugee visas.

Table 3.1 summarises the tribunals’ performance against the program deliverables and key performance indicators that were set out in the 2009-10 portfolio budget statements.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Table 3.1 - Performance information and results

DELIVERABLES

7,700 MRT cases The tribunals decided 7,580 MRT cases, which represented an increase of 31% when compared to 2008-09.

3,050 RRT cases The tribunals decided 2,157 RRT cases, which represented a decrease of 12% when compared to 2008-09.

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

Less than 5% of tribunal decisions set aside by judicial review.

242 or 3% of MRT decisions and 508 or 24% of RRT decisions made in 2009-10 were appealed to the courts. 56 of 165 MRT judicial review matters and 31 of 299 RRT judicial review matters resolved were remitted to the MRT or RRT for reconsideration. At the time of this Report, less than 1% of tribunal decisions made in 2009-10 had been set aside by judicial review.

70% of cases decided within time standards. 89% of bridging visas (detention cases) were decided within 7 working days; 69% of RRT cases were decided within

90 calendar days; 52% of general MRT cases were decided within 350 days; and 76% of MRT visa cancellations were decided within 150 calendar days.

Less than 5 complaints per 1,000 cases decided.

The tribunals received 22 complaints, less than 3 complaints per 1,000 cases decided. 18 complaints were in relation to the MRT, and 4 were in relation to the RRT. 18 of the complaints were member related, 3 were staff related and 1 complaint

related to an interpreter engaged by the tribunals.

40% of decisions published. The tribunals published 46% of all decisions. 44% of MRT decisions were published. 54% of RRT decisions were

published.

The tribunals have implemented a number of strategies to respond to a growth in the MRT caseload.These strategies include improved case management training for members; increasing the opportunities for members to specialise, recognising that

appropriate specialisation can improve the timeliness, quality and consistency of decision-making; increased use of batching cases with like issues to enhance efficiency; and more regular feedback on performance for members, including closer monitoring of and reporting on older cases.

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FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

The MRT and the RRT are prescribed as a single agency, the 'Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal’ (the MRT-RRT) for the purposes of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 7997.

The tribunals’ funding is based on a funding agreement with the Department of Finance and Deregulation which takes into account the number of cases decided and an assessment of fixed and variable costs. The tribunals were funded to decide 7,700 MRT cases and 3,050 RRT cases in 2009-10. The tribunals decided 7,580 MRT cases and 2,157 RRT cases, and the tribunals’ revenue as set out below takes into account an adjustment to appropriation based on the number of cases decided.

The tribunals’ revenues from ordinary activities totalled $40.2171 and expenditure totalled $44.8171, resulting in a net loss of $4.6m.

Table 3.2 sets out the budgeted and actual costs to Government in 2009-10, and the budgeted costs for 2010-11.

Table 3.2 - Price of outputs

PRICE OF OUTPUTS INDEPENDENT MERITS REVIEW

Revenue from Government (total available annual appropriation) 43,298 40,062 41,014

Revenue from other sources $6 110 60

TOTAL PRICE OF OUTPUTS 43,354 40,172 41,074

Average staffing levels* 320 316 315

* Including members and staff.

The tribunals administer application fees on behalf of Government. Details of administered revenue are set out in the financial statements.

The financial statements for 2009-10, which are set out in Part 5, have been audited by the Australian National Audit Office and received an unqualified audit opinion.

OVERVIEW OF CASELOAD The tribunals received 10,603 cases during the year and decided 9,737 cases.

The MRT received 8,332 cases, decided 7,580 cases and had 7,048 active cases at the end of the year.

The RRT received 2,271 cases and decided 2,157 cases, and had 738 active cases at the end of the year.

Statistical tables and charts covering the MRT and RRT caseloads are set out on pages 28-34.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

LODGEMENTS

Lodgements of applications for review tend to fluctuate between years, according to trends in primary applications and in primary decision making, as well as changes to visa criteria and jurisdiction.

The MRT has jurisdiction to review a wide range of visa, sponsorship and other decisions relating to migration and temporary entry visas. Only a small proportion of primary decisions made by the Department come to the MRT.

In 2009-10, the MRT had very large increases in the student refusal and student cancellation categories, as well as moderate increases in the family and visitor categories.

Approximately 30% of visa refusal applications to the MRT related to persons outside Australia seeking a visa. The MRT’s jurisdiction in relation to visas applied for outside Australia depends on whether there is a requirement for an Australian sponsor or for a close relative to be identified in the application, and these cases are mainly in the

skilled, visitor, partner and family categories.

The RRT has jurisdiction to review protection (refugee) visa decisions made within Australia. Over 3,000 protection visa applications were initially refused by the Department this year. All protection visa applicants within Australia have a right to

apply for review if a protection visa is refused.

While lodgements to the RRT were made by applicants from over 80 countries, the majority were from the Asian region. 64% of the RRT’s lodgements involved nationals of 5 countries, the People’s Republic of China, Fiji, Malaysia, India and Indonesia. By far the largest numbers of applications were in relation to nationals of the People's Republic of

China. These amounted to more than three times the number of applications received from the next largest source country, Fiji.

Applicants to both tribunals tend to be located in the larger metropolitan areas. 49% of all applicants resided in New South Wales, mostly in the Sydney region. Approximately 25% of applicants resided in Victoria, 11% in Queensland, 9% in Western Australia, 3% in South Australia, 2% in the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory combined and less than 1% in Tasmania.

Cases involving applicants held in immigration detention comprised less than 3% of the cases before the tribunals, with most applicants within Australia holding a bridging visa or other visa during the course of the review.

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STATISTICS

Caseload overview

MIGRATION REVIEW TRIBUNAL

On hand at start of year 6,295 4,640 3,534

Lodged 8,332 7,422 6,325

Decided 7,580 5,767 5,219

On hand at end of year 7,048 6,295 4,640

REFUGEE REVIEW TRIBUNAL

On hand at start of year 624 548 582

Lodged 2,271 2,538 2,284

Decided 2457 2,462 2,318

On hand at end of year 738 624 548

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Lodgements

MIGRATION REVIEW TRIBUNAL

Visa refusal - Bridging 139 139 177 -

Visa refusal - Visitor 690 562 389 +23%

Visa refusal - Student 1,937 691 781 +180%

Visa refusal-Temporary business 567 684 626 -17%

Visa refusal - Permanent business 285 314 182 -9%

Visa refusal - Skilled 1,182 1,889 933 - 37%

Visa refusal - Partner 1,157 1,372 1,474 -16%

Visa refusal - Family 739 536 537 +38

Cancellation - Student 875 501 653 +75%

Sponsor approval refusal 187 209 113 -11%

Other 574 525 460 +9%

Total MRT 8,332 7,422 6,325 +12%

REFUGEE REVIEW TRIBUNAL

China (PRC) 751 999 890 -25%

Fiji 243 59 38 +312%

Malaysia 201 165 126 +22%

India 138 287 215 -52%

Indonesia 115 115 164 -

Lebanon 84 80 5i +5%

Sri Lanka 54 77 47 -30%

Pakistan 53 58 67 -9%

Egypt 52 39 18 +33%

Zimbabwe 52 40 31 +30%

Other 528 619 637 -15%

Total RRT 2,271 2,538 2,284 -11%

Total MRT and RRT 10,603 9,960 8,609 +6%

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MRT lodgements, decisions and cases on hand

8 ooo

7 ooo

6 ooo

5 ooo

4 ooo

3 ooo

2 OOO

1 ooo

Qi Q2 Q3 Q4 Qi Q2 Qg Q4 Qi Q2 Qg Q4

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10

MRT decisions §f§ MRT lodgements B MRT on hand

RRT lodgements, decisions and cases on hand

g O O --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

200

100

5

8

a

5

Qi Q2 Qg Q4

a

8

a

a

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10

RRT decisions B RRT lodgements B RRT on hand

MRT lodgements by case type RRT lodgements by country of reference

S tudent 23%

Temporary business 7%

Perm anent business 3%

S killed 14%

Fam ily 9%

P artner 14%

Visitor 8%

B ridging 2%

O th e r 7%

Sponsor re fu sa l 2%

Student

cancellation 11%

Z im babw e 2%

Egypt 2%

Pakistan 2%

Sri Lanka 3%

Lebanon 4%

Indonesia 5%

In d ia 6%

F iji 11%

M alaysia 9%

O th e r 23%

C hina (PRC) 33%

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Cases on hand

MIGRATION REVIEW TRIBUNAL

Visa refusal - Bridging 12 24 18

Visa refusal - Visitor 189 178 254

Visa refusal - Student 1,898 699 571

Visa refusal - Temporary business 645 649 525

Visa refusal - Permanent business 328 322 173

Visa refusal - Skilled 1,034 1,746 815

Visa refusal - Partner 1,320 1,431 1,279

Visa refusal - Family 632 439 460

Cancellation - Student 289 224 135

Sponsor approval refusal 247 214 100

Other 454 369 310

Total MRT

REFUGEE REVIEW TRIBUNAL

7,048 6,295 4,640

China (PRC) 219 229 215

Fiji 130 14 9

Malaysia 32 27 28

India 39 70 48

Indonesia 10 17 31

Lebanon 19 15 14

Sri Lanka 18 32 13

Pakistan 16 15 11

Egypt 18 10 6

Zimbabwe 23 26 8

Other 199 169 165

Total RRT 738 624 548

Total MRT and RRT 7,786 6,919 5,188

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Timeliness of reviews

AVERAGE TIME TAKEN IN CALENDAR DAYS

Bridging (detention) cases (MRT) 7 7 7

Visa cancellations (MRT) 123 114 136

All other MRT cases 311 293 284

Protection visa cases 99 86 85

PERCENTAGE DECIDED WITHIN TIME STANDARDS*

Bridging (detention) cases (MRT) - 7 working days

89% 88% 93%

Visa cancellations (MRT) -150 calendar days 76% 79% 66%

All other MRT cases - 350 calendar dayst 52% 50% 41%

Protection visa cases - 90 calendar days 69% 73% 70%

* Time standards as set out in the Migration Act and Migration Regulations or in the 2009-10 Portfolio Budget Statement. For MRT cases, time taken is calculated from date o f lodgement. For RRT cases, tim e taken is calculated from the date the Department's documents are provided to the RRT. The average tim e from lodgement of an application for review to receipt of the Department's documents was 19 days for MRT cases and 6 days for RRT cases.

tin 2008-09, the applicable tim e standard was 320 days. In 2007-08, the applicable tim e standard was 250 days. Figures shown are against the tim e standard which applied in the relevant financial year.

Number and age of cases on hand

8 000

7 0 0 0

6 000

5 0 0 0

4 0 0 0

3 0 0 0

2 000

1 000

2007-08

Under 3 months 3 to 9 months 9 to 12 months Over 12 months

g 2 : Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Percentage of cases decided within tim e standards

Protection visas go calendar days

All other MRT cases 320 calendar days

Visa cancellations (MRT)

150 calendar days

Bridging visas (detention) cases 7 working days

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

2009-10 2008-09 2007-08

In 2008-09, the applicable time standard was 320 days. In 2007-08, the applicable time standard was 250 days. Figures shown are against the time standard which applied in the relevant financial year.

Outcomes of review

MIGRATION REVIEW TRIBUNAL

Primary decision set aside or remitted 3,429 2,783 2,611

Primary decision affirmed 2,700 2,005 1,875

Application withdrawn by applicant 796 495 369

No jurisdiction to review* 655 484 364

Total 7,580 5,767 5,219

REFUGEE REVIEW TRIBUNAL

Primary decision set aside or remitted 514 468 422

Primary decision affirmed 1,540 1,787 1,661

Application withdrawn by applicant 21 29 33

No jurisdiction to review* 82 178 202

Total 2457 2,462 2,318

* No jurisdiction decisions include applications not made w ithin the prescribed time limit, not made in respect of reviewable decisions or not made by a person with standing to apply for review. The tribunals’ procedures provide for an applicant to be given an opportunity to comment on any jurisdiction issue before a decision is made. Some cases raise complex questions as to whether a matter is reviewable and whether a person has been properly notified of a decision and of review rights.

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Cases decided and set aside rates

2009-10 2008-09 2007-08

Cases % set aside Cases

% set aside Cases

% set aside

MIGRATION REVIEW TRIBUNAL

Visa refusal - Bridging 151 15% 133 12% 169 25%

Visa refusal - Visitor 679 58% 637 59% 294 48%

Visa refusal - Student 738 42% 564 37% 459 49%

Visa refusal - Temporary business 57i 30% 560 37% 294 37%

Visa refusal - Permanent business 278 46% 165 42% 131 47%

Visa refusal - Skilled 1,895 42% 958 51% 577 53%

Visa refusal - Partner 1,268 66% 1,221 67% 1,468 62%

Visa refusal - Family 546 42% 557 45% 517 43%

Cancellation - Student 811 41% 412 40% 853 51%

Sponsor approval refusal 161 21% 96 27% 55 36%

Other 482 38% 464 35% 402 32%

Total MRT 7,58ο 45% 5,767 48% 5,219 50%

REFUGEE REVIEW TRIBUNAL

China (PRC) 761 27% 986 21% 866 22%

Fiji 127 15% 54 13% 41 12%

Malaysia 196 3% 166 7% 112 1%

India 169 6% 265 4% 300 5%

Indonesia 122 7% 129 8% 154 3%

Lebanon 80 26% 79 32% 50 24%

Sri Lanka 68 32% 58 38% 55 31%

Pakistan 52 42% 54 17% 70 24%

Egypt 44 52% 35 31% 17 24%

Zimbabwe 55 58% 22 55% 31 58%

Other 483 30% 614 23% 622 22%

Total RRT 2457 24% 2,462 19% 2,318 18%

Total MRT and RRT 9,737 40% 8,229 40% 7,537 40%

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

CONDUCT OF REVIEWS The procedures of the MRT and the RRT are inquisitorial rather than adversarial in nature. Proceedings before the tribunals do not take the form of litigation between parties. The review is an inquiry in which the member defines the issues or criteria in

dispute, initiates investigations or inquiries to supplement evidence provided by the applicant and the Department and ensures procedural momentum. At the same time, the member must maintain an open and impartial mind.

Applicants appointed a representative to assist or represent them in 69% of MRT cases decided and in 55% of RRT cases decided.

In the 7,580 MRT cases decided, hearings were arranged in 5,154 cases, and held in 4,244 or 56% of the cases decided. In the 2,157 RRT cases decided, hearings were arranged in 2,070 cases, and held in 1,617 or 75% of the cases decided.

The cases which do not proceed to hearing include cases where a decision favourable to the applicant is made prior to the hearing date, cases where the applicant does not attend the hearing, and cases where the applicant withdraws his or her application before the hearing. Favourable decisions on the papers were made in 8% of MRT cases

(including in 15% of skilled visa refusal cases) and in less than 0.1% of RRT cases.

Most hearings are held in person. Video links were used in 18% of hearings. The average duration of MRT hearings was 74 minutes, and the average duration of RRT hearings was 131 minutes. Two or more hearings were held in 14% of RRT cases and in 3% of MRT cases.

INTERPRETERS AT HEARINGS The tribunals aim to identify, implement and promote best practice in interpreting at hearings. High quality interpreting services are fundamental to the work of the tribunals. In 2009-10, the tribunals arranged 9,523 hearings. Interpreters were

required for 61% of MRT hearings and for 86% of RRT hearings, across approximately 90 languages and dialects.

The tribunals have an Interpreter Advisory Group (IAG) which has the primary objective of ensuring that the tribunals have access to a high standard of interpreters. The IAG monitors developments in the use of interpreters and makes recommendations to the Management Board and the Member Professional Development Committee. The IAG

arranges or conducts training for both new and existing members on best practice in working with interpreters, and monitors the standardised languages list.

The IAG has a national membership.The IAG is chaired by Member Philippa McIntosh, and comprises Senior Member Irene O’Connell, Members Paul Fisher and Don Smyth, and five registry officers.

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OUTCOMES OF REVIEW

A written statement of decision and reasons is prepared in each case and provided to both the applicant and the Department.

The MRT set aside or remitted the primary decision in 45% of cases decided and affirmed the primary decision in 36% of cases decided The remaining 19% of cases were either withdrawn by the applicant or were cases where the Tribunal decided it had no jurisdiction to conduct the review.

The RRT set aside or remitted the primary decision in 24% of cases decided and affirmed the primary decision in 71% of cases decided. The remaining 5% of cases were either withdrawn by the applicant or were cases where the Tribunal decided it had no jurisdiction to conduct the review.

The fact that a decision is set aside by the tribunal is not necessarily a reflection on the quality of the primary decision, which may have been correct and reasonable on the information available at the time of the decision. Departmental officers in general make sound decisions across a very large volume of cases and make favourable decisions in the majority of cases.

Applicants for review typically address the issues identified by the primary decision maker by providing submissions and further evidence to the tribunal. By the time of the tribunal's decision, there is often considerable additional information before the tribunal, and there may be court judgments or legislative changes which affect the outcome of the review.

Applicants were represented in 66% of cases before the tribunals. Most commonly, representation was by a registered migration agent. In cases where applicants were represented, the set aside rate was 47% compared with 28% for unrepresented applicants. The difference was most notable for RRT cases where the set aside rate was 34% for represented applicants and 11% for unrepresented applicants. Unrepresented applicants may or may not have sought advice on their prospects of success before applying for review, and fewer than 60% of unrepresented applicants to the RRT attend hearings, compared to almost 90% of applicants who have a representative.

For the MRT, there was also an appreciable difference in outcome for unrepresented applicants. The set aside rate was 50% for represented applicants and 35% for unrepresented applicants.

Set aside rates also vary by gender of the review applicant. For the MRT, the set aside rate was 52% for females and 46% for males. For the RRT, the set aside rate for female review applicants was 26% and the set aside rate for male applicants was 16%.

A total of 326 cases (3% of the cases decided) were referred to the Department during the year for consideration under the Minister’s ministerial intervention guidelines. These cases raised humanitarian or compassionate circumstances which members considered

should be drawn to the attention of the Minister.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

TIMELINESS

The tribunals aim to resolve cases quickly. Members actively manage their caseloads from the time of allocation until decision. Members are expected to identify quickly the relevant issues in a review and the necessary courses of action to enable the review to be conducted as effectively and efficiently as possible. Older cases are reviewed by

Senior Members to assist in minimising unnecessary delays.

Some cases cannot be decided within the relevant time standard.These include cases where hearings need to be rescheduled because of illness or the unavailability of an interpreter, cases where the applicant requests further time to comment or respond to information, cases where new information becomes available, and cases where an assessment or information needs to be obtained from another body or agency.

The number of MRT cases on hand has increased over the last 3 years. During 2009-10, cases on hand increased by 12%. The tribunals have responded by enhancing business intelligence to enable increased batching of cases to improve efficiency, and increasing the days worked by part-time members. Member appointment processes in 2009 and 2010 resulted in the number of full-time members increasing from 6 to 30, and this has effectively increased member resources even though the overall number has

not increased.

As required by section 441A of the Migration Act, the Principal Member provided reports every 4 months to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship for tabling in Parliament in relation to the operation of the 90 day period for RRT reviews. Over the year, 69% of RRT cases were decided within 90 days. The average time to decision was

99 days.The reasons why cases exceeded 90 days included compliance with statutory procedural requirements (58% of cases), further investigations, submission of further material after the hearing, and the postponement or adjournment of hearings.

JUDICIAL REVIEW For persons wishing to challenge a MRT or RRT decision, two avenues of judicial review are available. One is to the Federal Magistrates Court for review under section 476 of the Migration Act. The other is to the High Court pursuant to paragraph 75M of The Constitution. Decision making under the Migration Act remains an area where the level of court scrutiny is very intense and where the same tribunal decision or same legal

point may be upheld or overturned at successive levels of appeal.

The applicant and the Minister are generally the parties to a judicial review of a Tribunal decision. Although frequently joined as a party to proceedings, the tribunals do not take an active role in litigation. As a matter of course, the tribunals enter a submitting appearance, consistently with the principle that an administrative tribunal should generally not be an active party in judicial proceedings challenging its decisions.

In 2009-10 the number and percentage of decisions taken to judicial review decreased in comparison with previous years. Table 3.3 sets out judicial review applications and outcomes in relation to the tribunal decisions made over the last 3 years.

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If a Tribunal decision is set aside or quashed, the court order is usually for the matter to be remitted to the Tribunal to be reconsidered. In such cases, the Tribunal (usually constituted by a different Member) must reconsider the case and make a fresh decision, taking into account the decision of the court and any further evidence or changed circumstances. In about 60% of MRT cases and 32% of RRT cases reconsidered, the tribunal makes a decision favourable to the applicant.

Table 3.3 - Judicial review applications and outcomes as at 31 August 2010

■2009­102008­ 092007­ 082009­ 102008­ 092007­ 08Tribunal decisions 7,58o 5,767 5,217 2,157 2,462 2,318Court applications 242 243 244 508 847 1,090% of Tribunal decisions 3.2% 4.4% 4.7% 23.6% 34-4% 47.0%Applications resolved 165 236 241 299 817 1,090-decision upheld or otherwise resolved109 162150268702 921- set aside by consent or judgment567491 31115169- set aside decisions as % of judicial applications resolved33.9%31.6%37.8% 10.4% 14.1% 15.5%- set aside decisions as % of MRT/RRT decisions made0.7% 1.3%1.7%1.4% 4.7% 7.3%Note: The table above shows the number o f Tribunal decisions made during the reporting period that have been the subject of a judicial review application. The table also includes the judicial review outcome for those cases.The outcome of judicial review applications is reported on completion of all court appeals against a Tribunal decision. Previous years’ figures are affected if a further court appeal is made in relation to a case previously counted as completed.Summaries of some significant judicial decisions since 1 July 2009 are below. These decisions had an impact on the tribunals’ decision making or procedures, or on the operation of judicial review in relation to tribunal decisions.As there are restrictions on identifying applicants for protection visas, letter codes or reference numbers are used by the courts in these cases. Unless stated otherwise, references are to the Migration Act and Migration regulations. The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship is a party in most cases, and “MIAC” is used to identify the Minister in the abbreviated citations provided.RRT-DUTY TO INQUIREThe visa applicant applied for a protection visa on the basis that he feared persecution in Bangladesh by reason of his conversion to the Ahmadiyya faith.Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

In support of his claim to have converted, he supplied certificates, each of which included the address and telephone number of its author. The RRT made an inquiry of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Australia (the Association) as to whether the visa applicant was known to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Bangladesh

(AMJ).The Association advised that the AMJ had informed it that the visa applicant’s name was not in their records and that both certificates were fake and forged. The RRT invited the visa applicant to comment on that information pursuant to section 424A of the Migration Act 1958. In reply, the visa applicant maintained that he was an Ahmadi, however, he could not otherwise prove that to be so.The RRT affirmed the decision not to grant the visa. On appeal, the High Court overturned the decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court that had found that the RRT had unreasonably failed to make further inquiries of the authors of the certificates or the Association. The High Court held there was no factual basis for the conclusion that the failure to inquire constituted a failure to undertake the statutory duty of review or that it was otherwise unreasonable. The Court did indicate however that a failure to make inquiries could, in limited circumstances, constitute jurisdictional error, for example, for failing to conduct a review. [MIAC v SZIAI & Anor [2009] HCA 39]

RRT-INVITING COMMENT ON ADVERSE INFORMATION

The visa applicant applied for a protection visa on the basis of his claimed involvement with Falun Gong. The RRT affirmed the decision to refuse to grant the protection visa. It rejected the visa applicant’s claim that he was a Falun Gong practitioner, based on inconsistencies in his evidence. Prior to the hearing, a tribunal officer recorded a file note of a telephone conversation with a representative from a local Falun Dafa organisation, who confirmed some aspects, but not others, of the visa applicant’s claims. The RRT did not make any findings in relation to the file note. The Federal Magistrates Court on review found the RRT breached section 424A of the Migration Act by not giving the applicant an opportunity to comment on the file

note. On appeal, the High Court rejected this approach, finding that the operation of section 424A depends on the RRT’s “consideration", that is, its opinion, that certain information would be the reason or part of the reason for affirming the decision

under review. There was no evidence or necessary inference in this case that the RRT “considered” or had any opinion about the file note. [MIAC v SZLFX & Anor [2009] HCA 31]

RRT - COMPLIANCE WITH STATUTORY PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS

The visa applicants, a family, applied for protection visas on the basis of the father’s claim to be a refugee. Their application was refused by a delegate of the Minister, and they sought review of that decision by the RRT. In their application for review, the daughter was nominated by the family, in accordance with section 441G of the Migration Act, as the person authorised to receive communications from the

RRT (the authorised recipient).The RRT subsequently sent an invitation to attend a hearing to the visa applicants, addressed to the father and not the authorised recipient.The visa applicants responded to the invitation and each attended the hearing. On appeal, the High Court overturned the decision of the Federal Court that had found that by sending the invitation to the father, and not the authorised

recipient, the tribunal had failed to comply with the Act and such failure was a

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jurisdictional error. The High Court held that despite the detailed prescription of the legislative regime and the use of imperative language, it was an error to conclude that sections 441G and 441A were inviolable restraints conditioning the RRT’s jurisdiction to conduct and decide a review. They were procedural steps designed to

ensure that an applicant for review was able to properly advance his or her case at the hearing; a failure to comply with them requires consideration of whether, in the events that occurred, the applicant was denied natural justice. In the present case, there was no denial of natural justice. [MlAC v SZIZO [2009] HCA 37]

RRT - CONDUCT IN AUSTRALIA OF PROTECTION VISA APPLICANTS

The visa applicants applied for protection visas on the basis of their claimed involvement with Falun Gong. A delegate of the Minister refused the applications and those decisions were subsequently affirmed by the RRT. In each case, the RRT determined that under subsection giR(3) of the Migration Act, it should disregard the visa applicants Falun Gong related activities in Australia when determining whether each applicant had a well founded fear of persecution as such actions were for the purpose of strengthening their claim to be a refugee. The High Court overturned a decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court that found the RRT had erred by taking into account, adversely to the visa applicants, and contrary to

subsection giR(3) of the Act, conduct in which they had engaged in Australia. The High Court held that subsection giRjg) does not require conduct falling within the terms of that provision to be disregarded for all purposes. The conduct, and its motivation, may be taken into account if it would not strengthen the claim to be a

refugee. [MlAC v SZJCV· MIAC v SZJXO [2009] HCA 40]

MRT - ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS FOR SKILLED VISAS

Mr Berenguei applied for Skilled (Residence) (Class VB) visa in April 2008. On his application form he indicated that he had booked an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. After the application had been lodged, he

sat the test and achieved a score sufficient to meet the standard of “competent English”. A delegate of the Minster subsequently refused to grant the visa on the basis that Mr Berenguei did not meet clause 885.213 of Schedule 2 to the Migration Regulations 1994 which appeared under the heading 'Criteria to be satisfied at time of application’ and required visa applicants to have 'vocational English’ or ‘competent English’ as defined in regulations 1.15B and 1.15C.Those regulations require a person to have achieved a specified score, in a test conducted not more than 2 years before the day on which the application was lodged. The delegate found that as the IELTS test result was achieved in a test conducted after the application was made, he did not meet the requirement of having the requisite level of English at time of application. The High Court set aside the delegate’s decision finding that the criterion that “the applicant has competent English”, even if appearing under heading as a “time of application” criterion, can be met if the visa applicant sits a test after the date of application and provides evidence to the Minister or the tribunal of a satisfactory test score. [Berenguei v MIAC [2010] HCA 8]

Mr Grant applied for a temporary skilled visa. He sought to satisfy the English language proficiency requirement in subclause 485.215(c) of Schedule 2 to the Migration Regulations 1994 on the basis that he had arranged and undergone an

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

English language test before he applied for the visa in which he did not achieve the necessary test score. After lodging the visa application, Mr Grant made arrangements to undergo a further test, in which he subsequently achieved the necessary test score. The MRT found that Mr Grant did not satisfy clause 485.215, as he neither demonstrated the necessary English language proficiency at the time the application was made, nor had he made arrangements at that time to undergo

a test. On appeal, the Federal Court overturned the Federal Magistrates Court orders that had set aside the MRT decision.The Federal Court held Mr Grant did not satisfy clause 485.215(c) because he had not "made arrangements to undergo” a relevant language test. Rather he had taken the language test but not achieved the necessary standard of English as required by clause 485.215(b). The fact that he

subsequently proved that he had competent English by the taking of a test at a later time was insufficient. [MIAC v Grant [2009] FCA1059]

RRT - ILLOGICALITY AND IRRATIONALITY IN FACT FINDING

The visa applicant applied for a protection visa on the basis of his claimed homosexuality. He had travelled to and lived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and claimed to have had relationships with two other men.The RRT was not satisfied that he was a homosexual who feared persecution. It found that his return to

Pakistan for three weeks in 2007 and his failure to seek asylum when he briefly visited the United Kingdom in 2006 were inconsistent with a fear of persecution.

On appeal, the High Court set aside the decision of the Federal Court that had found that the RRT's reasoning was illogical and irrational. The High Court held that whilst illogicality or irrationality in jurisdictional fact finding can be a jurisdictional error, the RRT’s decision was not illogical or irrational.The Court held that if reasonable

minds might differ in respect of the conclusions to be drawn from probative evidence, a decision cannot be said to be illogical or irrational or unreasonable, simply because one conclusion has been preferred to another possible conclusion. [MIAC v SZMDS [2010] HCA16]

MRT - PROPER CONSTRUCTION OF CONDITION 8202

Mr Maan’s student visa was granted in March 2007. Prior to 1 July 2007, he received a number of warning notices from his education provider in relation to inadequate course attendance. In September 2007, he was certified as not achieving satisfactory course attendance by his education provider. The MRT found, based upon the education provider’s certification, that mandatory grounds for cancellation existed as the applicant's non-compliance with visa condition 8202 was not due to exceptional circumstances. A Full Court of the Federal Court upheld the Federal

Magistrates Court decision at first instance finding that, after 1 July 2007, it is the certification by the education provider which constitutes non-conformity with the condition. [Maan vMIAC [2009] FCAFC 150]

MRT - AUTOMATIC CANCELLATION OF STUDENT VISAS

Mr Mo and Mr Hossain had been granted student visas to undertake study in Australia. During the course of their studies, their education providers issued both visa holders with a notice under section 20 of the Education fo r Overseas Students Act 2007 {ESOS Act). The notice informed the students that they had been certified

as not achieving satisfactory course progress/attendance for condition 8202(3) of the

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Migration Regulations 1994, and that they had 28 days in which to attend a specified Department of immigration office for the purpose of making any submissions about the breach of condition 8202. Neither responded to the notice, and their visas were automatically cancelled by operation of section 137J of the Migration Act. Mr Mo and Mr Hossain unsuccessfully sought revocation of the automatic visa cancellation. On appeal, the Federal Court held that as the Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations 2001 (ESOS Regulations) did not prescribe a student visa condition for s.2o(i) of the ESOS Act at the relevant time, the notices sent to Mr Mo and Mr Hossain were ineffective for the purpose of section 20 of the ESOS Act and section 137J of the Migration Act. It followed that S.137J did not operate to automatically cancel the visas. [Hossain vMIAC [2010] FCA161; Mo v MIAC [2010] FCA 162]

MRT - DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Ms Muliyana entered Australia on a temporary spouse visa, having applied for a permanent Partner visa. Unknown to her, within days after her arrival her sponsoring husband informed the Department of Immigration that their relationship was not continuing. Shortly thereafter, the parties travelled to India and Ms Muliyana was abandoned by the sponsor. She gave evidence that when she returned to Australia her husband was violent. She subsequently obtained an intervention order against him. The MRT found that Ms Muliyana had suffered domestic violence at the hands of her husband on her most recent return to Australia, but that such violence had occurred after the cessation of the spousal relationship. As it found that paragraph

100.221(4)(c) of Schedule 2 to the Migration Regulations impliedly required the violence to have occurred during the currency of the relationship, it concluded that Ms Muliyana did not meet the criteria for the grant of the visa. On appeal, the Full Court of the Federal Court held that for the domestic violence provisions in

paragraph ioo.22i(4)(c) it matters not when the violence occurred, whether before or after cessation of the spousal relationship, provided it was 'domestic violence’ as defined. [Muliyana v MIAC [2010] FCAFC 24]

MRT - NOTIFICATION OF PRIMARY DECISIONS

Mr Abdul Manaf’s application for a temporary business visa was refused by a delegate of the Minister in August 2007. Notification of that decision was sent by registered post to an address for correspondence provided by Mr Abdul Manaf at the time of visa application. He subsequently advised the Department of

Immigration and Citizenship of a change of address. Shortly thereafter, a further letter enclosing the first notification letter was sent to Mr Abdul Manaf. However, the second notification letter was incorrectly sent to an address that did not

exist. Mr Abdul Manaf later applied for review. The MRT found that it did not have jurisdiction to review the decision because the application had not been made within time. It found that valid notification of the delegate’s decision had occurred with the first notification in August 2007, and that the review application was

not made within the prescribed 21 days. On appeal, the Federal Court overturned the Federal Magistrates Court decision that had found the second notification invalidated the first notification. The Federal Court held that a valid notification of a decision exhausts the Minister’s obligation under section 66 of the Migration Act

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and any further 'notifications’ are of no legal consequence. [MlAC v Abdul Manaf [2009] FCA 963]

Mr Hasan's application for a skilled visa was refused by a delegate of the Minister in October 2008 and notice of that decision was sent to Mr Hasan by email. The decision notification letter advised that “the enclosed brochure ... provides more information about the review processes and where applications for review can be lodged”. The letter itself included the addresses of the New South Wales and Victorian registries of the MRT as places where applications for review could

be lodged. The relevant brochure identified the New South Wales and Victorian registries of the MRT as well as registries of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia but was not in fact enclosed with the letter. Mr Hasan lodged a review application in March 2009, some five months after receipt of the delegate’s decision. In finding the review application was lodged outside the prescribed time period, the MRT was satisfied that the decision notification letter complied with the requirements of section 66 of the Migration Act, including by stating where an application for review could be made. On appeal, the Federal Court held that subparagraph 66(2)(d)(iv) requires the decision notification to include every place at which an application for review may be lodged. Furthermore, the period for giving an application to the MRT will only commence to run when the Minister notifies a person in accordance with sub paragraph 66(2)(d)(iv). [Hasan vMIAC [2010] FCA 375] More recently the Full Court of the Federal Court has concluded that the Act does not require notification of all possible places of lodgement to all potential applicants for review regardless of where they reside. Consideration must be given to the extent and consequences of not listing all possible places of lodgement. Also, lodging a review application prior to the prescribed period commencing did not necessarily result in an invalid review application. [SZOFE vMIAC [2010] FCAFC 79]

RRT-POWER TO OBTAIN INFORMATION

The visa applicant’s application for a protection visa was refused by a delegate of the Minister, and he subsequently sought review of that decision by the RRT. The RRT sent a letter to the visa applicant acknowledging receipt of the application.

The acknowledgment letter stated, “you should ... immediately send us any documents, information or other evidence you want the Tribunal to consider.” The Federal Magistrates Court set aside the subsequent RRT decision concluding that the acknowledgment letter was an invitation to provide additional information

pursuant to section 424 of the Migration Act and, as it did not comply with the requirement in subsection 4248(2) to specify the prescribed period in which to provide the information, the RRT breached section 424. On appeal, the Federal Court found the Federal Magistrate erred in characterising the acknowledgment letter as an invitation under section 424(2). The RRT had other powers under which to say what it did in the acknowledgment letter (sections 415(1) and 424(1)) and the exercise of that power did not contravene any provision of the Act [MIAC v SZNAV

[2009] FCAFC 109].

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SOCIAL JUSTICE A N D EQUITY

The tribunals’ Service Charter expresses our commitment to providing a professional and courteous service to review applicants and other persons with whom we deal.

It sets out general standards for client service covering day to day contact with the tribunals, responding to correspondence, arrangements for attending hearings, the use of interpreters and the use of clear language in decisions. A review of the Service Charter will be finalised in the latter half of 2010. In reviewing the Service Charter, the tribunals have undertaken extensive stakeholder consultation.

Table 3.4 sets out the tribunals’ performance during the year against service standards contained in the Service Charter.

Table 3.4 - Report against service standards

1. Be helpful, prompt and respectful when

we deal with you

New members and staff attend induction training emphasising the importance of providing quality service to clients. A 'building client satisfaction’ course was attended by all staff in both registries. The course focussed on providing positive service outcomes for clients.

Achieved

2. Use language that is clear and easily understood

Clear English is used in correspondence and forms. Staff use professional interpreters to communicate with clients from non-English speaking backgrounds. There is a language register listing staff available to speak to applicants in their language.

Achieved

3. Listen carefully to what you say to us

The tribunals book interpreters for hearings whenever they are requested by applicants. Interpreters were used in 69% of hearings held (61% MRT and 86% RRT) in 2009-10. The tribunals employ staff from diverse backgrounds who speak more than 30 languages. Staff use professional interpreters to communicate with clients from non- English speaking backgrounds. Wherever possible, accredited interpreters are used in hearings.

Achieved

4. Acknowledge applications for review in writing within 2 working days

In 2009-10, an acknowledgement letter was sent within 2 working days of lodgement in more than 98% of cases.

Achieved

5. Include a contact name and telephone number on all our correspondence

All letters include a contact name and telephone number. Achieved

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Service standard Report against sta n d a rd fo r 2 0 0 9 -1 0 Outcom e

6. Help you to understand our procedures

The tribunals provide applicants with information about tribunal procedures at several stages during the review process. The tribunals'website includes a significant amount of information, including forms and factsheets. Case officers are available in the

NSW and Victorian registries to explain procedures over the counter or the telephone. The tribunals provide an email enquiries address applicants can use to seek general information about procedures.

Achieved

7. Provide information about where you can get advice and assistance

The tribunals’ website, Service Charter and application forms provide information about where applicants can get advice and assistance. Factsheet MR2: Immigration Assistance notifies applicants

of organisations and individuals who can provide them with immigration assistance. Factsheet MR4: Multilingual Advice explains in 16 community languages how applicants may contact the Translating and Interpreting Service.

Achieved

8. Engage interpreters for hearings, where required

The tribunals book interpreters for hearings whenever they are requested by applicants. Interpreters were used for 69% of hearings (61% MRT and 86% RRT) in 2009-10.

Achieved

9. Attempt to assist you if you have special needs

The tribunals employ a range of strategies to assist applicants with special needs. Our offices are wheelchair accessible and hearing loops are available for use in hearing rooms. Wherever possible, requests for interpreters of a particular

gender, dialect, ethnicity or religion are met. Hearings can be held by video. A national enquiry number is available from anywhere in Australia (calls are charged at the cost of a local call — not available from mobile telephones). 893 fee

waiver applications were considered, with the $1,400 application fee waived in 496 cases.

Achieved

10. Provide written reasons when we make a decision

In all cases, a written record of decision and the reasons for decision is provided to the review applicant and to the Department.

Achieved

11. Publish and adhere to guidelines relating to the priority to be given to

particular cases

Guidelines relating to the priority to be given to particular cases are published in Principal Member Directions which are available on the tribunals’

website. The tribunals’ Management Board receives reports each month on the numbers of priority cases constituted to Members.

Achieved

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Service standard Report against standard fo r 2 0 0 9 -1 0 O utcom e

12. Publish the time standards within which we aim to complete

reviews

Time standards are set out in Principal Member Direction 1/2009 and are published on the Tribunal website.The tribunals have published an online processing times calculator allowing applicants to get an estimate of the processing time for their application.

Achieved

13. Abide by the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct (staff)

New staff attend induction training, which includes training on the APS Values and the Code of Conduct. Ongoing staff complete refresher training at regular intervals.

Achieved

14. Abide by the Member Code of Conduct (members)

New members attend induction training, which covers the Member Code of Conduct. All members complete annual conflict of interest declaration forms and undergo performance appraisals by

Senior Members.

Achieved

The tribunals are particularly conscious that a high proportion of clients have a language other than English as their first language. Clear language in letters and forms and the availability of staff to assist applicants are important to ensuring that applicants understand their rights and our procedures and processes.

The tribunals’ website is a significant information resource for applicants and others interested in the work of the tribunals. The publications and forms available on the website are regularly reviewed to ensure that information and advice are up-to-date and readily understood by clients. The Service Charter is available on the website, along with the Tribunals’ Plan, the Member Code of Conduct, the Interpreters’ Handbook and Principal Member Directions relating to the conduct of reviews. The new'Information

for Representatives’ webpage is specifically aimed at supporting representatives, bringing together most often used resources and information. A new Frequently Asked Questions page answers representatives’ most commonly asked questions.

The tribunals value our relations with stakeholders in the community and hold regular community liaison meetings. Our Stakeholder Engagement Plan 2010-11 sets out how we seek to involve stakeholders and to understand stakeholders’ perspectives.

The tribunals have offices in Sydney and Melbourne which are open between 8.30am and 5pm on working days.The tribunals have an arrangement with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (the AAT) for documents to be lodged and for hearings to be held at AAT offices in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.The tribunals also have a national enquiry number -1300 361 969 - available from anywhere in Australia (calls are charged at the cost of a local call - not available from mobile telephones). Persons who need the assistance of an interpreter can contact the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450 for the cost of a local call.

The tribunals have a Disability Action Plan and Workplace Diversity Program. Further information about these strategies and plans is set out in Part 4.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

COMPLAINTS

As outlined above, the tribunals’ Service Charter sets out the standards of service that clients can expect. It also sets out how clients can comment on or complain about the services provided by the tribunals. The Service Charter is available on th e ‘complaints and compliments’ page on the tribunals’ website.

A person who is dissatisfied with how the tribunals have dealt with a matter or with the standard of service they have received, and who has not been able to resolve this by contacting the office or the officer dealing with their case, can forward a

written complaint marked ‘confidential’ to the Complaints Officer. A complaints and compliments button on the homepage of the tribunals'website makes it easier for clients to make a complaint.

Alternatively, a person can make a complaint to the Commonwealth Ombudsman, although, as a general rule, the Ombudsman will not investigate complaints until they have been raised with the relevant agency.

The tribunals will acknowledge receipt of a complaint within 5 working days. A senior officer will investigate the complaint and aim to provide a written response to the complaint within 20 working days of receipt of the complaint. 100% of complaints dealt with in 2009-10 were responded to within 20 working days.

Table 3.5 sets out the number of complaints finalised over the last 3 years.

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Table 3.5 - Complaints

MIGRATION REVIEW TRIBUNAL

Complaints resolved 18 21 19

Cases decided 7,580 5,767 5,219

Complaints per 1,000 cases 2.4 3.6 3.6

REFUGEE REVIEW TRIBUNAL

Complaints resolved 4 10 9

Cases decided 2457 2,462 2,318

Complaints per 1,000 cases 1.9 4 3-9

The majority of complaints related to the conduct of the review process. Others were about the timeliness of the review or the decision. Following investigation, the tribunals formed the view that 27% of the complaints made during the year related to matters that could have been handled more appropriately. The tribunals respond to specific issues raised in complaints and also consider changes to procedures and training and development needs. Set out below are summaries of 5 of the complaints upheld in 2009-10:

Case 1 - The applicant claimed that it had been two years since the application was lodged and almost one year since the hearing was conducted and that the member had not yet made a decision, which was an unreasonably long time. The delay was acknowledged and the member gave an undertaking to make a decision or write to the applicant before the end of the month.

Case 2 -The applicant claimed that during the hearing, the member said that if he was thinking of making an unfavourable decision, he would give the applicant an opportunity to comment on the reasons for that decision. The member made an

unfavourable decision without giving the applicant an opportunity to comment.

An apology» was given to the applicant and the member's decision vacated.

Case 3 -The applicant claimed that there had been a significant delay in determining whether amendments in relation to the health criteria were applicable to the secondary review applicant.The member made a decision that the public interest criterion was applicable to the secondary review applicant.

Case 4 -The applicant felt the member demonstrated bias and the member’s manner was aggressive, adversarial and intimidating. An «apology» was made regarding the member’s conduct and the case was reconstituted to a different member.

Case 5 -The interpreter raised concerns regarding the member’s treatment of her during a hearing. An «apology» was made.

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Table 3.6 sets out the complaints made to the Commonwealth Ombudsman over the last 3 years and the outcomes of the complaints resolved.

Table 3.6 - Complaints to the Commonwealth Ombudsman

New complaints 19 28 31

Complaints resolved 18 32 28

Administrative deficiency found 0 1 2

MIGRATION AGENTS

More than 66% of applicants were represented in relation to their review application. With limited exceptions, a person acting as a representative is required to be a registered migration agent. Registered migration agents are required to conduct themselves in accordance with a code of conduct. The tribunals referred 6 matters to the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) during 2009-10 relating to the conduct of migration agents. OMARA is responsible for the registration of migration agents, monitoring the conduct of registered migration agents and investigating complaints and taking appropriate disciplinary action against registered migration agents who breach the code of conduct or behave in an unprofessional or unethical way.

C O M M U N IT Y A N D INTERAGENCY LIAISON

The tribunals hold regular community liaison meetings to provide a forum for the tribunals to meet, exchange information and consult with interested stakeholders. Representatives who attend the meetings are from migration and refugee advocacy

groups, migration agents associations, human rights bodies and other government agencies. The aim of the meetings is to facilitate the distribution and exchange of information in relation to the tribunals’ procedures and caseloads, to provide participants with updates on relevant developments and to consult with them

regarding these matters.

The tribunals place great importance on maintaining regular contact with key stakeholders in migration, refugee and advocate organisations. With the aim of providing better access to justice, the tribunals’ Stakeholder Engagement Plan was developed in May 2010 and is available on the tribunals’ website. The Stakeholder Engagement Plan sets out how the tribunals will engage with stakeholders and the

engagement activities planned for 2010-11 and beyond.

Reflecting the value the tribunals place on networking with like organisations, members and senior officers of the tribunals continued an active participation in several bodies concerned with the operations of tribunals, including the national and state chapters of the Council of Australasian Tribunals, the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration (AIJA), the Australian Institute of Administrative Law (AIAL) and the International Association of Refugee Law Judges (IARU).

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The tribunals hold regular high level and local liaison meetings with the Department to discuss policy, operational and general business issues. The agencies also have ongoing daily operational contact. A Memorandum of Understanding with the Department reflects the statutory and operational relationships between the agencies and is available on the tribunals’ website.

In August 2009, the Principal Member delivered a speech on controlling migration litigation to the National Administrative Law Forum, Canberra (now published in AIAL Forum, No. 63 (September 2010)). In February 2010, tribunal members attended the Australian Chapter Regional Conference of the IARLJ. The Principal Member delivered a

speech on Credibility, Bad Faith Claims and s.giR(3) at this conference.

MAJOR REVIEWS

There were no major reviews in 2009-10.

SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN THE NATURE OF FUNCTIONS OR SERVICES

Significant reforms are being made to the Freedom o f Information Act ig82 with the passage of the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 and the Freedom of Information Amendment (Reform) Act 2010. The first tranche of reforms come into force on 1 November 2010.The tribunals have developed an implementation plan for the

reforms which will shape the way the tribunals process requests and affect the kinds of information the tribunals publish.

DEVELOPMENTS SINCE THE END OF THE YEAR

There have been no significant developments since the end of the year.

5 0 Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Case studies

The following case studies provide an insight into the range of matters which come before the tribunals.

M RT - ORPHAN RELATIVE - UNDER 18 AT TIME OF APPLICATION -S E T ASIDE

The visa applicant was a citizen of Afghanistan residing in Pakistan. He claimed that his date of birth was i January 1990, and that he was 17 years old at the time of application. He claimed that his parents had died and that, apart from the sponsor, he did not know the location of any of his siblings. The sponsor, who is the visa applicant’s brother, was

born in 1975 and arrived in Australia by boat in 2000.

The delegate refused the application as he was not satisfied that the visa applicant was aged under 18 years of age at the time of application. He noted that in Afghanistan tazkeras (identity documents) are often issued based on the information provided by the person requesting the document, and he suggested that such documents should be supported by other evidence. The delegate also noted that the sponsor had previously given the visa applicant’s date of birth as 1981, which would have made him almost 30 at the time of application.

On review, the tribunal took evidence from the sponsor, the visa applicant, and several witnesses.The review applicant submitted that, at his arrival interview at Port Headland, he had provided the Department with incorrect dates of birth for his family members as he did not know their dates of birth, and he was not permitted to write “ unknown”. The sponsor also provided a photograph of the visa applicant with their family taken in 2006, in which the visa applicant appeared to be roughly 15 or 16.

The MRT found the sponsor to be an honest and credible witness. The MRT had regard to the photograph provided, as well as independent country information which confirmed that age in Afghanistan is of little significance, and many people do not know their age. The MRT accepted that the visa applicant was the brother of the review

applicant, and that he was under 18 years of age at the time of application.

MRT - PARTNER VISA - AFFIRMED

The visa applicant was born in Turkey and arrived in Australia in 2005 working as a cook on a ship. When the ship departed, he remained in Australia and sought assistance from acquaintances he had met at a Turkish restaurant while in Australia. The visa applicant

claimed he stayed because Australia is "a much better and more beautiful country”, and because of its human rights record. The applicant claimed that he subsequently met his sponsor and moved in with her and her son, and that they married in March 2006. The delegate refused the application as he was not satisfied that the parties had a mutual commitment to a shared life as husband and wife to the exclusion of all others or that the relationship between them was genuine and continuing.The applicant sought

review of the delegate’s decision and the tribunal affirmed the delegate’s decision in August 2008. The applicant sought review of the tribunal’s decision and in April 2009

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the Federal Magistrates Court set aside the decision and remitted the matter to the tribunal.

Before the tribunal, differently constituted, inconsistencies in the applicant’s and the sponsor's evidence included: the sponsor provided a different current address to the one given by the visa applicant; she provided a different wedding date; a different place where the wedding ceremony was conducted and a different celebration following the wedding; and she said that his father was alive and had sent gifts to her and her son.

However, the applicant gave evidence that his father had died in 1989.

Based on these and many other inconsistencies in the evidence provided by the parties, the tribunal was not satisfied that the applicant lived or had lived with the sponsor and her son and, therefore, the tribunal was not satisfied that the applicant and sponsor were in a long standing relationship. Accordingly, the Tribunal found that the parties did

not have a mutual commitment to a shared life as husband and wife to the exclusion of all others.

MRT - R EM A IN IN G RELATIVE - SET ASIDE

The applicant claimed that she was divorced and that apart from her two children, all of her family members were residents of Australia. The applicant submitted a copy of court documents relating to her divorce from her former husband, as well as evidence that a court had awarded custody of her two children to her, and had formally stated that she was able to take them out of Fiji. She claimed that her husband had become abusive, which led to her deciding to live alone with her two children on a property owned by her parents. A subsequent site visit led to Department of Immigration officers surmising that, based on information provided by her neighbours, the applicant was still living with her divorced spouse. The applicant claimed that her former husband did not reside at the property after the separation, though he had occasionally gone there to see his children, and that the neighbours had seen him visiting the premises and wrongly concluded that he was residing there.

The tribunal accepted the documents which were submitted in support of the applicant’s claims, and noted that none of the neighbours mentioned in the Departmental report were named. It found that it was plausible that these neighbours merely assumed that the applicant’s husband resided with her because they had seen him when he had visited the house to see his children. In these circumstances, the tribunal decided that it should not give greater weight to the report quoting three

unnamed neighbours than to the written evidence submitted to the tribunal and the oral evidence of the applicant. The tribunal found that the applicant was not living with her former husband, and that she did not have a spouse within the meaning of the term given in the regulations at the time of application, and that she did not have a spouse at the time of decision. The tribunal accepted that the applicant’s siblings and both of her parents were Australian citizens, and that her only other close relatives were her two children who were both dependent upon her and were wholly or substantially in her daily care and control. The tribunal found that the applicant had no near relatives other than near relatives who were usually resident in Australia and Australian citizens, and therefore, that the provisions for the grant of the visa were satisfied.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

M RT - STUDENT - CANCELLATION - WORK RESTRICTIONS - AFFIRMED

The visa applicant was a Bangladeshi national who was granted a Subclass 572 Vocational Education and Training Sector visa in June 2006. In January 2010, the Department received an allegation that the applicant was working as a taxi driver for up to 70 hours per week. The applicant was interviewed by the Department and he

stated that he earned $ΐ2θο-$ι6οο working 20 hours per week. The Department issued a written notice of intention to consider cancellation of the applicant’s visa, which stated that his logon/logoff times with the taxi company indicated that he had worked a total of 21 hours 25 minutes during a specified work period. As a result, he may have breached condition 8104 (maximum 20 hours work per week) of his student visa.

The applicant explained that he had exceeded the 20 hour lim it in the specified week because he had picked up two passengers late in his shift. One of the passengers wanted to travel to one suburb and the second wished to travel to another, around 15 kilometres away. Although the second passenger refused to pay the taxi fare, he

insisted that the applicant drive him home. As a result, the applicant arrived at the taxi station to log off from his shift almost an hour late and he did not receive a fare on his return journey to the taxi station.

At the tribunal hearing, the applicant conceded that he had worked in excess of 20 hours in the specified week. Accordingly, the tribunal found that he had not complied with condition 8104, which limits work to 20 hours in any one week, and was satisfied

that a ground existed for cancellation of his Subclass 572 visa.

The tribunal noted the applicant's claimed obligation to only log off after handover had been completed in the interests of driver safety. In this context, the tribunal considered that the applicant’s obligation to log on and off, and to complete a handover, could fairly be described as "work”. As a result, the tribunal did not accept that the fact that the applicant did not receive a fare on his return journey to the taxi station, or that he did not have a passenger, changed the nature of the activity undertaken by him. The applicant indicated to the tribunal that he understood the requirements of condition 8104. Accordingly, given that it was up to the applicant which jobs he accepted as a taxi driver, the tribunal observed that he retained a measure of control over his work to achieve both compliance with condition 8104, and the relevant driver safety guidelines applicable to him as a taxi driver. The tribunal was satisfied that the applicant had not complied with condition 8104 and therefore, the tribunal affirmed the decision under

review to cancel his visa.

M RT - STUDENT - REFUSAL - SET ASIDE The applicant was a Nigerian male who arrived in Australia as the holder of a Subclass 442 (Occupational Trainee) visa in 2007. He said that he arrived in Australia in February 2007 and began studying at the Holy Spirit Seminary in Brisbane. He left that institution in December 2007 after he was asked to undergo a psychological assessment, which all students undergo to find out whether they are suitable for the

priesthood. He stated that he had had a relationship with a woman in about May 2007 which lasted for about three to four months. He did not agree with the assessment that

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found he was unsuitable; he thought that the assessors had not considered cultural issues and the totality of his personal development.

In February 2008, the applicant lodged an application for a Subclass 573 student visa.The delegate refused the application as the applicant failed to provide evidence of exceptional circumstances for the visa grant. Departmental policy states that exceptional reasons may include, but are not limited to, that the visa grant would improve bilateral relations or provide significant economic benefits to Australia.

The applicant was enrolled in a Bachelor of Theology at Sydney College of Divinity which was due to end in late 2011. He said that he hoped to complete his degree in theology and then study to become a priest in Australia. He stated that, as well as attending classes for his bachelor’s degree in theology, he participated in church functions and was involved in volunteer work with St Vincent de Paul. He also claimed that as a priest he would be “of immense benefit to the church in Australia, because at the moment there is a shortage of priests, and lack of vocations towards the priesthood”.

The tribunal took into account the fact that the applicant had been studying in Australia since his arrival in 2007 and noted that he had not failed any subjects and had satisfied all course requirements to date.The tribunal considered country information which indicated that there was a long-standing shortage of Catholic Priests in Australia and that this shortage was likely to continue in spite of a recent increase in the number of men entering seminaries and being ordained. The tribunal accepted that the applicant intended, if accepted, to enter a seminary and prepare for the priesthood. The tribunal accepted evidence provided by a priest which indicated his confidence in the

applicant’s ability to continue with his studies. The tribunal was, therefore, of the view that, should the applicant succeed in being ordained as a Catholic priest in Australia, that would benefit Australia. On this basis, the Tribunal found that exceptional reasons did exist for the grant of a Subclass 573 visa.

M RT - SKILLED - CHEF - SET ASIDE The visa applicant applied for a Temporary Business Entry (Class UC) visa on the basis of his proposed employment in Australia as a chef. Australian Embassy staff conducted a site visit to the New Great Wall Hotel, Fuqing, China to interview the visa applicant and test his claims. Embassy staff confirmed that the visa applicant was on the kitchen staff of the Hotel but that he was not the chef in charge. Based on this information, the delegate refused to grant the visa as the delegate was not satisfied that the visa

applicant had the employment background and personal attributes relevant to the nominated occupation. The review applicant (the visa applicant’s sponsor and proposed employer) applied to the tribunal for review of this decision.

At the tribunal hearing, the review applicant claimed that, while the visa applicant was not the chef in charge of all kitchen staff at the hotel, he was a senior chef and was in charge of the kitchen responsible for the third floor of the Hotel’s restaurant, which held up to 300 patrons during busy times. The visa applicant was also in charge of 10-20 kitchen staff. The review applicant stated that the visa applicant carried out the list of responsibilities in his current position as a chef, as set out by ASCO, including the preparation of menus (in consultation with the chef-in-charge), the supervision

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

and training of staff and the requisitioning (but not the actual purchase) of the food and ingredients required for the kitchen. The review applicant stated that, if the visa applicant was granted the visa, he would be a chef responsible for one of the review applicant’s five restaurants.

The tribunal noted the Embassy staff’s reservations relating to the applicant’s relative seniority and responsibilities and whether these were consistent with the A5CO requirements for the position of chef. The tribunal took into account their report and

conclusions, but also attached substantial weight to the review applicant’s evidence, given his first hand knowledge and his commitment to appoint the visa applicant as a chef responsible for one of his five restaurants. Based on the evidence, the Tribunal was satisfied that the visa applicant had the skills necessary to perform the nominated occupation of Chef and the tribunal set aside the decision under review.

RRT - C H IN A - UIG H U R - SET ASIDE

The applicant, a Chinese citizen of Uighur ethnicity, travelled to Australia on a student visa and applied for a protection visa shortly thereafter. She claimed she had been discriminated against and verbally abused at school because of her Uighur ethnicity, and that she and other Uighurs were «forced» to go to university in inner China in order to assist the cultural assimilation of the Uighur people. The applicant claimed her house was raided by Chinese authorities and that she was abused and accused of possessing

separatist material such as CDs and books, and that she was subsequently detained for two weeks.

The applicant also claimed that there was widespread discrimination against Uighurs, and that many Uighurs were killed during the major protests in Urumqi in July 2009, including the son of her neighbour. She claimed that a few days after the protests, she was physically assaulted by a group of Han Chinese men who hit her and caused her

nose to bleed. The applicant claimed that she had to pay a bribe to obtain her passport to come to Australia, and she was only allowed to leave because she was not listed as a political criminal. She claimed that if she was «forced» to return to China, she would be questioned and detained.

The RRT accepted the claims made by the applicant. It found that the incidents involving discrimination did not constitute persecution and it noted that the applicant had been able to undertake secondary and tertiary education in China. However, the tribunal found that the arrest, abusive questioning and detention of the applicant amounted to serious harm involving systematic and discriminatory conduct by state

authorities, and that the attack on her by a group of Han Chinese men was a targeted discriminatory act of harm by members of the Han Chinese community. The tribunal therefore found that the various incidents of mistreatment cumulatively amounted to persecution for reasons of the applicant’s Uighur ethnicity.

RRT - FIJI - NO CONVENTION GROUNDS - AFFIRMED

The applicant claimed that he was a civil servant working for the Fijian government and that he came to Australia to visit his wife. He claimed that he had been told that his employment had been terminated because he had not returned to Fiji on time and

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that there would be no work if he went back. He claimed that because he worked as a civil servant there may be repercussions from the military on his return, and that others had been taken into custody and later released.The applicant claimed that some companions in Fiji had told him to be careful because others who came back had been “ nabbed" and that if he was «forced» to return, he would be taken to the barracks where people are physically abused, interrogated and questioned.

In making its decision, the RRT accepted that the applicant may be unable to return to his former employment. However, it was of the view that this was because he had overstayed his authorised leave and not for any other reason proposed by the applicant. The tribunal also accepted that it might be difficult for the applicant to find other employment in the future due to the generally difficult situation in Fiji, the

high cost of living and the reduced salaries, but it did not accept that these difficulties amounted to serious harm, nor that such harm was essentially and significantly for a convention reason.

The RRT noted that the applicant had not claimed to have ever engaged in any political activities, nor any activities that could be perceived as being political or against the regime, and it did not accept that he had any intention of doing so in the future. The tribunal was therefore not satisfied that there was a real chance that the applicant would be seriously harmed by the authorities either because of his travel to Australia, his past civil service position, or a combination of the two reasons.

RRT - LEBANESE - HOMOSEXUAL - SET ASIDE

The applicant was a Lebanese male from a “committed and conservative” Muslim family who worked as a “ men’s barber” for seven years. He claimed he “suffered a lot”, because he lived in an "oppressive society that does not understand the meaning of homosexuality” and that even uttering the word (homosexuality), could result in one’s death. When the applicant came to Australia to visit his uncle for three months, he asked his uncle in an indirect way about “ nightclubs for men”. He further claimed that one day, when the applicant's aunt was washing his clothes, she found an “entry ticket” in his pocket and reported this to his uncle. He said “All hell broke loose” and

his uncle told his father, then he threw him out of the house and threatened him. The applicant called an old friend he knew from Lebanon who took him to a police station for his “ protection”. He claimed that he contacted his parents and they were very hostile toward him. He stated that if he were to go back to Lebanon, which his relatives wanted

him to do, his family would “slit” his throat.

The RRT accepted that the applicant was a practising homosexual in Lebanon and was involved in a long-term same-sex relationship. It also accepted that members of his family are conservative and religious. The tribunal accepted that the applicant lived a clandestine life as a homosexual and was not able freely to practise or express his sexuality due to his fear of his family. Country information indicated that while Lebanon tends to be more accepting of homosexuals than other Arab countries and there have

been improvements in the treatment of cases involving homosexuals by the police, discrimination and harassment persists. It noted that homosexuals in Lebanon are likely to face physical violence, rape, blackmail and verbal abuse in the street, and noted reports of homosexuals receiving death threats from members of their own families

5 6

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

and being «forced» to marry. Accordingly, the Tribunal was satisfied that there was a real chance that the applicant would face significant harassment, serious physical harm or imprisonment in Lebanon and that these acts could be committed by members of his family, the public or the authorities. The tribunal was satisfied that such treatment would amount to serious harm and that the harm he feared involved systematic and discriminatory conduct, in that it was deliberate or intentional and involves selective

harassment for a Convention reason. The tribunal was not satisfied that the applicant could avoid the persecution he feared by internally relocating within Lebanon. The RRT was satisfied that the applicant was a person to whom Australia had protection obligations under the Refugees Convention.

RRT - SRI LANKA - TAMIL - AFFIRMED

The applicant was a Sri Lankan Tamil whose daughter was also included in her protection application. The applicant claimed that when she was young, the Sri Lankan Army had brought tanks and heavy artillery in front of her school. She said that in the 1980s, she and her father had been on a bus when they saw Sri Lankan Army soldiers shooting at people and that one of her relatives had been killed. In the mid-1980s, Sri Lankan Army soldiers had cordoned off their area and had blown up their relative's

house and had shot and killed some people.The applicant also said that in the late 1980s, her father had died during shelling by the army and their house had been damaged. She said that her husband had been arrested by the army and tortured before being released. She confirmed that they had been living in another country since 2000 and that they had visited Sri Lanka on four occasions since then.

Having regard to the applicant’s return to Sri Lanka on four occasions between 2000 and 2009 and to the fact that she did not apply for refugee status in the country she had been residing in, the tribunal did not accept that the applicant was telling the truth about the problems she claimed they had had when they were living in Colombo or at the airport on a return visit. The tribunal gave greater weight to the view it had formed

of the applicant’s credibility than to the evidence that when the applicant returned to Sri Lanka in 2006 she was arrested, detained and severely tortured because she was accused of being an LTTE supporter.The applicant claimed that she would have no protection there but the tribunal considered that if she was able to live in Colombo for

many years at the height of the civil war, she could return to Colombo now that the war was over. The tribunal did not accept that there was a real chance that the applicant or her daughter would be abducted, raped, tortured or killed by elements of the Sri Lankan security forces or paramilitary groups if they were to return to Colombo now or in the

reasonably foreseeable future.

The tribunal also did not accept that there was a real chance that the applicant or her daughter would be arrested, detained, mistreated or tortured for reasons of their race or because they were returning from abroad. Accordingly, the tribunal did not accept that either the applicant or her daughter had a well-founded fear of being persecuted for a Convention reason and it was not satisfied that either the applicant or her daughter was a person to whom Australia had protection obligations under the

Refugees Convention.

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RRT - ZIMBABWE - M IX E D RACE - SET ASIDE

The primary applicant was a citizen of Zimbabwe and a single mother. The secondary applicant was her teenage son. The applicant travelled to Australia on a temporary visa as she wished to seek refuge in Australia for herself and her son from the political unrest and instability in Zimbabwe. She claimed that it had become unsafe

in Zimbabwe for them as they had been continually harassed by the military for not supporting the ruling party. The delegate refused the visa application and the applicants applied for a review of the delegate’s decision.

The primary applicant explained at a hearing that as a mixed race person, she is described in Zimbabwe as "coloured”. She said she grew up speaking English and is not conversant with the official languages of Shona and Ndebele which the black people speak. She stated that she was a member of the MDC party. However, for her own safety, she also had a ZANU-PF membership card. She described an incident when a group of militia broke into her house as a consequence of her failure to attend a particular ZANU-PF meeting. She also outlined several other instances of harassment and abuse she and her son had been subject to in recent years.

The RRT accepted that the primary applicant was a MDC supporter and it found her evidence about the break-in straightforward and consistent. It accepted that the incident occurred in the way she described and as a consequence of her non-attendance at a ZANU-PF rally. The RRT accepted that this incident constituted significant physical harassment and noted that the applicants’ experience of abuse and harassment could cumulatively be said to amount to persecution involving systematic and discriminatory conduct.

The RRT referred to country information indicating that “coloured” people in Zimbabwe remain on the side-lines politically, socially and economically. It found that the essential and significant reason for the persecution the applicants suffered was race as "coloured” people or for their imputed political opinion. Accordingly, the tribunal was satisfied that the applicants were persons to whom Australia had protection obligations under the

Refugees Convention.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

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PART 4

Part 4 - Management and accountability The tribunals’ policies, practices and structure have been designed with sound corporate governance principles in mind. This Part sets out what the tribunals have done to ensure that appropriate management and planning processes are in place.

SENIOR M ANA G EM ENT Mr Denis O'Brien is the Principal Member of the tribunals. He was appointed from 3 September 2007 for a term to 30 June 2012.

Sections 397 and 460 of the Migration Act 1958 provide that the Principal Member is 'the executive officer’ of the tribunals and is responsible for their overall operation and administration, including‘monitoring the operations’ of the tribunals ‘to ensure that those operations are as fair, just, economical, informal and quick as practicable'. Sections 353A and 420A provide that the Principal Member may give written directions as to the operation of the tribunals and the conduct of reviews by the tribunals.

Ms Amanda MacDonald was appointed as the Deputy Principal Member of the MRT and RRT from 1 April 2010.The Deputy Principal Member's responsibilities include conducting the members’ professional development program and the tribunals’ community liaison arrangements.

Senior Members of the tribunals provide leadership and guidance to members.

The Senior Members are Ms Linda Kirk (Vic), Mr Peter Murphy (Vic), Dr Irene O'Connell (NSW), Mr Giles Short (NSW) and Mr John Cipolla (Acting) (NSW).

Sections 407 and 472 of the Act provide that the Registrar, the Deputy Registrar and other officers of the tribunals have such duties, powers and functions as are provided by the legislation, and such other duties and functions as the Principal Member directs. Mr Rhys Jones is the acting Registrar and Ms Hilary Lovibond is the acting Deputy Registrar.

As at 1 July 2010, the governance framework for the tribunals was as follows:

• A Management Board, consisting of the Principal Member, the Deputy Principal Member, the Registrar and the Senior Members. The Board meets monthly.

• A Senior Management Group (SMG), comprising the Registrar, the Deputy Registrar and the Executive Level 2 managers. The SMG meets monthly and deals with management and planning issues.

• The Registrar is the general manager of the tribunals’ operations and also the chief financial officer. He is assisted by the Deputy Registrar.

• An Audit and Risk Management Committee oversees the engagement and work program of the tribunals’ internal auditors and considers issues relating to risk management.

6 o Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

The M anagem ent Board. From left to right, standing, Senior M em ber Peter Murphy, Principal M em ber Denis O'Brien, Senior M em ber Irene O’Connell, acting Registrar Rhys Jones, Senior M em ber Giles Short, and seated, Deputy Principal M em ber Amanda MacDonald, acting Senior M ember Kira Raif and Senior Member Linda Kirk. Acting Senior M ember John Cipolla was on leave at the tim e th e photograph was taken.

CORPORATE A N D OPERATIONAL PLANS

The operations of the tribunals are funded through annual appropriations made by the Australian Parliament. Portfolio Budget Statements are prepared bi-annually and set out the proposed appropriations to Government outcomes.The budget statements state that the MRT-RRT is expected to provide visa applicants and sponsors with independent, fair, just, economical, informal and quick reviews of migration and refugee decisions.The

budget statements include performance indicators, and a report against them is set out in Part 3 of this Report.

The Tribunals’ Plan 2ooj-20io states that we want to be known for being highly competent tribunals delivering fair, just and timely reviews, for our fairness and professionalism, for the quality, integrity and consistency of our decisions, and for being courteous and respectful. The Plan is available on the tribunals’ website.

The tribunals’ caseload and constitution arrangements are set out annually in a Principal Member Direction. It sets out operational strategies which take into account current and anticipated caseloads and the priorities to be given to cases. All Principal Member Directions are available on the tribunals’ website.

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ETHICAL STANDARDS

Members are required to act in accordance with a Member Code of Conduct and staff are required to act in accordance with the Australian Public Service (APS) Values and APS Code of Conduct.

All members of the tribunals sign a performance agreement. The agreement requires that a member will act in accordance with the principles set out in the Member Code of Conduct. The Code provides that members should behave with integrity, propriety and discretion, and should treat applicants, representatives, interpreters and other persons with respect, courtesy and dignity. The Member Code of Conduct is available on the tribunals'website.

RISK MANAGEMENT

The tribunals are committed to identifying and managing strategic and operational risks through strategic, business, internal audit, fraud control, security, procurement and project plans, and through guidelines, procedures and insurance arrangements. The

tribunals conduct formal risk assessments as part of the development or review of plans and in relation to significant procurements or projects.The tribunals approach is guided by the Australia and New Zealand Risk Management Standard (AS/NZS 4360:2004)

and risk management is a standing agenda item for monthly Management Board meetings. The tribunals’ executive and senior members and managers are responsible for promoting risk management strategies and practices and for ensuring that all members and staff understand those strategies and practices and their responsibilities

in relation to understanding, identifying and managing risk.

The tribunals have in place an audit and risk management framework including an Audit and Risk Management Committee (ARMC) comprising senior tribunal management, representatives from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) and representatives from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, in their capacity as the provider of

internal audit services to the tribunals. The role o f the ARMC is to consider matters that it deems appropriate and which relate to the financial affairs and risk management issues of the tribunals and matters referred to it by the Management Board. The tribunals’ audit and risk management framework has recently been strengthened by the appointment of an independent audit chair with extensive public sector audit experience.

During the year, the tribunals' Internal Auditors concluded a Fraud Risk Assessment resulting in the development of a Fraud Risk Management Action Plan and update of the Fraud Control Plan detailing the tribunals' strategic approach to fraud prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution in accordance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines. Annual fraud data is also collected and reported to the Attorney-General’s Department. The following certification is provided:

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

I, Denis O'Brien, certify that I am satisfied that for the financial year 2009-10, the Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal have had:

• appropriate fraud risk assessments and a fraud control plan prepared that comply with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines;

• appropriate fraud prevention, detection, investigation and reporting procedures and processes in place; and

• annual fraud data that has been collected and reported in compliance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines.

Denis O’Brien Principal Member September 2010

During the year, the Internal Auditors also completed a triennial Business Risk Assessment which included a review of the tribunals' business risk profile. This assessment forms the basis for the development of a new three year Internal Audit Plan (2010-2013).

The tribunals’ business continuity plan is supported by memoranda of understanding with the Department and with other federal merits review tribunals (the AAT, the SSAT and the VRB) to provide assistance to each other in the event of a disruption to services or facilities.

The tribunals are subject to external scrutiny through the publication of decisions and country advice, judicial review by the courts, Annual Reports to Parliament, appearances before Parliamentary Committees, complaints to and enquiries by the Commonwealth Ombudsman and reports and enquiries by the AN AO and other bodies. The tribunals interact with agencies including the ANAO on compliance issues, and closely monitor Parliamentary Committee reports and other reports across the public sector.

Section 440A of the Migration Act requires the Principal Member to give the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship a report every 4 months on the conduct of RRT reviews not completed within 90 days and requires the Minister to table these reports in

Parliament in a specified period.

Whole of Government reforms The tribunals undertook a range of activities in relation to whole of government reforms during the year. Extensive work was undertaken in relation to the Information and Communications Technology Review (the ICT review). The work included identifying savings proposals, developing reinvestment proposals, identifying quick green wins

in areas such as energy use and meeting the detailed ICT reporting requirements. Preliminary work was also done in relation to the «adoption» of the P3M3™ methodology for assessing agency capability.

EXTERNAL SCRUTINY

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In relation to whole of government procurement arrangements, the tribunals:

• have joined the Microsoft Volume Sourcing Agreement;

• have procured replacement desktop computers through interim whole of government arrangements co-ordinated by the Australian Government Information Management Office and the Department of Defence;

• have taken the first steps towards participation in the internet gateway reduction process;

• are included in a cluster arrangement covering travel with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship; and

• are intending to utilise the telecommunications arrangements once the framework is settled.

Consistently with the new Commonwealth Property Management Guidelines, the tribunals have provided detailed data for the Australian Government Property Data Collection (PRODAC) and are developing a property management policy.

In May 2010 the Government announced that it accepted all of the recommendations in Ahead o f the Came: Blueprint fo r Reform o f Australian Government Administration.

The Blueprint outlines a comprehensive reform agenda for the APS. Four broad areas are identified (meeting the needs of citizens, providing strong leadership and strategic direction, a highly capable workforce and operating efficiently and at a consistently high standard) with 28 specific recommendations.

External scrutiny Between 2005 and 2007, the ANAO conducted a detailed performance audit on the management of the tribunals' operations. The report of the audit was tabled in Parliament on 14 June 2 0 0 7 -Audit Report N0.44 of 2006-07: Management of Tribunal Operations - Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal. The report concluded that the tribunals’ operations were effectively managed, that the tribunals had successfully implemented a series of proposals to achieve operational efficiencies, and that the tribunals had established sound governance arrangements.

The ANAO made 5 recommendations related to strengthening planning, reporting and communication with applicants, representatives and stakeholders. The tribunals agreed with all 5 recommendations. Table 4.1 sets out the progress made in relation to each recommendation.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Table 4.1 - Im p le m e n ta tio n of ANAO recom m endations

Item Recommendation Progress

Ri The ANAO recommends that, to enhance their planning and performance monitoring capability, the tribunals:

• develop an annual operational plan which identifies priorities for major business activities and initiatives, and allocates responsibilities and specifies timeframes for their

implementation; and

• prepare an annual performance information framework which consolidates details of Tribunal performance information which is required to be collected and reported for accountability purposes.

The Tribunals' Plan 2007-2010 was issued on 30 July 2007. A consultant has been engaged to assist the tribunals to review the plan by the end of 2010.

The tribunals’ caseload and constitution arrangements are reviewed annually and are set out in

a Principal Member Direction which sets out operational strategies, the priorities to be given to cases, and time standards for the completion of cases.

A Governance and Reporting Requirements Table has been developed and is maintained on the tribunals’ intranet.

R2 The ANAO recommends that the tribunals strengthen their outcomes and outputs frameworks set out in their Portfolio Budget Statements

(PBS) by:

• articulating the basis on which the tribunals assess their contribution to the quality and consistency of decision making concerning

migration and temporary entry visas and protection visas and their professional and effective working

relationships with stakeholders; and • specifying appropriate targets or other bases of comparison for

quality indicators for measuring the efficiency of tribunal outputs, in terms of case processing timeliness, complaints and appeals against decisions.

The outcomes and outputs information set out in the Portfolio Budget Statements has been strengthened.

The PBS statements include specific information in relation to quality indicators and the tribunals’ outputs.

There are specific measures for case processing timeliness, complaints and judicial reviews of tribunal decisions.

The Department of Finance conducted a review of outcome and outputs as part of the Government’s response to the Operation Sunlight’ report. A revised outcome statement for the MRT-RRT received Ministerial approval in March 2009.The 2009-10 PBS statements set out

the revised outcome and revised performance information.

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Item Recom m endation Progress

R3

r4

The ANAO recommends that the tribunals strengthen external reporting through their Annual Reports by:

• addressing the impact of their outputs and their contribution to outcomes; and

• including clear assessments of output performance, reporting performance results against PBS targets and providing more comprehensive analysis of factors affecting performance.

The ANAO recommends that the tribunals enhance internal management reporting by introducing:

• an overarching ‘balanced scorecard' type management report which covers their full range of PBS performance indicators; and

• common formats, across both tribunals and both Registries, for management reports on particular areas of tribunal performance.

The ANAO’s recommendations were taken into account in the design of the 2006-07 and subsequent Annual Reports.

Included in each of these Reports is an assessment of performance against the PBS targets.

The tribunals have subsequently decided not to adopt a ‘balanced scorecard’ type management report.

There has been extensive modification of the performance information which is prepared for internal management reporting and an expansion of the performance information which is published by the

tribunals monthly.

Standard formats have been implemented for monthly management reports.

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Item Recom m endation Progress

R5 The ANAO recommends that the tribunals enhance the quality of services to applicants and their representatives by:

• committing to regular review of the joint service charter, more widely promoting the charter, and making information about overall time targets for the completion of reviews more accessible to

applicants;

• reviewing application forms to improve the quality of guidance to applicants and the user friendliness of their structure and format;

• issuing more comprehensive guidance on complaints handling and providing members with more systematic complaints feedback; and

• conducting regular surveys of the satisfaction of applicants and their representatives with tribunal service performance.

The tribunals have developed a Stakeholder Engagement Plan and extended community liaison arrangements. A Service Charter

review commenced in mid-2010 and will be completed during 2010.

Time targets are set out in the PBS statements and on the tribunal website. The tribunals have also published a processing time calculator on the tribunal website which allows a person to enter an application date and case type and to

receive an estimate of when the case is likely to be decided.

Drafts of new application forms have been developed and are undergoing revisions based on feedback from members and staff.

The 2008 policy on complaints handling was revised and reissued during 2010.

A series of surveys is planned for 2010— 11.

H U M A N RESOURCES The tribunals comprise members (appointed under the Migration Act) and staff (appointed under the Migration Act and employed under the Public Service Act).

The tribunals recognise that it is through our members and staff that we achieve the tribunals’ objectives and the outcomes expected by Government. The tribunals seek to create an environment where members and staff are supported and encouraged to be professional and courteous, to deliver quality services, to uphold values and codes of

conduct and to contribute to organisational improvements.

The tribunals are committed to providing a workplace that:

• values diversity and the contributions made by people;

• encourages ethical and good workplace behaviour;

• is productive, professional and delivers quality service;

• actively identifies and addresses health and safety issues; and

• supports members and staff to balance work with their family and community responsibilities and lifestyle choices.

The work of the tribunals is recognised as important, challenging and stimulating. Remuneration and conditions are commensurate with responsibilities.

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Members

Members are appointed by the Governor-General for fixed terms on a full-time or part-time basis. The remuneration of members is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal, and their terms and conditions of employment are determined by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship. The Remuneration Tribunal's determinations are available on its website at www.remtribunal.gov.au.

Persons appointed as members have typically worked in a profession or have extensive experience at senior levels in the private or public sectors.The work is suited to working on a part-time basis and more than 59% of members are part-time.

Following a merits selection process Ms Amanda MacDonald was appointed as the Deputy Principal Member of the MRT and RRT for a term of 5 years commencing 1 April 20io. This appointment followed amendments to the Migration Act which established a position of Deputy Principal Member of the MRT. Previously, the Migration Act provided only for a Deputy Principal Member of the RRT.

The membership as at 30 June 2010 is set out in Table 4.2.

Table 4.2 - Membership as at 30 June 2010

Principal Member - 1 1

Deputy Principal Member 1 - 1

Senior members 3* 2 5*

Full-time members 10 13 23

Part-time members 42 22 64

Total 56 38 94

* Ms Kira Raif counted as Senior Member (full-time member acting as Senior Member).

The appointments of 9 full-time members and 37 part-time members expired on 30 June 2010. A selection process was undertaken and 16 full-time members and 27 part-time members were appointed on 1 July 2010 for a term of 5 years. One part-time member resigned before taking up his appointment.

On l July 2010, one continuing full-time member was appointed as a part-time member for the remainder of the term of appointment.

The membership as at 1 July 2010 is set out in Table 4.3.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Table 4.3 - M em bership as a t 1 July 2010

Principal Member - 1 1

Deputy Principal Member 1 - 1

Senior members 3* 2 5*

Full-time members 10 19 29

Part-time members 40 14 54

Total 55 35 90

* Ms Kira Raif counted as Senior Member (full-time member acting as Senior Member).

A list of members and their appointment periods as at 1 July 2010 is available in Appendix 1 of this Report. Member biographies are available on the tribunal website.

Member professional development and performance The tribunals’ membership is highly competent and professional and is supported by legal, research and administrative staff and continuing professional development.

All members have a performance agreement and annual appraisals are conducted by Senior Members. The quality of decisions, the timeliness of reviews, productivity expectations and participation in professional development and mentoring activities are all factors which are taken into account.

On appointment, although experienced in other fields, members do not necessarily have detailed knowledge of migration or refugee law or in the conduct of hearings. New members are provided with induction training supported by a program of mentoring and further training over several months.

The National Member Professional Development Committee works to ensure that members have access to relevant and high quality development activities which will enhance the quality of the tribunals’ decision making. The committee sets the strategic direction for member professional development and has responsibility for the national

member conference and new member induction programs. Chaired by the Deputy Principal Member and comprising the Principal Member, all Senior Members, Melbourne and Sydney member representatives and the directors of Legal Services and Country Advice and Information, the committee brings together a wide range of experience and seeks to formulate the most relevant, interesting and accessible calendar possible.

In Melbourne and Sydney, local professional development committees identify the individual and collective development needs of members and draft an ongoing program taking into account these needs and key strategic issues, for approval by the national committee. Two sessions are usually held per month and members are expected to attend as many as possible. The programs include training in legal issues, country information and forums for discussing current issues. Highlights for 2009-10 have

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included Making Credibility Determinations on Refugee Claims - the US Model by US Immigration Judge Phillip Williams, seminars on Working effectively with Interpreters by Dr Sandra Hale, Associate Professor at the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of Western Sydney and a presentation by Dr Ida Kaplan and Guy Coffey of the Victorian Foundation for the Survivors of Torture on dealing with victims of torture and trauma.

The National Members’ Conference was held in Bowral in September 2009. A number of academics and subject experts spoke at the conference. Keynote speakers were the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans and the Commonwealth Solicitor General, Mr Stephen Gageler SC who addressed members o n ' The impact of migration law on the development of administrative law in Australia over the last 25 years’.

A program o f‘background briefing’ sessions is an initiative designed to provide members with greater contextual insight into culture and location-specific issues.

A number of topic experts were invited by the tribunals to speak to members on a range of relevant issues, for example, foreign correspondent Paul McGeough spoke to members in May on political and human rights developments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Staff

Professional staff support to members is vital to the efficient and lawful conduct of reviews. An important role of staff is the provision of member and client services. Registry staff are the point of contact when applicants or their representatives lodge review applications or deal with the tribunals on issues concerning the conduct of reviews. Efficient and effective staff dealings with all stakeholders are essential for good tribunal performance and are important to our reputation. Important values are

understanding and responding to client needs and seeking to improve services for individuals, families, businesses and the community.

Legal Services staff and Country Advice and Information Services staff provide high quality advice and information to members to support the conduct of reviews. Information Technology, Human Resources, Finance and Business Services, Caseload Strategy, Policy and Procedures and Executive Support staff provide a range of enabling services to support the operation of the tribunals and the delivery of high quality decisions.

Staff are employed under the Public Service Act and are appointed as tribunal officers under the Migration Act. As at 30 June 2010, the tribunals employed 272 APS employees comprising:

• 229 ongoing full-time employees;

• 37 ongoing part-time employees;

• 5 non-ongoing full-time employees; and

• i casual employee.

Table 4.4 sets out the number of staff employed as at 30 June 2010. Approximately 36% of employees are men and 64% are women.

7 0 Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Table 4 .4 - S taff as at 30 June 2010

APS Level Women Men Women Men

APSi 0 0 O O 0

APS 2 3 2 2 3 10

APS 3 24 8 6 3 41

APS 4 28 19 12 5 64

APS 5 26 8 12 5 51

APS 6 22 14 9 7 52

Legal Officer 6 2 2 2 12

Executive Level 1 10 8 2 1 21

Senior Legal Officer 3 2 1 4 10

Executive Level 2 5 2 1 0 8

Principal Legal Officer 1 O 0 O 1

SES Bi 0 O 1 O 1

SES B2 0 1 0 O 1

Total 128 66 48 30 272

Further staffing statistics are set out in Appendix 3.

Section profile - Caseload Strategy The Caseload Strategy Section plays a key role in the efficient management of the tribunals’ caseload. Established in December 2009 after the Policy and Caseload Strategy Section was divided in two, the section has responsibility for analysis, intelligence and reporting on caseload trends, case issues and

performance and for developing strategies for the management and allocation of cases. One of the section’s core functions is to make recommendations for the allocation of cases to tribunal members in accordance with the tribunals’ caseload and constitution policy. Recommendations are considered at bi-weekly

meetings of the Allocations Committee, which comprises the Principal Member, Deputy Principal Member, Senior Members and the Director, Caseload Strategy.

The section's five staff undertake a range of tasks including the preparation of statistical reports for publication on the tribunals’ website and to inform briefings for the Senior Management Group and Management Board. During

2009-10, Caseload Strategy briefed management on issues including strategies for reducing the backlog of unconstituted MRT cases, improving the timeliness of RRT reviews and improving reporting on the reasons why reviews are decided over time standards. The section has recently assisted in the development of the 2010-11 caseload and constitution policy, which was issued as Principal

Member Direction 1/2010, following consultation with members, staff and community groups.

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Workforce planning

The tribunals continue to review strategies to attract and retain quality staff. A wide range of skills and expertise are required, from general administrative staff, to lawyers, accountants, and technology professionals. Staff are employed across 10 sections: Executive Support, Policy and Procedures, Caseload Strategy, Legal Services, Country

Advice and Information Services, the NSW Registry, the Victorian Registry, Human Resources Section, Information Technology Section and Finance and Business Services.

The tribunals participate in and take a close interest in the annual State of the Service survey conducted on behalf of the Australian Public Service Commission (the APSC). This survey is across APS agencies and employees and provides valuable information on employees'views on a range of issues including attraction and retention. The survey results are available on the APSC website and identify areas where APS agencies perform well and areas where there is a need for improvement or review.

With changes in the availability of skills and changing expectations about the length of time a person may stay in one job, the tribunals are conscious of the need to be flexible in approach and expectations. The ways in which vacancies are advertised, the nature of the work, the workplace environment, training, personal development and advancement, and remuneration and flexibility of conditions are all factors which impact our capacity to attract and retain quality staff.

Learning and development A changing work practice environment requires us to do our core business well, to define roles, standards and expectations clearly and to identify good performance. A major focus for the registries during the year was on managing and understanding client expectations. A series of client satisfaction workshops were delivered and attended by all registry staff. Staff also attended sessions on cross cultural communication and managing difficult client interactions. Training to enhance skills included time management; influencing and persuading skills; project management; and selected systems training. Corporate training was delivered on a range of topics covering staff representation, workplace harassment, selection committees and induction.

Individual development and training needs are identified through the performance agreement system. The objectives of the performance agreement system are:

• providing a clear link between individual performance and organisational priorities and plans;

• improving communication between employees and supervisors;

• determining learning and development needs and appropriate activities; and

• defining supervisor and employee responsibilities and expectations.

Performance agreements and learning needs are tracked and monitored through an electronic reporting system.

The tribunals have a studies assistance scheme. A total of 25 staff undertook approved courses of study, taking a total of 80 days study leave and being reimbursed $66,005 in course fees.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Executive remuneration

The tribunals have one Senior Executive Service (SES) officer. Remuneration and conditions were determined through section 24 (i) determinations, taking into account current APS remuneration levels and the market demand for the skills of the officer.

The section 24 (1) determinations made provision for performance pay at a level consistent with other similarly qualified officers in the APS.

Certified Agreement

The current Certified Agreement covers all non-SES employees and was varied and extended by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission on 9 April 2009. The nominal expiry date is 29 November 2011.

The objectives set out in the Agreement are:

• to attract and retain quality people by having an affordable and attractive package of pay and conditions;

• to ensure our employment conditions continue to meet the needs of the tribunals and our employees;

• to contribute to the achievement of, and be consistent with, the tribunals’ corporate objectives; and

• to improve productivity through greater efficiency and flexibility in the way that the tribunals implement Government policy.

Table 4.5 sets out the salary range as at 30 June 2010. This reflects the most recent salary increase in the Certified Agreement, which was 4.3% from 15 October 2009.

Table 4.5 - Salary range pay points as at 30 June 2010

APS 1 $23,167 $42,641

APS 2 $43-657 $48,381

APS 3 $49,684 $53,6oo

APS 4 $55,337 $60,059

APS 5 $61,689 $66,609

APS 6 $68,267 $76,516

Legal Officer $55,337 $76,516

EL 1 $85,306 $94,306

Senior Legal Officer $85,306 $106,261

EL 2 $98,359 $114,653

Principal Legal Officer $115,260 $121,519

Salary advancement through pay points at each classification level occurs where an employee is assessed as satisfactory under the performance management system.

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The extended and varied Certified Agreement includes provision for:

• access to an employee assistance program;

• study assistance;

• a public transport loan scheme;

• influenza vaccination and eyesight testing;

• allowances for first aid officers, fire wardens, health and safety representatives and harassment contact officers;

• a period of 5 years for return to work or access to part-time work, following the birth or «adoption» of a child;

• inclusion of cultural kinship relationships for bereavement leave;

• one day’s paid leave per year for volunteer work or emergency services training;

• access to unpaid career interval leave after 5 years service; and

• contributions towards promoting good health.

The Certified Agreement also includes a flexibility clause which provides for the supplementation of terms and conditions. Supplementary agreements have been made with 9 non-SES employees in accordance with the flexibility clause. Six supplementary agreements, in respect of one Principal Legal Officer and five Executive Level 2 officers, provided a responsibility allowance. One supplementary agreement provided for the use of an agency-leased car, one provided for part-time employment and one provided a retention allowance. Three supplementary agreements, in respect of three Executive Level 1 officers or equivalent, provided an additional salary component.

One SES officer, one Principal Legal Officer and seven Executive Level 2 officers received performance pay. An aggregate amount of $49,037 was paid in performance-linked bonuses during 2009-10 in respect of performance in calendar year 2009. The average

bonus payment was $5,449 and payments ranged from $1,795 ~ $9,114·

Occupational health and safety As a result of amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act 7997 (OHS Act) that commenced on 15 March 2007, the tribunals established health and safety management arrangements (HSMAs) in 2008 in consultation with members and staff.

The HSMAs are aimed at ensuring the health and safety at work of members and employees through:

• providing and maintaining a healthy and safe work environment;

• providing financial and other resources to ensure that necessary OHS programs and activities are established and maintained;

• providing a forum for consultation and cooperation on OHS matters;

• complying with legislation as a minimum standard and implementing in full the requirements of the Act and the Occupational Health and Safety (Safety Arrangements) Regulations 1991 in all aspects of the tribunals’ business;

• making all levels of management within the tribunals accountable for OHS; and

• ensuring that all members and employees of the tribunals are aware of their obligations under the Act and that they have the necessary skills to meet these obligations.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

The tribunals’ Health and Safety Representatives are elected as required by the OHS Act. All Health and Safety Representatives attend a five day training course that covers their responsibilities under the OHS Act.

OHS Committees in Sydney and Melbourne meet quarterly. No investigations were conducted under the OHS Act, nor were any directions or notices given.

The tribunals’ focus is on reducing the social and financial cost of occupational injury and illness through timely intervention, promoting prevention activities and improving OHS capability. OHS and prevention activities undertaken in the tribunals during the year included:

• providing office and workstation assessments by professional occupational therapists and physiotherapists;

• facilitating instruction and education by occupational therapists and physiotherapists of members and staff in correct ergonomic practices and injury prevention;

• providing influenza vaccinations in the workplace; and

• improving awareness of health and safety issues of members and staff through training.

The 2010-11 Workers’ Compensation premium for the tribunals as advised by Comcare is 13% less than the cost for 2009-10. This continuing trend reflects the success of preventative strategies in the management of risk in the workplace and to early rehabilitation intervention.

Personal profile - Kadira Pethiyagoda Coming from a background where I felt I had already had a broad exposure to global issues, in my first year at the tribunals I’ve found working as a Country Advisor both interesting and fulfilling. There has been much to learn and I have found that some of my preconceived notions about the political and human

rights situations in various countries have been challenged. I have conducted research and advised members on issues ranging from chieftaincy in Ghana, to religious sects in India, to identifying an expert to brief members on Sri Lanka.

Born in Kandy, Sri Lanka, I moved to Australia at age two with my family, prior to the point when the country’s low intensity conflict exploded into civil war. Despite the war we visited Sri Lanka often, even moving back there for a year when I was a teenager. Years later I revisited the subcontinent again when, after graduating from Monash University with a Bachelors in Sociology and Masters

in Business Systems, I was posted to India as a diplomat representing Australia. My duties while on posting included responding to requests from the tribunals. Now, drawing on my experiences, I am undertaking a Masters thesis on the

influence of culture on India’s foreign relations while continuing my duties in the Country Advice and Information Section.

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Workplace diversity

The tribunals value a workplace free from discrimination and harassment, and seek to ensure that employment decisions are based on merit. Through the Certified Agreement, the tribunals emphasise flexibility and choice for employees to enable balance between work, family, community and lifestyle choices.

A revised Workplace Diversity Program was implemented in July 2009.The Program focuses on strategies to facilitate an understanding of workplace diversity principles and to ensure fairness and inclusiveness are applied in all business activities, and in human resource policies and practices.

The principles underlying the Workplace Diversity Program are:

• treating each other with respect and dignity;

• making judgements based on equity and merit;

• recognising people as individuals and valuing their diversity;

• using the contributions that people can make to the tribunals;

• taking appropriate action to identify and deal with discrimination and harassment; and

• providing a safe, secure and healthy working environment.

To heighten awareness of the benefits of diversity to the tribunals’ workforce, we continued to celebrate Harmony Day and International Women’s Day.

In response to the Government’s commitment to increase the representation of Indigenous employees in the APS to 2.7% by 2015, the tribunals increased efforts to recruit and retain Indigenous employees. During the year, an Indigenous trainee, recruited via the centralised APSC Indigenous Pathways to Employment program, completed a structured program of rotations through various sections of the tribunals,

before winning a promotion to another agency. At the end of the year, the tribunals were negotiating an employment opportunity with indigenous graduates for a position in either Sydney or Melbourne.

The tribunals consulted with staff and contributed to the development of a high level Immigration Portfolio Indigenous employment strategy, which sits alongside and complements the tribunals’ Workplace Diversity Program and its recently revised Reconciliation Action Plan. As part of our ongoing commitment and support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage, an Indigenous issues page was created on the tribunals’ intranet and events held in the tribunals’ Sydney and Melbourne offices included the celebration of National Sorry Day (26 May) and Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June).

The tribunals are committed to providing a workplace that is safe and free from behaviour that may reasonably be perceived as harassing, intimidating, overbearing, bullying, or physically or emotionally threatening and ensuring that all employees are treated with respect and courtesy. To ensure the safety, rights and obligations of members and staff, complaints handling is based on confidentiality, impartiality, procedural fairness and protection from victimisation.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Information is provided to all to staff and members in regard to workplace harassment prevention. Following revision of the Workplace Harassment Prevention guideline, 11 new Workplace Harassment Contact Officers were appointed and trained in April 2010.

MEMBER A N D STAFF SURVEYS

National MRT-RRT Member and Staff Opinion Surveys were conducted in October-November 2009. The aim of the surveys was to gauge levels of satisfaction with the tribunals, and to identify, value and promote positive attributes, and identify negative attributes to be addressed and remedied. The surveys were also designed to provide benchmarks against which progress can be measured. The surveys were overseen by a Steering Group comprising

members and staff.

Separate surveys for members and staff were designed and delivered online by Profmark Consulting. The member and staff surveys included some common questions as well as specific questions addressing issues specific to each group.

Overall, members and staff were positive about working for the tribunals. Response rates were good, with 83% of members and 74% of staff completing the survey. Both members and staff indicated they enjoy their work (members 100%, staff 83%) and understand what is expected of them (members 100%, staff 91%) and how their work contributes to the tribunals’ goals (members 81%, staff 95%). Respondents reported good working relationships with their colleagues (members 96%, staff 88%) and also rated highly the service provided to review applicants (members 83%, staff 77%). Respondents also suggested ways that services to review applicants and advisers could be improved.

An action plan of practical measures to address issues identified in the survey as less satisfactory has been developed and will be implemented in 2010-n.

Key areas for attention include change management, communication, workplace harassment prevention and performance management.

Disability strategy The tribunals’ Disability Action Plan details the tribunals’ compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act rgg2 and the Commonwealth Disability Strategy.The Strategy provides a framework for identifying and developing strategies that will improve access to services and facilities.

The plan commits the tribunals to ensuring that people with disabilities are not disadvantaged when accessing the services provided by the tribunals. The plan also encompasses the activities of the tribunals as a service provider and purchaser. The plan is reviewed annually and is reinforced by other strategic planning documents, including the Tribunals’ Plan, the Service Charter and the Workplace Diversity Program.

The tribunals' Disability Action Plan is set out in Appendix 4.

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ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT A N D ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE

Section 3A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 7999 (the EPBC Act) sets out the principles of ecologically sustainable development. The tribunals review these principles in relation to tribunal activities on an annual basis.

Members and staff are encouraged to contribute to reducing our impact on the environment. The tribunals use 100% recycled A4 paper and have recently purchased lower energy computers, encourage the use of double-sided printing, promote awareness about the use of electricity and water, encourage the use of composting food waste in the Melbourne office and are actively moving to the storage and use of electronic records and documents. Walk to Work and Ride to Work days are advertised internally and actively supported by management.

GTeen Committee

The tribunal’s Green Committee identifies opportunities and develops proposals for more environmentally sustainable practices, processes and purchasing, and promotes an environmentally sustainable culture within the tribunals.

PURCHASING

The tribunals' purchasing arrangements with suppliers include contracts and notified consultancies, interpreting services, communication services, rental of property and other goods and services. All purchases over $10,000 are recorded on AusTender and the tribunals comply with the Senate Order on Departmental and Agency contracts by publishing on the tribunals’ website details of contracts exceeding $100,000 in value.

All purchasing is conducted in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines and Chief Executive Instructions. In line with these policies, the tribunals conduct procurement with value for money as the core principle.This is achieved through:

• encouraging competition;

• the efficient, effective and ethical use of resources; and

• accountability and transparency in decision making.

The tribunals provided information and participated in activities related to scoping studies being conducted in relation to whole-of-government procurement during the course of the year.

Official air travel was arranged consistently with the Government's lowest practical fare policy.

No contracts or offers were exempted from publication in AusTender on the basis that publication would disclose exempt matters under the Freedom of Information Act ig82. The tribunals use a standard contract proforma with provisions providing for access by the Auditor-General.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

The tribunals have not let any Competitive Tendering and Contracting (CTC) contracts during 2009-10 for the provision of services previously performed in-house.

ASSETS M A N A G EM EN T

The tribunals manage over 1,000 assets with a combined value of $4.5 million.

The major asset categories include fit-out, office machines, furniture and fittings, IT equipment and intangible assets (software). Assets are depreciated at rates applicable for each asset class.

The Finance section prepares accrual-based monthly reports on the progress of purchases against capital plans and depreciation against the budget in order to achieve effective asset management.

An annual stocktake is performed to update and verify the accuracy of asset records.

CONSULTANCY SERVICES

A range of services are provided to the tribunals under contract, including consultancy services. Consultants are distinguished from other contractors by the nature of the work they perform. A consultant is an individual, a partnership or a corporation engaged to provide professional, independent and expert advice or services that will assist with

agency decision-making.

The tribunals engage the services of consultants when:

• there is a need for specialist knowledge or skills;

• an independent assessment or opinion is desirable;

• the proposed consultancy meets corporate objectives or will bring about productivity savings; and

• alternatives to the use of a consultant have been considered.

In determining whether contracts are for consultancy or non-consultancy services, the tribunals have regard to guidelines published by the Department of Finance and Deregulation - Guidance on Procurement Publishing Obligations.

During 2009-10,2 new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total actual expenditure of $17,833. One exceeded $10,000. No ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the 2009-10 year.

Table 4.6 - Consultancy services let during 2009-10, of $10,000 or more

Profmark Consulting Pty Ltd Conducting a Staff/ Member survey

and reporting on findings

$15,560 Select Tender Need for independent research or assessment

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Table 4.7 - Annual expenditure on consultancy contracts

$17,833 $18,181 $100,558

Annual Reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website www.tenders.gov.au.

PURCHASER/PROVIDER ARRANGEMENTS

All agencies are required to report on purchaser/provider arrangements. Purchaser/ provider arrangements relate to arrangements where the outputs of one agency are purchased by another agency to contribute to outcomes. Purchaser/provider arrangements can occur between Commonwealth agencies or between Commonwealth agencies and State/Territory government or private sector bodies. The tribunals have no purchaser/provider arrangements.

The MRT and RRT have a service delivery agreement with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (the AAT) for the AAT to provide accommodation, registry and support services in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.The tribunals have members based in each of those locations.

DISCRETIONARY GRANTS

All agencies are required to report on discretionary grants. Discretionary grants are payments where discretion is used to determine whether or not a particular body receives a grant. The tribunals did not provide or receive any discretionary grants

during 2009-10.

ADVERTISING A N D MARKET RESEARCH

All agencies are required to report on advertising and market research. During 2009-10, the tribunals spent $8,936 (inclusive of GST) on advertising services as set out in Table 4.8. The tribunals did not engage any market research services, or conduct any

advertising campaigns.

Table 4.8 - Advertising services

Adcorp Australia Ltd $8,936 Employment advertising

Total $8,936

CORRECTION OF MATERIAL ERRORS IN PREVIOUS ANNUAL REPORT

No material errors have been identified in last year’s Annual Report.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

PART 5

INDEPENDENT AUDITOR’S REPORT

To the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

Scope

I have audited the accompanying financial statements o f the Migration Review Tribunal - Refugee Review Tribunal for the year ended 30 June 2010, which comprise: a Statement by the Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer; Statement o f Comprehensive Income; Balance Sheet; Statement o f Changes in Equity; Cash Flow Statement; Schedule o f Commitments; Schedule o f Contingencies; Schedule o f Asset Additions; Schedule o f Administered Items and Notes to and Fonning Part o f the Financial Statements, including a Summary o f Significant Accounting Policies.

The Responsibility o f the Chief Executive fo r the Financial Statements

The Migration Review Tribunal - Refugee Review Tribunal’s Principal Member, as Chief Executive, is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation o f the financial statements in accordance w ith the Finance Minister’s Orders made under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, including the Australian Accounting Standards (which include the Australian Accounting Interpretations). This responsibility includes establishing and maintaining internal controls relevant to the preparation and fair presentation o f the financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error; selecting and applying appropriate accounting policies; and making accounting estimates that are reasonable in the circumstances.

Auditor ’s Responsibility

M y responsibility is to express an opinion on the financial statements based on my audit. 1 have conducted my audit in accordance with the Australian National Audit Office Auditing Standards, which incorporate the Australian Auditing Standards. These auditing standards require that 1 comply with relevant ethical requirements relating to audit engagements and plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance whether the financial statements are free front material misstatement.

An audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. The procedures selected depend on the auditor’ s

GPO Box 707 CANBERRA ACT 2601 19 National Circuit BARTON ACT 2600 Phone (02) 6203 7300 Fax (02) 6203 7777

3 2 · Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

judgement, including the assessment o f the risks o f material misstatement o f the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error. In making those risk assessments, the auditor considers internal control relevant to the Migration Review Tribunal - Refugee Review Tribunal’s preparation and fair presentation o f the financial statements in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose o f expressing an opinion on the effectiveness o f the Migration Review Tribunal - Refugee Review Tribunal’s internal control. A n audit also includes evaluating the appropriateness o f accounting policies used and the reasonableness o f accounting estimates made by the Migration Review Tribunal - Refugee Review Tribunal’ s Chief Executive as well as evaluating the overall presentation o f the financial statements.

1 believe that the audit evidence I have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for my audit opinion.

Independence

In conducting the audit, 1 have followed the independence requirements o f the Australian National Audit Office, which incorporate the requirements o f the Australian accounting profession.

Auditor’s Opinion

In my opinion, the financial statements o f the Migration Review Tribunal - Refugee Review Tribunal:

(a) have been prepared in accordance with the Finance Minister’s Orders made under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, including the Australian Accounting Standards; and

(b) give a true and fair view o f the matters required by the Finance Minister’ s Orders including the Migration Review Tribunal - Refugee Review Tribunal’ s financial position as at 30 June 2010 and its financial performance and cash flows for the year then ended.

Australian National A udit Office

JohnMcCullough Audit Principal Delegate o f the Auditor-General

C anberra 14 September 2010

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STATEMENT BY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE AND CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

In our opinion, the attached financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2010 are based on properly maintained financial records and give a true and fair view of the matters required by the Finance Minister's Orders made under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, as amended.

Signed.

DeTltrCTBrien Chief Executive

Date I

Signed.. .../ .

Rhys Jones Acting Chief Financial Officer

? & / c? /&)β j i A i O

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

II

Table of contents to financial statements

Statement by CEO and CFO 84

Statement of Comprehensive Income 86

Balance Sheet 87

Statement of Changes in Equity 88

Cash Flow Statement 89

Schedule of Commitments 90

Schedule of Contingencies 91

Schedule of Asset Additions 92

Schedule of Administered Items 93

Note i: Summary of Significant Accounting Policies 95

Note 2: Events After the Reporting Period 99

Note 3: Expenses 100

Note 4: Income 101

Note 5: Financial Assets 102

Note 6: Non-Financial Assets 103

Note 7: Payables 106

Note 8: Interest Bearing Liabilities 106

Note 9: Provisions 106

Note 10: Cash Flow Reconciliation 107

Note 11: Contingent Liabilities and Assets 107

Note 12: Senior Executive Remuneration 108

Note 13: Remuneration of Auditors 109

Note 14: Financial Instruments no

Note 15: Income Administered on Behalf of Government 111

Note 16: Expenses Administered on Behalf of Government 111

Note 17: Assets Administered on Behalf of Government 112

Note 18: Liabilities Administered on Behalf of Government 113

Note 19: Administered Reconciliation Table 113

Note 20: Administered Contingent Assets and Liabilities 113

Note 21: Administered Financial Instruments 114

Note 22: Appropriations 115

Note 23: Compensation and Debt Relief 116

Note 24: Reporting of Outcomes 117

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Statement of comprehensive income

f o r the p e r io d ended 30 June 2010_______________________________ _________________

2010 2009

N otes $'000 $'000

EXPENSES

Employee benefits 3A 33^*81 30,474

Supplier expenses 3B 9,298 8,088

Depreciation and amortisation 3C 1334 1,348

Finance costs 3D 133 140

Write-down and impairment o f assets 3E 29 -

Loss on sale of assets 3F 2 -

Total expenses 44,777 40,050

LESS:

OW N-SOURCE INCOME

O wn-source revenue

Rendering o f services 4A 54 -

Total own-source revenue 54

G ains

Other 4B 56 56

Total gains 56 56

Total own-source incom e 110 56

Net cost of (contribution by) services (44,667) (39,994)

Revenue from Government 4C 40,062 38,266

Surplus (Deficit) attributable to the Australian Governm ent (4,605) (1,728)

8 6 Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Balance sheet

as a t 30 June 2010

2010 2009

Notes $’000 $ ’000

ASSETS

Financial Assets

Cash and cash equivalents 5A 49 103

Trade and other receivables 5B 11,959 14,238

Total financial assets 12,008 14,341

Non-Financial Assets

Land and buildings 6A.C 1,509 1,965

Property, plant and equipment 6B.C 572 545

Intangibles 6D 2,422 2,921

Other 6E 203 294

Total non-financial assets 4,706 5,725

Total Assets 16,714 20,066

LIABILITIES

Payables

Suppliers I K 648 777

Other 7B_____ 4,801 3,849

Total payables 5,449 4,626

Interest Bearing Liabilities

Leases 8 1,904 2,382

Total interest bearing liabilities 1,904 2,382

Provisions

Employee provisions 9 6,707 5,799

Total provisions 6,707 5,799

Total Liabilities 14.060 12,807

Net Assets 2,654 7,259

2010 2009

$’000 $’000

EQUITY

Parent Entity Interest

Contributed equity 10,876 10,876

Asset Revaluation Reserve 384 384

Retained surplus (accumulated deficit) (8.606) (4,001)

Total parent entity interest 2,654

7259

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PART 5

0 0 f o r the p e rio d ended 30 June 2010

00

Asset revaluation

Retained earnings reserve

2010 2009 2010 2009

$•000 $'000 $’000 $ ’000

Contributed

equity /capital Total equity

2010 2009 2010 2009

$’000 $’000 $’000 $ ’000

O pening balance

Balance carried forward from previous period (4,001) (4,001) 384 384 10,876 10,876 7,259 7,259

Com prehensive incom e

Surplus (Deficit) for the period (4,605) - (4,605)

Total com prehensive incom e (4,605) - - (4,605)

Closing balance as at 30 June (8,606) (4,001) 384 384

e

10376 10,876 2,654 7,259

Closing balance attributable to the Australian Governm ent (8,606) (4,001) 384 384 10,876 10,876 2,654 7,259

The above statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

|toron >S’5 .roS3c3E L>zzc>1ioo

Statement of changes in equity

Cash flow statement

f o r the p e rio d ended 30 June 2010

2 0 1 0 2009

N otes $’000 $'000

OPERATING ACTIVITIES

C ash received

Goods and services 54 -

Appropriations 41,014 39,791

Other 1 1

Total cash received 41,069 39,792

C ash used

Employees 33,073 30,005

Suppliers 9334 7,770

Borrowing costs 133 140

Net GST paid 4 74

Cash transferred to/(from) the Official Public Account (2336) 791

Total cash used 40,208 38,780

Net cash from (used by) operating activities 10 861 1,012

INVESTING ACTIVITIES

C ash used

Purchase o f property, plant and equipment 4 3 9 649

Other - -

Total cash used 4 3 9 649

Net cash from (used by) investing activities (439) (649)

FINANCING ACTIVITIES

C ash used

Repayment of borrowings 476 448

Other - -

Total cash used 476 448

Net cash from (used by) financing activities (476) (448)

Net increase (decrease) in cash held (54) (85)

Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the reporting period 103 188

C ash and cash equivalents at the end of the reporting period 5A 49 103

The above statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

part 5 Financial statements 8 9

PART 5

PART 5

Schedule of commitments

as a t 3 0 June 2010

2 0 1 0 2009

BY TYPE $’000 $'000

Com m itm ents receivable

GST recoverable on commitments (1,946) (2,360)

Total com m itm ents receivable (1.946) (2,360)

Other com m itm ents

Operating leases 21.405 25,965

Total other com m itm ents 21,405 25,965

Net com m itm ents by type 19,459 23,605

BY MATURITY

Com m itm ents receivable

GST recoverable on commitments Π,946) (2,360)

Total com m itm ents receivable f 1,946) (2,360)

Operating lease com m itm ents

One year or less 4,701 4,804

From one to five years 16,704 21,161

Total operating lease com m itm ents 21,405 25,965

Net com m itm ents by maturity 19,459 23,605

NB: Commitments are GST inclusive where relevant.

On 1 September 2003, the two tribunals re-located in new premises in Melbourne with a lease for a period o f 10 years. The commitment at 30 June 2010 is $6.8m.

On 1 May 2005, the two tribunals re-located in new premises in Sydney with a lease for a period of 10 years. The commitment at 30 June 2010 is $ 14.6m.

Operating leases included are effectively non-cancellable and comprise:

N a tu re o f lease G e n e ra l d e scrip tion o f leasing

arra ngem ent

Leases for office accommodation Lease payments are subject to

annual increase in accordance with the terms of the lease agreements.

Agreements for the provision of motor vehicles to senior executive officers No contingent rentals exist. There are no renewal or

purchase options available to the Tribunal.

The above statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

9 0

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

as a t 30 June 2010

Schedule of contingencies

The MRT-RRT has no contingent assets or liabilities.

The above schedule should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

part 5 Financial statement

PART 5

Schedule of asset additions

f o r the period ended 30 June 2010

The following non-financial non-current assets w ere added in 2009-10:

Buildings

$’000

O ther property,

plant &

equipm ent

$’000 Intangibles $’000

Total

$’000

By purchase - appropriation ordinary annual services 39 243 157 439

Total additions 39 243 157 439

The following non-financial non-current assets were added in 2008-09:

Buildings $’000

Other property, plant & equipment $’000

Intangibles $’000

Total $’000

By purchase - appropriation ordinary annual services 31 21 597 649

Total additions 31 21 597 649

The above schedule should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

9 2

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

Schedule of administered items

yFr-'v„; 1 ■ :

2010 2009

Incom e adm inistered on behalf of G overnm ent

fo r the period ended 30 June 2010

N otes $’000 $’000

R evenue

Other 15 12,643 12,066

Total non-taxation revenue 12,643 12.066

Total revenues adm inistered on behalf of G overnm ent 12,643 12.066

Total incom e adm inistered on behalf of G overnm ent 12,643 12,066

E xpenses adm inistered on behalf of G overnm ent

fo r the period ended 30 June 2010 ....... siiijil

Write-down and impairment of assets 16A 1,546 2,068

Other I6B 5,291 4,405

Total expenses adm inistered on behalf of G overnm ent

This schedule should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes. 6,837 6.473

Schedule of administered items

A ssets adm inistered on behalf of G overnm ent

as at 30 June 2010

Financial assets

Cash and cash equivalents Receivables Total financial assets

Total assets adm inistered on behalf of G overnm ent

Liabilities adm inistered on behalf of G overnm ent

as at 30 June 2010

17A 17B

2010 2009

$’000 $'000

59 54

749 469

808 523

808 523

P ayables

Other Total payables

Total liabilities adm inistered on behalf of G overnm ent

This schedule should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

part 5 Financial statements 9 3

PART 5

PART 5

Schedule of administered items

2010 2009

Adm inistered C ash Flow s

f o r the period ended 30 June 2010

$’000 $’000

O PERATING ACTIVITIES

C ash received

Fees ; 10,811 9,735

Total cash received 10,811 9,735

C ash used

Other 5,291 4,405

Total cash used 5291 4,405

N et cash flow s from (used by) operating activities 5,520 5330

N et Increase (D ecrease) in C ash H eld 5,520 5.330

Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the reporting period 54 26

Cash from Official Public Account for: ·" m i

-Transfer from other entities (Finance - Whole of Government) 5340 4,404

5394 4,430

Cash to Official Public Account for:

- Appropriations 10,855 9,706

102(55 9.706

C ash and cash equivalents at the end of the reporting period 17A 59 54

This schedule should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

Schedule of administered items

SCHEDULE O F ADM INISTERED ITEM S

Adm inistered C om m itm ents

as at 30 June 2010

There are no administered commitments at 30 June 2010 (2009: Nil)

Schedule of administered items

Adm inistered C ontingencies

as at 30 June 2010

There are no administered contingencies at 30 June 2010 (2009: Nil)

9 4

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

Notes to and forming part of the financial statements

Note 1: Sum m ary of Significant Accounting Policies

1.1 Objectives of the Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal

The Migration Review Tribunal (the MRT) and the Refugee Review Tribunal (the RRT) are statutory bodies established under the Migration Act 1958.

The Financial Management and Accountability Regulations were amended with effect from 1 July 2006 to establish a single prescribed agency, the 'Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal' (MRT-RRT) for the purposes of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (the FMA Act).

The MRT-RRT has one outcome: Outcome 1: To provide correct and preferable decisions for visa applicants and sponsors through independent, fair, just, economical, informal and quick merits reviews of migration and refugee decisions.

The continued existence of the MRT-RRT in its present form and with its present programs is dependent on Government policy and on continuing appropriations by Parliament for the MRT-RRT’s administration and programs.

The MRT-RRT activities contributing toward this outcome are classified as either departmental or administered. Departmental activities involve the use of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses controlled or incurred by the MRT-RRT in its own right. Administered activities involve the management or oversight by the MRT-RRT, on behalf of the Government, of items controlled or incurred by the Government.

The MRT-RRT conducts the following administered activities: 1. the collection of MRT application fees and RRT post decision fees. 2. The repayment of fees to successful applicants.

1.2 Basis of Preparation of the Financial Statements

The financial statements are required by section 49 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and are general purpose financial statements.

The Financial Statements have been prepared in accordance with:

• Finance Minister’s Orders (or FMO) for reporting periods ending on or after 1 July 2009; and

• Australian Accounting Standards and Interpretations issued by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) that apply for the reporting period.

The financial statements have been prepared on an accrual basis and in accordance with the historical cost convention, except for certain assets and liabilities at fair value. Except where stated, no allowance is made for the effect of changing prices on the results or the financial position.

The financial statements are presented in Australian dollars and values are rounded to the nearest thousand dollars unless otherwise specified.

Unless an alternative treatment is specifically required by an accounting standard or the FMO, assets and liabilities are recognised in the balance sheet when and only when it is probable that future economic benefits will flow to the entity or a future sacrifice of economic benefits will be required and the amounts of the assets or liabilities can be reliably measured. However, assets and liabilities arising under Agreements Equally Proportionately Unperformed are not recognised unless required by an accounting standard. Liabilities and assets that are unrecognised are reported in the schedule of commitments or the schedule of contingencies.

Unless alternative treatment is specifically required by an accounting standard, income and expenses are recognised in the statement of comprehensive income when and only when the flow, consumption or loss of economic benefits has occurred and can be reliably measured.

Administered revenues, expenses, assets and liabilities and cash flows reported in the Schedule of Administered Items and related notes are accounted for on the same basis and using the same policies as for departmental items, except where otherwise stated at Note 1.19.

13 Significant Accounting Judgements and Estimates

In the process of applying the accounting policies listed in this note, MRT-RRT has made the following judgements that have the most significant impact on the amounts recorded in the financial statements:

• The fair value of land and buildings was revalued at the 30 June 2010 by an independent valuer.

1.4 New Australian Accounting Standards

«Adoption o f New Australian Accounting Standard Requirements

No accounting standard has been adopted earlier than the application date as stated in the standard. There are no new accounting standards, amendments to standards and interpretations issued by the Australian Accounting Standards Board that are applicable to the current period, which have had a material financial impact on the MRT-RRT.

Future Australian Accountins Standard Requirements

No new standards, amendments to standards and interpretations that have been issued by the Australian Accounting Standards Board that are applicable to future periods, are expected to have a material financial impact on the MRT-RRT.

part 5 Financial statements

PART 5

Notes to and forming part of the financial statements 1.5 Revenue

Revenue from Government

Amounts appropriated for departmental outputs for the year (adjusted for any formal additions and reductions) are recognised as revenue when the MRT-RRT gains control of the appropriation, except for certain amounts that relate to activities that are reciprocal in nature, in which case revenue is recognised only when it has been earned.

Appropriations receivable are recognised at their nominal amounts.

Resources Received Free o f Charge

Resources received free of charge are recognised as revenue when, and only when, a fair value can be reliably determined and the services would have been purchased if they had not been donated. Use of those resources is recognised as an expense.

Resources received free of charge are recorded as either revenue or gains depending on their nature.

Other Types o f Revenue

Revenue from the sale of goods is recognised when:

• the risks and rewards of ownership have been transferred to the buyer;

• the MRT-RRT retains no managerial involvement or effective control over the goods;

• the revenue and transaction costs incurred can be reliably measured; and

• it is probable that the economic benefits associated with the transaction will flow to the entity.

Revenue from rendering of services is recognised by reference to the stage of completion of contracts at the reporting date. The revenue is recognised when:

• the amount of revenue, stage of completion and transaction costs incurred can be reliably measured; and

• the probable economic benefits associated with the transaction will flow to the entity.

The stage of completion of contracts at the reporting date is determined by reference to the proportion that costs incurred to date bear to the estimated total costs of the transaction.

Receivables for goods and services, which have 30 day terms, are recognised at the nominal amounts due less any impairment allowance account. Collectability of debts is reviewed at end of reporting period. Allowances are made when collectability of the debt is no longer probable.

1.6 Gains

Resources Received Free o f Charge

Resources received free of charge are recognised as gains when, and only when, a fair value can be reliably determined and the services would have been purchased if they had not been donated. Use of those resources is recognised as an expense.

Resources received free of charge are recorded as either revenue or gains depending on their nature.

Contributions of assets at no cost of acquisition or for nominal consideration are recognised as gains at their fair value when the asset qualifies for recognition, unless received from another Government agency or authority as a consequence of a restructuring of administrative arrangements (Refer to Note 1.7).

Sale o f Assets

Gains from disposal of assets are recognised when control of the asset has passed to the buyer.

1.7 Transactions with the Government as Owner

Equity Injections

Amounts appropriated which are designated as ‘equity injections’ for a year (less any formal reductions) are recognised directly in contributed equity in that year.

Restructuring o f Administrative Arrangements

Net assets received from or relinquished to another Australian Government agency or authority under a restructuring of administrative arrangements are adjusted at their book value directly against contributed equity.

1.8 Employee Benefits

Liabilities for ‘short-term employee benefits’ (as defined in AASB 119 Employee Benefits) and termination benefits due within twelve months of end of reporting period are measured at their nominal amounts.

The nominal amount is calculated with regard to the rates expected to be paid on settlement of the liability.

Other long-term employee benefits are measured as net total of the present value of the defined benefit obligation at the end of the reporting period minus the fair value at the end of the reporting period of plan assets (if any) out of which the obligations are to be settled directly.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

The liability for employee benefits includes provision for annual leave and long service leave. No provision has been made for sick leave as all sick leave is non-vesting and the average sick leave taken in future years by employees of the MRT-RRT is estimated to be less than the annual entitlement for sick leave.

The leave liabilities are calculated on the basis of employees’ remuneration at the estimated salary rates that will apply at the time the leave is taken, including the MRT-RRT’s employer superannuation contribution rates to the extent that the leave is likely to be taken during service rather than paid out on termination.

The liability for long service leave has been determined by reference to the work of an actuary as at 30 June 2010. The estimate of the present value of the liability takes into account attrition rates and pay increases through promotion and inflation.

Superannuation

Most staff and members of the MRT-RRT are members of the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme (CSS), the Public Sector Superannuation Scheme (PSS), Australian Government Employees Superannuation Trust (AGEST) or the PSS accumulation plan (PSSap).

The CSS and PSS are defined benefit schemes for the Australian Government. The PSSap is a defined contribution scheme.

The liability for defined benefits is recognised in the financial statements of the Australian Government and is settled by the Australian Government in due course. This liability is reported by the Department of Finance and Deregulation as an administered item.

The MRT-RRT makes employer contributions to the employee superannuation scheme at rates determined by an actuary to be sufficient to meet the current cost to the Government of the superannuation entitlements of the MRT-RRT’s employees. The MRT-RRT accounts for the contributions as if they were contributions to defined contribution plans.

The liability for superannuation recognised as at 30 June represents outstanding contributions for the final fortnight of the

1.9 Leases

A distinction is made between finance leases and operating leases. Finance leases effectively transfer from the lessor to the lessee substantially all the risks and rewards incidental to ownership of leased assets. An operating lease is a lease that is not a finance lease. In operating leases, the lessor effectively retains substantially all such risks and benefits.

Where an asset is acquired by means of a finance lease, the asset is capitalised at either the fair value of the lease property or, if lower, the present value of minimum lease payments at the inception of the contract and a liability is recognised at the same time and for the same amount.

The discount rate used is the interest rate implicit in the lease. Leased assets are amortised over the period of the lease. Lease payments are allocated between the principal component and the interest expense.

Operating lease payments are expensed on a straight-line basis which is representative of the pattern of benefits derived from the leased assets.

1.10 Borrowing Costs

All borrowing costs are expensed as incurred.

1.11 Cash

Cash and cash equivalents includes cash on hand, cash held with outsiders, demand deposits in bank accounts with an original maturity of 3 months or less that are readily convertible to known amounts of cash and subject to insignificant risk of changes in value. Cash is recognised at its nominal amount.

1.12 Financial Assets

The MRT-RRT classifies its financial assets in the following categories:

• loans and receivables.

The classification depends on the nature and purpose of the financial assets and is determined at the time of initial recognition. Loans and Receivables

Trade receivables, loans and other receivables that have fixed or determinable payments that are not quoted in an active market are classified as ‘loans and receivables’.

Impairment o f Financial Assets

Financial assets are assessed for impairment at the end of each reporting period.

1.13 Financial Liabilities

Financial liabilities are classified as other financial liabilities and are recognised and derecognised upon 'trade date’.

part 5 Financial stater 9 7

PART 5

PART 5

Notes to and forming part of the financial statements Other Financial Liabilities

Other financial liabilities, including borrowings, are initially measured at fair value, net of transaction costs.

Other financial liabilities are subsequently measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method, with interest expense recognised on an effective yield basis.

The effective interest method is a method of calculating the amortised cost of a financial liability and of allocating interest expense over the relevant period. The effective interest rate is the rate that exactly discounts estimated future cash payments through the expected life of the financial liability, or, where appropriate, a shorter period.

Supplier and other payables are recognised at amortised cost. Liabilities are recognised to the extent that the goods or services have been received (and irrespective of having been invoiced).

1.14 Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets

Contingent liabilities and contingent assets are not recognised in the balance sheet but are reported in the relevant schedules and notes. They may arise from uncertainty as to the existence of a liability or asset or represent an asset or liability in respect of which the amount cannot be reliably measured. Contingent assets are disclosed when settlement is probable but not virtually certain and contingent liabilities are disclosed when settlement is greater than remote.

1.15 Acquisition of Assets

Assets are recorded at cost on acquisition except as stated below. The cost of acquisition includes the fair value of assets transferred in exchange and liabilities undertaken. Financial assets are initially measured at their fair value plus transaction costs where appropriate.

Assets acquired at no cost, or for nominal consideration, are initially recognised as assets and income at their fair value at the date of acquisition, unless acquired as a consequence of restructuring of administrative arrangements. In the latter case, assets are initially recognised as contributions by owners at the amounts at which they were recognised in the transferor agency’s accounts immediately prior to the restructuring.

1.16 Property, Plant and Equipment

Asset Recognition Threshold

Purchases of property, plant and equipment are recognised initially at cost in the balance sheet, except for purchases costing less than $2,000, which are expensed in the year of acquisition (other than where they form part of a group of similar items which are significant in total).

Revaluations

Fair values for each class of asset are determined as shown below:

Asset Class Fair Value Measured at:

Leasehold Improvements Depreciated replacement cost Plant and Equipment Market Value

Following initial recognition at cost, property plant and equipment are carried at fair value less subsequent accumulated depreciation and accumulated impairment losses. Valuations are conducted with sufficient frequency to ensure that the carrying amounts of assets do not differ materially from the assets’ fair values as at the reporting date. The regularity of independent valuations depends upon the volatility of movements in market values for the relevant assets.

Revaluation adjustments are made on a class basis. Any revaluation increment is credited to equity under the heading of asset revaluation reserve except to the extent that it reverses a previous revaluation decrement of the same asset class that was previously recognised in the surplus/deficit. Revaluation decrements for a class of assets are recognised directly in the surplus/deficit except to the extent that they reverse a previous revaluation increment for that class.

Any accumulated depreciation as at the revaluation date is eliminated against the gross carrying amount of the asset and the asset restated to the revalued amount.

Depreciation

Depreciable property, plant and equipment assets are written-off to their estimated residual values over their estimated useful lives to MRT-RRT using, in all cases, the straight-line method of depreciation.

Depreciation rates (useful lives), residual values and methods are reviewed at each reporting date and necessary adjustments are recognised in the current, or current and future reporting periods, as appropriate.

Depreciation rates applying to each class of depreciable asset are based on the following useful lives:

2010 2009

Leasehold improvements Lease term Lease term

Plant and Equipment 3 to 10 years 3 to 10 years

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Impairment

All assets were assessed for impairment at 30 June 2010. Where indications of impairment exist, the asset’s recoverable amount is estimated and an impairment adjustment made if the asset’s recoverable amount is less than its carrying amount.

The recoverable amount of an asset is the higher of its fair value less costs to sell and its value in use. Value in use is the present value of the future cash flows expected to be derived from the asset. Where the future economic benefit of an asset is not primarily dependent on the asset’s ability to generate future cash flows, and the asset would be replaced if the MRT-

RRT were deprived of the asset, its value in use is taken to be its depreciated replacement cost.

1.17 Intangibles

MRT-RRT’s intangibles comprise internally developed software for internal use. These assets are carried at cost less accumulated amortisation.

Software is amortised on a straight-line basis over its anticipated useful life. The useful lives of MRT-RRT’s software are 3 to 8 years (2009: 3 to 8 years).

All software assets were assessed for indications of impairment as at 30 June 2010.

1.18 Taxation / Competitive Neutrality

The MRT-RRT is exempt from all forms of taxation except Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Revenues, expenses and assets are recognised net of GST except:

• where the amount of GST incurred is not recoverable from the Australian Taxation Office; and

• for receivables and payables.

1.19 Reporting of Administered Activities

Administered revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities and cash flows are disclosed in the schedule of administered items and related notes.

Except where otherwise stated below, administered items are accounted for on the same basis and using the same policies as for departmental items, including the application of Australian Accounting Standards.

Administered Cash Transfers to and from the O fficia l P u blic Account

Revenue collected by MRT-RRT for use by the Government rather than the agency is administered revenue. Collections are transferred to the Official Public Account (OPA) maintained by the Department of Finance and Deregulation. Conversely, cash is drawn from the OPA to make payments under Parliamentary appropriation on behalf of Government. These transfers to and from the OPA are adjustments to the administered cash held by the agency on behalf of the Government and reported as such in the statement of cash flows in the schedule of administered items and in the administered reconciliation table in Note 19.

Revenue

All administered revenues are revenues relating to the course of ordinary activities performed by the MRT-RRT on behalf of the Australian Government.

Revenue is generated from fees charged for MRT applications when lodged and RRT applications once the decision has been made (post-decision fee). Administered fee revenue is recognised when invoiced (RRT fees) or received (MRT fees).

Loans and Receivables

Where loans and receivables are not subject to concessional treatment, they are carried at amortised cost using the effective interest method. Gains and losses due to impairment, derecognition and amortisation are recognised through profit or loss.

Note 2: Events A fter the R eporting Period

There has not been any event occurring after balance date that has not been brought to account in the 2009­ 10 Financial Report.

p a r t 5 Financial statements

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PART 5

PART 5

Notes to and forming part of the financial statements

Note 3: Expenses

2010 2009

$’000 $’000

Note 3A: Employee Benefits Wages and salaries 25,683 23,112

Superannuation: Defined benefit plans 2,995 3,045

Defined contribution plans 945 729

Leave and other entitlements 4346 3,588

Separation and redundancies 12

Total employee benefits 33,981 30,474

Note 3B: Suppliers Goods and services Property operating expenses 3,963 3,656

Interpreting 1,053 944

Communications 1,136 818

Interstate facilities 701 523

Printing and Stationery 371 340

Other 2,074 1,807

Total goods and services 9398 8,088

Goods and services are made up of: Provision of goods - external parties 552 497

Rendering of services - related entities 1317 1,404

Rendering of services - external parties 4378 3,337

Total goods and services 6,447 5338

Other supplier expenses Operating lease rentals - external parties: Minimum lease payments 2,672 2,636

Workers compensation expenses 179 214

Total other supplier expenses 2,851 2,850

Total supplier expenses 9398 8,088

Note 3C: Depreciation and Amortisation Depreciation: Infrastructure, plant and equipment 212 233

Buildings 466 462

Computer software 42 120

Total depreciation 720 815

Amortisation: Intangibles: Computer software 614 533

Total amortisation 614 533

Total depreciation and amortisation 1334 1,348

Note 3D: Finance Costs Finance leases 133 140

Total finance costs 133 140

Note 3E: Write-Down and Impairment of Assets Asset write-downs and impairments from: Revaluation decrement - Leasehold Improvements 29 -

Total write-down and impairment of assets 29

Note 3F: Losses from Asset Sales Property, plant and equipment: Carrying value of assets sold 2 -

Total losses from asset sales 2

1 0 0 Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Note 4: Incom e

2010 2009

REVENUE $’000 $'000

Note 4A: Sale of G oods and Rendering of Services

Rendering o f services - related entities 54 _

Total sale of goods and rendering of services 54 "

GAINS

Note 4B: Other G ains

Resources received free of charge 55 55

Other 1 1

Total other gains

56 56

REVENUE FROM GOVERNMENT

Note 4C: R evenue from Governm ent

Appropriations:

Departmental outputs 40,062 38,266

Total revenue from Governm ent 40,062 38,266

p a r t 5 Financial statements 1 O 1

PART 5

PART 5

Notes to and forming part of the financial statements I ^ O B B n m g

2010 2009

$’000 $’000

N ote 5A: C ash and C ash Equivalents

Cash on hand or on deposit 49 103

Total cash and cash equivalents 49 103

N ote 5B: Trade and O ther R eceivables

G ood and S ervices:

Goods and services - related entities 57 -

Total receivables for goods and services 57 -

Appropriations receivable:

For existing outputs 11,756 14,092

Total appropriations receivable 11,756 14,092

O ther receivables:

GST receivable from the Australian Taxation Office 131 130

Other 15 16

Total other receivables 146 146

Total trade and other receivables (gross) 11,902 14,238

Total trade and other receivables (net) 11,959 14,238

Receivables are expected to be recovered in:

No more than 12 months 11,959 14,238

More than 12 months .

Total trade and other receivables (net) 11,959 14,238

Receivables are aged as follows:

Not overdue 11,959 14,238

Total receivables (gross) 11,959 14,238

1 O 2 Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

N ote 6: N o n -F in a n c ia l Assets

Note 6A: Land and Buildings Leasehold improvements:

2010 $’000

2009 $’000

Fair value 1,595 4,007

Accumulated depreciation (86) (2,042)

Total leasehold improvements 1,509 1,965

Total land and buildings 1,509 1,965

$1,509K (2009: $1,965) of total leasehold improvements may not be disposed of without prior ministerial approval. Revaluations are conducted in accordance with Note 1 of the accounts. On the 30 June an independent valuation of our Melbourne property was carried out by the Australian Valuation Office.

A revaluation for leasehold improvements resulting in a decrement of $29K was expensed. (2009: nil) No indicators of impairment were found for land and buildings.

No land or buildings are expected to be sold or disposed of within the next 12 months.

Note 6B: Property, Plant and Equipment Other property, plant and equipment: Fair value 1,012 778

Accumulated depreciation (440) (233)

Total other property, plant and equipment 572 545

Total property, plant and equipment 572 545

No indicators of impairment were found for property, plant and equipment.

Note 6C: Reconciliation of the Opening and Closing Balances of Buildings. Property. Plant and Equipment (2009-10)

Other

property, plant

Buildings & equipment Total $’000 $’000 $’000

As at 1 July 2009 Gross book value 4,007 778 4,785

Accumulated depreciation and impairment (2,042) (233) (2,275)

Net book value 1 July 2009 1,965 545 2,510

Additions: By purchase 39 243 282

Revaluations recognised in the operating result (29) (29)

Depreciation expense (466) (212) (678)

Disposals: Other (4) (4)

Net book value 30 June 2010 1,509 572 2,081

Net book value as of 30 June 2010 represented by: Gross book value 1,595 1,012 2,607

Accumulated depreciation (86) (440) (526)

1,509 572 2,081

i o 3 PART 5

PART 5

PART 5

Notes to and forming part of the financial statements Note 6C (Cont'd): Reconciliation o f the Opening and Closing Balances o f Buildings. P roperty, P lant and Equipment (2008-09)

Total land

buildings $’000

Other property, plant & equipment $’000

Total $’000

As at 1 July 2008 Gross book value 3,976 757 4,733

Accumulated depreciation and impairment (1,580) (1,580)

Net book value 1 July 2008 2,396 757 3,153

Additions: By purchase 31 21 52

Depreciation expense (462) (233) (695)

Net book value 30 June 2009 1,965 545 2,510

Net book value as of 30 June 2009 represented by: Gross book value 4,007 778 4,785

Accumulated depreciation (2,042) (233) (2,275)

1,965 545 2,510

Note 6D: Intangibles Computer software:

2010 $'000

2009 $’000

Internally developed - in use 5,427 4,651

Purchased 157 776

Total computer software (gross) 5,584 5,427

Accumulated amortisation (3,162) (2,506)

Total computer software (net) 2,422 2,921

Total intangibles

No indicators of impairment were found for intangible assets.

No intangibles are expected to be sold or disposed of within the next 12 months.

2,422 2,921

Note 6D (cont'd): Reconciliation of the Opening and Closing Balances of Intangibles (2009-10)

Computer software internally developed

$’000

Computer software purchased $’000

Other

intangibles internally developed $’000

I E

As at 1 July 2009 Gross book value 4,651 776 5,427

Accumulated amortisation and impairment (1,941) (565) (2,506)

Net book value 1 July 2009 2,710 211 2,921

Additions: By purchase 11 11

Internally developed 146 146

Amortisation (589) (67) (656)

Net book value 30 June 2010 2,267 155 2,422

Net book value as of 30 June 2010 represented by: Gross book value 4,797 787 5,584

Accumulated amortisation and impairment (2,530) (632) (3,162)

2,267 155 2,422

i o 4 Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribuna annual report 2009-2010

Note 6D (cont'd): Reconciliation of the Opening and Closing Balances o f Intangibles (2008-09)

Computer software internally developed

$’000

Computer software purchased $’000

Other

intangibles internally developed $’000

Total $’000

As at 1 July 2008 Gross book value 4238 592 4,830

Accumulated amortisation and impairment (1Λ08) (445) (1,853)

Net book value 1 July 2008 2.830 147 2,977

Additions: By purchase 184 184

Internally developed 413 413

Amortisation (533) (120) (653)

Net book value 30 June 2009 2,710 211 2,921

Net book value as of 30 June 2009 represented by: Gross book value 4,651 776 5,427

Accumulated amortisation and impairment (1,941) (565) (2,506)

2,710 211 2,921

2010 2009

Note 6E: Other Non-Financial Assets

$’000 $’000

Prepayments 203 294

Total other non-financial assets 203 294

No indicators of impairment were found for other non-financial assets.

Total other non-financial assets are expected to be recovered in: No more than 12 months ______ 203 ______ 294

Total other non-financial assets ______ 203 ______ 294

part s Financial statements i o 5

PART 5

Notes to and forming part of the financial statements

Note 7: Payables

2010 2009

$’000 $’000

N ote 7A: Suppliers

Trade creditors and accruals 648 777

Total supplier payables 648 777

Supplier payables expected to be settled within 12 months:

Related entities 112 100

External parties 536 677

Total 648 777

Total supplier payables 648 777

Settlement is usually made within 30 days.

N ote 7B: O ther P avables

Other - Appropriation owing to Government 4,801 3,849

Total other payables 4,801 3,849

Total other payables are expected to be settled in:

No more than 12 months 4,801 3,849

Total other payables 4,801 3,849

2010 2009

$'000 $’000

N ote 8: Leases

Finance leases 1,904 2,382

Total finance leases 1,904 2,382

Payable:

Within one year:

Minimum lease payments 611 611

Deduct: future finance charges (101) (133)

In one to five years:

Minimum lease payments 1,486 2,096

Deduct: future finance charges (92) (192)

Finance leases recognised on the balance sheet 1,904 2,382

A finance lease exists in relation to the fitout of the Melbourne office. The lease is non-cancellable and for a fixed term of 10 years commencing 1 September 2003. The interest rate in the lease is 9.31%. There are no contingent rentals.

Note 9: Provisions

2010 2009

N ote 9: E m ployee Provisions

$’000 $’000

Leave 5,018 4,289

Other 1,689 1,510

Total em ployee provisions 6,707 5,799

Employee provisions are expected to be settled in: No more than 12 months 3,164 2,750

More than 12 months 3,543 3,049

Total em ployee provisions 6,707 5,799

1θ 6 : Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Note 10: Cash Flow Reconciliation

2010 2009

$’000 $’000

R econciliation of cash and cash equivalents as per Balance S heet to

C ash Flow S tatem ent

C ash and cash equivalents as per:

Cash flow statement 49 103

Balance sheet 49 _______ 103

D ifference -

R econciliation of net cost of services to net cash from operating

activities:

Net cost of services (44,667) (39,994)

Add revenue from Government 40,062 38,266

Adjustm ents for non-cash item s

Depreciation / amortisation 1,334 1,348

Net write down of non-financial assets 29 -

Disposal of assets 2 -

C hanges in assets / liabilities

(Increase) / decrease in net receivables 2,279 (650)

(Increase) / decrease in prepayments 91 (56)

Increase / (decrease) in employee provisions 908 469

Increase / (decrease) in supplier payables (129) 104

Increase / (decrease) in other payable 952 1,525

N et cash from (used by) operating activities 861 1,012

Note 11: Contingent Liabilities and Assets

Quantifiable Contin2encies There are no quantifiable contingent assets and liabilities as at 30 June 2010.

Unquantifiable Contingencies At 30 June 2010 the MRT-RRT had no legal claims against it.

i 0 7 part 5 Financial stater

PART 5

PART 5

Notes to and forming part of the financial statements

Note 12: Senior Exeeutive Remuneration

Note 12A: Actual Remuneration Paid to Senior Executives

2010 2009

The number of senior executives who received:

less than $145,000* 1

$190,000 to $204,999 1 1

$220,000 to $234,999 - 1

$250,000 to $264,999 1 1

$370,000 to $384,999 1 1

Total 4 4

* Excluding acting arrangements and part-year

Total expense recognised in relation to Senior Executive employment $ $

Short-term employee benefits: Salary (including annual leave taken) 603,974 738,993

Changes in annual leave provisions 45,078 19,692

Performance bonus 12,023 21,375

Other1 138,124 150,280

Total Short-term employee benefits 799,199 930,340

Superannuation (post-employment benefits) 76,667 110,513 Total 875,866 1,040,853

1. "Other" includes motor vehicle allowances and other allowances. One position was vacant for 9 months.

Note 12B: Salary Packages for Senior Executives

Average annualised remuneration packages for substantive Senior Executives

As at 30 June 2010___________ _______ As at 30 June 2009

Total remuneration:

No. SES

Base salary (including annual leave)

Total

remuneration package1

Base salary (including

No. SES annual leave)

Total

remuneration package1

$175,000 to $189,999 1 126,415 180,206

$190,000 to $204,999 1 141,650 198,642

$225,000 to $239,999 1 155,030 231,130

$240,000 to $254,999 2 167,690 244,006 1 171,201 251,342

$355,000 to $369,999 1

Total 4

194,720 366,733 1 189,040

4

362,978

* Excluding acting arrangements and part-year service.

Notes 1. Non-Salary elements available to Senior Executives include: (a) Performance Bonus (b) Motor vehicle allowance

(c) Superannuation

Ί O 8 Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Note 13: R em uneration o f A uditors

2010 2009

$’000 $’000

Financial statement audit services were provided free of charge to the Agency.

The fair value of the services provided was: 55 _________ 55

55 55

No other services were provided by the Auditor-General.

part 5 Financial statements · i o 9

PART 5

PART 5

Notes to and forming part of the financial statements

N ote 14: Financial Instrum ents

2010 2009

Notes $'000 $'000

Note 14A: Categories of Financial Instruments Financial Assets Loans and receivables:

Cash and Cash Equivalents 5A 49 103

Loans and Receivables 5B 72 16

Total 121 119

Carrying amount of financial assets 121 119

Financial Liabilities At amortised cost:

Finance lease 8 1,904 2,382

Other Liabilities - Suppliers 7A 648 777

Total 2,552 3,159

Carrying amount o f financial liabilities 2,552 3,159

Note 14B: Net Expense from Financial Liabilities Financial liabilities - at amortised cost Interest expense

Net gainZ(loss) financial liabilities - at amortised cost

Net gain/(Ioss) from financial liabilities

Note 14C: Fair Value o f Financial Instruments

3D 133

133

133

140

140

140

Carrying Fair Carrying Fair

amount value amount value

2010 2010 2009 2009

$'000 $'000 $'000 $000

Financial Assets Cash and Equivalents 49 49 103 103

Loans and Receivables 72 72 16 16

Total 121 72 119 119

Financial Liabilities finance lease 1,904 1,831 2,382 2,301

Other - suppliers 648 648 777 777

Total 2,552 2,479 3,159 3,078

Fair value for all classes of assets and liabilities is determined at market value.

Note 14D: Credit Risk The MRT-RRT's maximum exposure to credit risk at reporting date in relation to each class o f recognised financial The MRT-RRT has no significant exposures to any concentrations o f credit risk.

All figures for credit risk referred to do not take into account the value of any collateral or other security.

Note 14E: Liquidity Risk The MRT-RRT financial liabilities are payables, loans from government and finance leases. The exposure to liquidity risk is based on the notion that the Agency will encounter difficulty in meeting its obligations associated with financial liabilities. This is highly unlikely due to appropriation funding and mechanisms available to the MRT-RRT (e.g. Advance to the Finance Minister) and internal policies and procedures put in place to ensure there are appropriate resources to meet its financial obligations.

Note 14F: Market Risk The MRT-RRT holds a fixed lease at 9.31% for leasehold property and is not exposed to market risks. The MRT-RRT is not exposed 'Currency risk' or 'Other price risk'.

1 1 o Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal a n n u a l r e p o r t 2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

Notes to the Schedule of Administered Items

ι^ η η Ι η

2010 2009

REVENUE

Non-Taxation R evenue

N ote 15: O ther R evenue

$'000 $O00

Other - MRT Application fees 10,291 9,260

Other - RRT Post Decision fees 2352 2,806

Total other revenue 12,643 12,066

B H

EXPEN SES

N ote 16A: W rite-Down and Im pairm ent of A ssets

Asset write-downs and impairments from:

2010

$'000

2009 $'000

Bad debts - RRT fees 1,546 2.068

Total w rite-down and im pairm ent of assets 1,546 2,068

N ote 16B: O ther E xpenses

Refund of fees 5291 4.405

Total other expenses 5,291 4.405

part 5 Financial stater 1 1 1

PART 5

1

1 ■ 1 ' 2010 2009

l l t 4* !_ ~ i-c V-, s g j j j ί ? C5- , *. . $’000 $'000

FINANCIAL A S S E TS

N ote 17 A: C ash and C ash Equivalents

Cash on hand or on deposit 59 54

Total cash and cash equivalents 59 54

N ote 17B : R eceivables

O ther receivables:

1,311 1,125 Fees

Total other receivables 1,311 1.125

Total receivables (gross) UH 1,125

Less: impairment allowance account: Other 562 656

Total im pairm ent allow ance account 562 656

Total receivables (net) 749 469

Receivables are expected to be recovered in: No more than 12 months More than 12 months

749 469

Total trade and other receivables (net) 749 469

Receivables were aged as follows: Not overdue Overdue by:

234 188

0 to 30 days 223 193

31 to 60 days 164 218

61 to 90 days 207 216

More than 90 days 483 310

Total receivables (gross) 1,311 1.125

The impairment allowance account is aged as follows: Not overdue Overdue by:

4

0 to 30 days 16

31 to 60 days 2 143

61 to 90 days 185 192

More than 90 days 375 301

Total im pairm ent allow ance account 562 656

Goods and services receivables are with entities external to the Australian Government. Credit terms were within 7 days (2009: [7] days).

R econciliation of the Im pairm ent A llow ance Account:

M ovem ents in relation to 2010

O ther

receivables Total

$'000 $'000

O pening balance 656 656

Increase/decrease recognised in net surplus (94) (94)

C losing balance 562 562

Movements in relation to 2009

Other

receivables Total

$'000 $'000

O pening balance 307 307

Increase/decrease recognised in net surplus 349 349

C losing balance 656 656

1 1 2 ANNUAL REPORT 2009 -2 01 0

[Note 18: Liabiiities Administered on Behalf of Government

2010 2009

$’000 $’000

PAYABLES

N ote 18: O ther payables

Other _________

Total other payables _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ^

2010 2009

$’000 $'000

O pening adm inistered assets less adm inistered liabilities as at 1 July 523 262

Adjustments for prior years roundings (6)

Adjusted opening adm inistered assets less adm inistered liabilities 517 262

Plus: Administered income 12,643 12,066

Less: Administered expenses (6,837) (6,473)

Administered transfers to/from Australian Government:

Appropriation transfers from OP A:

Annual appropriations for administered expenses 5,340 4,404

Transfers to OP A (10,855) (9,736)

C losing adm inistered assets less adm inistered liabilities as at 30 June 808 523

I Note 20: Administered Contingent Assets and Liabilities

Unquantifiable C ontingencies

At 30 June 2010, the MRT-RRT had no contingent assets.

At 30 June 2010, the MRT-RRT had no legal claims against it.

1 1 3 p a r t 5 Financial statements

PART 5

PART 5

Notes to and forming part of the financial statements

■ H

Note 21 A: C ategories o f Financial instrum ents

Financial A ssets

Cash

Loans and receivables

Total

C arrying am ount o f financial assets

; r ; - p P i ”· : Μ · ·â– ' , !■:; '■§: ·· 1 \ j ,

N ote 21B: P air Value o f Financial Instrum ents

2010

$•000

5 9

7 4 9

s o *

SOS

2009

$ ’000

54

469

523

523

m " ■ " ” jjt§ r : τ Κ ; V . :

C arrying Fair Carrying Fair

am ount value am ount value

H I H i - =, i f e l s i S I i # 2010 2010 2009 2009

$'000 $'000 $'000 $'000

Finan cial A ssets

C ash on Hand 5 9 5 9 54 54

Loans and receivables i 7 4 9 7 4 9 469 469

Total 808 SOS 523 523

i. Fair value for loans and receivables is, w hich is determ ined for disclosure purposes, is calculated based

principal and interest cash flow s, discounted at the m arket rate o f interest at reporting date.

on the present value o f future

N ote 21C: C redit Risk

The M R T -R R T is not exposed to credit risk at reporting date in relation to each class o f recognised financial assets.

Note 21D: L kiuiditv Risk

T he M R T -R R T has no financial liabilities and is not exposed to liquidity risk. ; j k ^

| | | |

N ote 21E: M arket Risk T he M R T -R R T is not exposed to m arket risk.

1 1 A : Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal ANNUAL REPORT 2009-2010

N ote 22: Appropriations

Acquittal of Authority to D raw C ash from the C onsolidated R evenue Fund for O rdinary Annual S ervices

A ppropriations

Particulars

D epartm ental outputs

2010

$000

2009

S'000

B alance brought forw ard from previous period (A p p ro p ria tio n Acts) 10,346 11,165

A p p ro p ria tio n A c t:

A ppropriation A c t (N o. 1 , 3& 5) 2009-2010 as passed 41,014 37,513

A ppropriations R educed:

A d ju stm e n t to appropriations (952) 734

F M A A c t:

* A ppropriations to take account o f recoverable G S T (F M A A c t section 30 A ) 1 (4) (74)

R elevant agency re ceipts (F M A A c t s 31) 55 1

Total appropriation available for paym ents 50,459 4 9,339

C ash p aym ents m ad e during the year (G S T inclusive) (43.455) (38.993)

B alance o f authority to draw cash from the C onsolidated R evenue F und for ordinary annual

services appropriations and as re presented by: 7,004 10,346

C ash at ban k and on hand 49 103

D epartm ental appropriations receivable 11,756 14,092

D epartm ental appropriations to b e returned to the O fficial P ublic A ccount (4,801) (3,849)

Total as at 30 June 7,004 10,346

1. The am ounts in this line item are calculated on an accrual basis to the extent that an expense m ay have been incurred that includes GST but has not been paid by year end

p a r t 5 Financial statements 1 1 5

PART 5

PART 5

Notes to and forming part of the financial statements

S U M # ·â–  H U

2010

$

2009 $

Adm inistered

No ‘Act of Grace’ expenses were incurred during the reporting period (2009: Nil expenses). - -

2 waivers of amounts owing to the Australian Government were made pursuant to subsection 34( 1) of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997. (2009 Nil waivers) 2,000

490 waivers of amounts owing to the Australian Government were made pursuant to Regulation 4.13(4) of the Migration Regulations 1994. (2009: 338 waivers)

686,000 473,200

1 l 6 : Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Note 24: Reporting of Outcomes

N ote 24A: N et C ost of O utcom e D elivery

O utcom e 1

2010

$’000

2009 $’000

E xpenses

Administered 6.837 6,473

Departmental 44,777 40,050

Total 51,614 46,523

Incom e from non-governm ent sector

Total administered 12.643 12,066

Departmental Other -

Total departmental -

Total 12,643 12,066

N et cost/(contribution) of outcom e delivery | 38,971 | 34,457 |

Outcome 1 is described in Note 1.1. Net costs shown include intra-government costs that are eliminated in calculating the actual Budget Outcome. Refer to Note 3B.

N ote 24B: M ajor C lasses of D epartm ental Expense, Incom e. A ssets and

Liabilities bv O utcom es

O utcom e 1

2010

$’000

2009 $’000

D epartm ental E xpenses:

Employees 33,981 30,474

Suppliers 9,298 8,088

Depreciation and Amortisation 1,334 1,348

Finance costs 133 140

Write-down and impairment of assets 29

Other Expenses 2 -

Total 44,777 40,050

D epartm ental Incom e:

Income from government 40,462 38,266

Rendering of services 54 -

Total 40,516 38266

D epartm ental A ssets

Financial Assets 12,008 14341

Non-Financial Assets 4,706 5,725

Total 16,714 20,066

D epartm ental Liabilities

Payables 5,449 4,626

Interest Bearing Liabilities 1,904 2,382

Provisions 6,707 5,799

Total 14,060 12,807

Outcome 1 is described in Note 1.1. Net costs shown include intra-government costs that are eliminated in calculating the actual Budget outcome.

1 1 7 part 5 Financial statements

PART 5

PART 5

Notes to and forming part of the financial statements N ote 24C : Major C lasses of Adm inistered E xpenses, Incom e, A ssets and

Liabilities by O utcom es

O utcom e 1

2010 $'000 x M

£ S

Adm inistered expenses

Write down and impairment of assets 1,546 2x m

Other Expenses - refund of application fees 5 ,2 9 1 4 ,4 0 5

Total M 3 ? 6 .4 7 3

Adm inistered incom e

Other non-tax revenue 12.643 12,066

Total 12,643 12,066

Adm inistered assets . I

Financial assets 808 523

Total 808 __y

Adm inistered liabilities

Other -

Total - "

Outcome 1 is described in Note 1.1.

1 1 8 Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

APPENDIX 1

M e m b e rs h ip

APPENDIX 1

Appendix i - Membership The tribunals' members make decisions on applications for review.The members are appointed under the Migration Act 1958 by the Governor-General for fixed terms on a full-time or part-time basis.The Remuneration Tribunal determines the remuneration arrangements for members.

While there are no mandatory qualifications for the appointment of members, persons appointed as members to the tribunals have typically worked in a profession or have had extensive experience at senior levels in the private or public sectors. Member biographies are available on the tribunals’ website.

A list of members and their appointment periods as at 1 July 2010 is set out below.

The first appointment date reflects the date from which there has been continuing appointments to the MRT, the RRT or both tribunals.

Mr Denis O’Brien Principal Member 3 Sep 2007 30 Jun 2012 M Sydney

Ms Amanda MacDonald

Deputy Principal Member l Dec 2000 31 Mar 2015 F Sydney

Ms Linda Kirk

Senior Member i Jan 2009 31 Dec 2013 F Melbourne

Mr Peter Murphy Senior Member iJan 2009 31 Dec 2013 M Melbourne

Dr Irene O’Connell Senior Member 28 Aug

2000

31 Dec 2013 F Sydney

Mr Giles Short

Senior Member 28 Jul 1997 31 Dec 2013 M Sydney

Dr Jennifer Beard Full-time Member i Jul 2009 30 Jun 2014 F Melbourne

Ms Danica Buljan Full-time Member 1 Oct 2001 30 Jun 2015 F Melbourne

Mr Tony Caravella Full-time Member i Jul 2009 30 Jun 2014 M Perth

Mr John Cipolla Full-time Member 1 Feb 2000 30 Jun 2015 M Sydney

Ms Denise Connolly

Full-time Member 1 Jul 2010 30 Jun 2015 F Sydney

Mr Richard Derewlany

Full-time Member i Oct 2001 30 Jun 2015 M Sydney

1 2 0 : Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Ms Dione Dimitriadis

Full-time Member 14 Jul 2003 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Ms Suseela Durvasula

Full-time Member 1 Oct 2001 30 Jun 2015 F Sydney

Mr Paul Fisher

Full-time Member 1 Jul 2006 30 Jun 2014 M Melbourne

Mr Patrick Francis Full-time Member 1 Jul 2010 30 Jun 2015 M Melbourne

Ms Maria Rosa Gagliardi Full-time Member

31 Jul 2006 30 Jun 2014 F Melbourne

Ms Michelle Grau Full-time Member 1 Jul 2010 30 Jun 2015 F Sydney

Mr George Haddad Full-time Member 1 Jul 2006 30 Jun 2014 M Melbourne

Mr Ismail Hasan Full-time Member 1 Jul 2009 30 Jun 2014 M Sydney

Ms Margret Holmes

Full-time Member 1 Jul 2009 30 Jun 2014 F

Melbourne

Mr Simon Jeans Full-time Member 1 Jul 2010 30 Jun 2015 M Sydney

Mr Dominic Lennon

Full-time Member 14 Jul 2003 30 Jun 2014 M Melbourne

Mr Paul Millar

Full-time Member 1 Jul 2010 30 Jun 2015 M Sydney

Mr David Mitchell Full-time Member 7 Jul 1999 30 Jun 2015 M Melbourne

Mr Adam Moore Full-time Member 1 Jul 2010 30 Jun 2015 M Melbourne

Ms Louise Nicholls Full-time Member 1 Oct 2001 30 Jun 2015 F Sydney

Mr Charles Powles Full-time Member 1 Jul 2010 30 Jun 2015 M Melbourne

Ms Kira Raif

Full-time Member 1 Jul 2006 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Mr Shahyar Roushan

Full-time Member 1 Oct 2001 30 Jun 2015 M Sydney

Mr Andrew Rozdilsky

Full-time Member 1 Jul 2010 30 Jun 2015 M Sydney

appendix i M em b e rsh ip 1 2 1

L X I C N 3 d d V

APPENDIX 1

Mr James Silva Full-time Member 14 Jul 2003 30 Jun 2014 M Sydney

Mr Donald Smyth Full-time Member 14 Jul 2003 30 Jun 2014 M Brisbane

Ms Linda Symons Full-time Member 1 Jul 2006 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Mrs Mary Urquhart Full-time Member 1 Jul 2006 30 Jun 2014 F Melbourne

Mr Robert Wilson Full-time Member 1 Jul2002 30 Jun 2015 M Sydney

Ms Diane Barnetson

Pa rt-time Member 1 Jul 2006 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Ms Wendy Boddison

Part-time Member 28 Jul 1997 30 Jun 2015 F Melbourne

Ms Melissa Bray Part-time Member i Jul 2010 30 Jun 2015 F Melbourne

Ms Nicole Burns Pa rt-time Member 1 Jul 2007 30 Jun 2015 F Melbourne

Ms Mary Cameron Part-time Member 1 Jul 2006 30 Jun 2014 F Melbourne

Ms Catherine Carney-Osborn Part-time Member

1 Jul 2006 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Ms Jennifer Ciantar Part-time Member 14 Jul 2003 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Ms Christine Cody Part-time Member 1 Jul 2010 30 Jun 2015 F Sydney

Mr Timothy Connellan

Pa rt-time Member 1 Jul 2007 30 Jun 2015 M Melbourne

Mr Clyde Cosentino Part-time Member i Jul 2010 30 Jun 2015 M Brisbane

Ms Angela Cranston

Part-time Member 14 Jul 2003 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Mr Glen Cranwell Pa rt-time Member 1 Jul 2009 30 Jun 2014 M Brisbane

Ms Gabrielle Cullen Part-time Member i Jul 2006 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Ms Megan Deane Part-Member 23 Mar 2000 30 Jun 2015 F Melbourne

Mr Ted Delofski Part-time Member 1 Oct 2001 30 Jun 2015 M Sydney

1 2 2 : Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Mr David Dobell Part-time Member l Jul 2006 30 Jun 2014 M Sydney

Mr Jonathon Duignan

Part-time Member 8 Jan 2001 30 Jun 2015 M Sydney

Ms Jennifer Ellis Part-time Member 15 Jun 1999 30 Jun 2015 F Melbourne

Ms Jennifer Eutick Part-time Member 1 Jul 2010 30 Jun 2015 F Brisbane

Ms Bronwyn Forsyth

Part-time Member 25 Sep 2006 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Ms Mila Foster Part-time Member 14 Jul 2003 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Mr Brook Hely

Part-time Member i Jul 2009 30 Jun 2014 M Melbourne

Ms Diane Hubble Pa rt-time Member 1 Jul 2006 30 Jun 2014 F Melbourne

Ms Sally Hunt

Part-time Member 1 Jul 2010 30 Jun 2015 F Sydney

Ms Rowena Irish Part-time Member i Jul 2010 30 Jun 2015 F Sydney

Mr Andrew Jacovides

Part-time Member 19 Sep 1993 30 Jun 2015 M Sydney

Ms Deborah Jordan Part-time Member 1 Jul 2007 30 Jun 2015 F Melbourne

Ms Suhad Kamand Part-time Member 1 Jul 2009 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Ms Kay Kirmos Pa rt-time Member 14 Jul 2003 30 Jun 2014 F Brisbane

Mr Anthony Krohn Part-time Member i Jul 2010 30 Jun 2015 M Melbourne

Ms Suzanne Leal Part-time Member 1 Oct 2001 30 Jun 2015 F Sydney

Mr Gary Led son Part-time Member 1 Jul 2007 30 Jun 2015 M Melbourne

Ms Patricia Leehy Part-time Member 28 Jul 1997 30 Jun 2015 F Sydney

Ms Christine Long Part-time Member 14 Jul 2003 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Mr Bruce MacCarthy

Part-time Member 1Jul 2009 30 Jun 2014 M Sydney

APPENDIX 1 M el

APPENDIX 1

APPENDIX 1

Ms Jane Marquard Pa rt-time Member 1 Jul 2006 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Ms Rosemary Mathlin

Pa rt-time Member 1 Jul 1993 30 Jun 2015 F Sydney

Ms Philippa McIntosh

Part-time Member 5 Sep 1993 30 Jun 2015 F Sydney

Ms Vanessa Moss Part-time Member i Jul 2010 30 Jun 2015 F Perth

Ms Mara Moustafine

Pa rt-time Member 1 Jul 2009 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Mrs Sydelle Muling Part-time Member 14 Jul 2003 30 Jun 2014 F Melbourne

Mr Andrew Mullin Part-time Member 14 Jul 2003 30 Jun 2014 M Sydney

Ms Alison Murphy Part-time Member 1 Jul 2010 30 Jun 2015 F Melbourne

Ms Ann O’Toole Part-time Member 14 Jul 2003 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Ms Susan Pinto Part-time Member 14 Jul 2003 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Ms Pauline Pope Part-time Member 14 Jul 2003 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Ms Pamela Summers

Part-time Member 1 Jul 2009 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Ms Karen Synon Pa rt-time Member 1 Oct 2001 30 Jun 2015 F Melbourne

Mr Peter Tyler

Part-time Member 1 Jul 2007 30 Jun 2015 M Melbourne

Ms Lisa Ward

Part-time Member 1 Oct 2001 30 Jun 2015 F Perth

Ms Phillippa Wearne

Part-time Member 1 Jul 2006 30 Jun 2014 F Sydney

Ms Belinda Wells Part-time Member 1 Jul 2009 30 Jun 2014 F Adelaide

Ms Carolyn Wilson Part-time Member i Jul 2009 30 Jun 2014 F Adelaide

Mr David Young Part-time Member 14 Jul 2003 30 Jun 2014 M Melbourne

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

APPENDIX 2

Appendix 2 - Freedom of Information

INTRODUCTION

This statement is published to meet the requirements of section 8 of the Freedom o f Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act). Section 8 requires each Australian Government agency to publish information about the way it is organised, and its functions, powers, and arrangements for public participation in the work of the agency. Agencies are also required to publish the categories of documents held and how members of the public can gain access to such documents.

This statement is correct as at 30 June 2010 and should be read in conjunction with the more detailed information in the rest of this Annual Report.

The Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 and the Freedom o f Information Amendment (Reform) Act 2010 (Reform Act) passed through Parliament on 31 May 2010. The reforms to the FOI Act are aimed at promoting a pro-disclosure culture across government and building a stronger foundation for more openness in government.

The reforms will impact the way the tribunals process FOI requests and the tribunals’ information publication scheme. The majority of measures in the Reform Act will commence on 1 November 2010.The new Information Publication Scheme and the requirement for agencies to publish information where access has been given under the FOI Act will commence on 1 May 20η.

ESTABLISHMENT

The tribunals are established under the Migration Act 1958. The MRT commenced on i June 1999 and the RRT commenced on 1 July 1993.

ORGANISATION

The organisational structure of the tribunals is described in Parts 2 and 4 of this Report.

FUNCTIONS

The tribunals conduct independent final merits reviews of visa and visa-related decisions made under the Migration Act and Migration Regulations. The tribunals are required to provide a mechanism of review that is fair, just, economical, informal and quick.

POWERS

The tribunals have the power to affirm, vary or set aside a decision under review, to remit (return) a matter to the Department for reconsideration in accordance with permissible directions, or to substitute a new decision. They have powers to conduct investigations, to summon witnesses and documents and to take evidence on oath or affirmation.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR OUTSIDE PARTICIPATION

Decisions are made by the MRT or the RRT as formally constituted under the Migration Act for a particular case.

1 2 6 : Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Review applicants are entitled to give written arguments and written statements relating to the facts and issues arising in their review applications, and may appear before the MRT or the RRT to present arguments and give oral evidence. The Secretary of the Department is entitled to give the tribunals written arguments relating to the

issues arising in a review application.

The MRT-RRT Community Liaison Meetings provide a forum for the tribunals to meet, exchange information with and consult interested stakeholders. Representatives who attend the meetings come from migration and refugee advocacy groups, human rights bodies and other government agencies. There is an exchange of information

and consultation on the tribunals’ processes, caseloads, and relevant legislative and other developments.

The tribunals hold regular liaison meetings with the Department to discuss caseload trends and general business issues.

CATEGORIES OF DOCUMENTS

The tribunals maintain the following categories of documents:

• case files and Departmental files;

• case records;

• decision records;

• audio recordings of proceedings;

• application and other forms;

• brochures and fact sheets;

• procedures;

• legal advices;

• reference and research materials;

• country advices;

• statistics; and

• administrative and policy files.

The tribunals do not have any documents available for purchase by the public.

FACILITIES FOR ACCESS TO INFORM ATION

The tribunals provide access to documents under the Migration Act or under the FOI Act by supervised access to the original documents and/or by providing copies of documents. Access is available at each of the Tribunals’ registries.

The tribunals maintain an internet website which provides electronic access to certain statistical information, policies and procedures, application and other forms and reference materials.

appendix 2 Freedom o f In fo rm a tio n \ "|

APPENDIX 2

APPENDIX 2

ACCESS TO DOCUMEjyrS UNDER THE M IGRATION ACT

Section 362A of the Migration Act provides that MRT applicants and their representatives are entitled to have access to any written material, or a copy of any written material, given or produced to the MRT for the purposes of the review. This right of access means that most requests for access received by the MRT are dealt with outside the FOI Act.

Applicants can obtain access to documents held by the MRT relating to their review application by making a written request using form MR16 Request for Access to Documents available from the tribunals’ registries or at www.mrt-rrt.gov.au. No fee applies.

During 2009-10, the MRT received 1,674 requests for access under section 362A of the Migration Act, and finalised 1,674 requests.

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS UNDER THE FOI ACT

Any person may make a request under the FOI Act for access to documents held by the tribunals.The request must be made in writing and set out sufficient details to identify the information sought. The MR3 Freedom of Information form for seeking access to documents is available from the tribunals’ registries or the Tribunal website. People applying for access are asked to provide an address in Australia to which the requested information can be sent and to provide a day-time phone number in case there is a need to seek further information.

The $30 FOI application fee will be abolished from 1 November 2010. The tribunals’ policy had been not to require payment of the fee for applicants requiring access to documents about their own cases.

There will also be changes in charging arrangements from 1 November 2010. The tribunals anticipate that charges will be imposed in even fewer requests than the small number of requests for which charges are currently imposed.

During 2009-10, the tribunals received 730 requests for access under the FOI Act, and finalised 721 requests.

INITIAL CONTACT FOR INQUIRIES

Requests for access to documents under section 362A of the Migration Act should be addressed to the registry dealing with the case.

Initial inquiries concerning access to documents or other matters relating to FOI may be made at any registry. An FOI request can be made at any registry.

Addresses and contact information for the tribunals’ registries are provided on page 2 of this Report.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

APPENDIX 3

Appendix 3 - Additional staffing statistics The following membership and staffing statistics are provided in addition to those set out in Part 4 of the Report.

Ongoing and non-ongoing staff

Women Men Total Women Men Total Women Men Total

Ongoing full-time

140 89 229 1 3 3 88 221 148 90 238

Ongoing part-time 3i

6 37 30 6 36 26 6 32

Non-ongoing full-time 4

1 5 6 4 10 5 6 11

Non-ongoing part-time

0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1

Casual 1 O 1 1 O 1 1 0 1

Total 176 96 272 170 98 268 181 102 283

Members and staff by location 30 June 2010

■Members 53 33 3 3 2 94Staff 194 78 0 0 0 272Total 247 111 3 3 2 366Members and staff by age 30 June 2010, ■Under 25 3 O25 to 34 7i O35 to 44 86 2245 to 54 73 3 455 to 64 32 31Over 65 7 7Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

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APPENDIX 4

D is a b ility A c tio n Plan

APPENDIX 4

Purchaser role

i. Publicly available Percentage of publicly All requests for Seek to meet

information on agreed available purchasing information in any requests for

purchasing specifications specifications requested and accessible formats information in are available in accessible formats* for people with disabilities.

provided in:

• accessible electronic formats; and

• accessible formats other than electronic.

Average time taken to provide accessible material in:

• electronic formats; and • formats other than electronic.

were met. accessible formats.

Actions for 2010-11

Seek to meet any requests for information in accessible formats.

2. Processes for purchasing Percentage of processes Purchasing for an Maintain processes. Maintain processes. goods or services with a direct for purchasing goods or individual with a impact# on the lives of people services that directly impact disability is done in with disabilities are developed on the lives of people with consultation with in consultation with people disabilities that are developed that individual. with disabilities. in consultation with people

with disabilities.

Appendix 4 - Disability Action Plan

a p p e n d i x 4 D is a b ility A c tio n Plan

3. Purchasing specifications** and contract requirements for the purchase of goods and services are consistent

with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act igg2.

Percentage of purchasing specifications for goods and services that specify that tender organisations must

comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.

Percentage of contracts for the purchase of goods and services that require the contractor to comply with the

Disability Discrimination Act.

All requests for tender and draft contracts issued included a clause

requiring compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act.

Include specifications and requirements in memoranda of understanding

and service level agreements.

Actions for 2010-11

Seek to include specifications and requirements in memoranda of

understanding and service level agreements as they are reviewed or renewed.

Continue to meet all requests for alternative formats.

specifications requested in purchasing specification were met. accessible formats for people requested and provided in: with disabilities is provided. . accessible electronic formats; and

• accessible formats other than electronic.

Average time taken to provide accessible material in:

• electronic formats; and • formats other than electronic.

4. Publicly available Percentage of publicly performance reporting available performance against the purchase contract reports against the contract

All requests for information in accessible formats

Meet all requests for information in accessible formats.

APPENDIX 4

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Provider role

Performance indicator

1. Established mechanisms for quality improvement and assurance.

Performance measure

Evidence of quality improvement and assurance systems in operation.

2. An established service charter that specifies the roles of the tribunals and applicants and service

standards which address accessibility for people with disabilities.

3. Complaints / grievance mechanisms, including access to external mechanisms, in place to address concerns

raised about performance.

4. Premises and facilities are accessible and useable by people with a disability.

Established service charter that adequately reflects the needs of people with disabilities in operation.

Established complaints / grievance mechanisms, including access to external mechanisms, in operation.

Degree to which premises and facilities are accessible and useable by people with a disability.

Performance 2009-10

No established mechanisms for quality improvement and assurance which

specifically address accessibility for people with disabilities.

The Service Charter advises of facilities which are available for people with disabilities.

No complaints about disability related issues were received.

Buildings provide level street access and are close to transport links. The general fit out and disabled facilities are consistent with

relevant laws and building codes.

Goals for 2010-11

Consider development of mechanisms for quality improvement

and assurance.

Maintain Service Charter and apply service standards.

Maintain 2009- record of no complaints.

Maintain existing premises and facilities.

Actions for 2010-11

Consider development of mechanisms for quality improvement

and assurance.

Maintain Service Charter and apply service standards.

Continue to provide complaint/grievance mechanism.

Maintain existing premises and facilities.

APPENDIX 5

Appendix 5 - List of requirements

Agencies are required to prepare Annual Reports to Parliament consistently with requirements approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit and published by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Detailed below are the page numbers relating to each of the Annual Report requirements.

Letter of transmittal 3

Table o f contents 4

Index 149

Glossary 139

Contact officer(s) 2

Internet home page address and Internet address for report 2

Report by the Principal Member 9

Summary of significant issues and developments 10-12

Overview of tribunals’ performance and financial results 24-27

Outlook for following year 10-12

Significant issues and developments - portfolio 10-12

Overview description of the tribunals 14

Role and functions 14

Organisational structure 20

Outcome and program structure 24-25

Where outcome and program structures differ from PB Statements/ PAES or other portfolio statements accompanying any other additional appropriation bills (other portfolio statements), details of variation and reasons for change

24

Portfolio structure 20-21

Review of performance during the year in relation to programs and contribution to outcomes 24

Actual performance in relation to deliverables and KPIs set out in PB Statements/PAES or other portfolio statements 24

Performance of purchaser/ provider arrangements 80

Where performance targets differ from the PBS/ PAES, details of both former and new targets, and reasons for the change 24-25

Narrative discussion and analysis of performance 10-12,24

1 D 6 : Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

Trend information 28

Significant changes in nature of principal functions/services 50

Factors, events or trends influencing the tribunals’ performance 10-12

Contribution of risk management in achieving objectives 62

Social justice and equity impacts 44

Performance against service charter customer service standards, complaints data, and the tribunals’ response to complaints 47

Discussion and analysis of the tribunals’ financial performance 26

Discussion of any significant changes from the prior year or from budget 26

Agency resource statement and summary resource tables by outcomes 26

Developments since the end of the financial year that have affected or may significantly affect operations or financial results in future 50

Statement of the main corporate governance practices in place 60

Names of the senior executive and their responsibilities 60

Senior management committees and their roles 60

Corporate and operational planning and associated performance reporting and review 61

Approach adopted to identifying areas of significant financial or operational risk 62

Certification that the tribunals comply with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines 63

Policy and practices on the establishment and maintenance of appropriate ethical standards 62

How nature and amount of remuneration for SES officers is determined 73

Significant developments in external scrutiny 63

Judicial decisions and decisions of administrative tribunals 37

Reports by the Auditor-General, a Parliamentary Committee or the Commonwealth Ombudsman 63

Assessment of effectiveness in managing and developing human resources to achieve tribunal objectives 69

Workforce planning, staff turnover and retention 72

Impact and features of enterprise or collective agreements, determinations, common law contracts and AWAs 73-74

Training and development undertaken and its impact 72

Occupational health and safety performance 74

appendix 5 List of requirements 1 3 7

APPENDIX 5

APPENDIX 5

Productivity gains 25

Statistics on staffing 70-71,130

Enterprise or collective agreements, determinations, common law contracts and AWAs 73-74

Performance pay 74

Assessment of effectiveness of assets management 79

Assessment of purchasing against core policies and principles 80

Number of new and ongoing consultancy services contracts and total actual expenditure on consultancy contracts 79-80

Absence of provisions in contracts allowing access by the Auditor-General 79

Contracts exempt from the AusTender 80

Report on performance in implementing the Commonwealth Disability Strategy 77

Financial Statements 82

Occupational health and safety (section 74 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 7997) 74-75

Freedom of Information (subsection 8(1) of the Freedom o f Information Act 1982) 126-128

Advertising and Market Research (Section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918) and statement on advertising campaigns 80

Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance (Section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 7999)

78

Grant programs 80

Correction of material errors in previous annual report 80

1 5 θ · Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

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G l o s s a r y o f t e r m s a n d a b b r e v i a t i o n s

GLOSSARY

Glossary of terms and abbreviations

AASB Australian Accounting Standards Board.

AAT The Administrative Appeals Tribunal is a statutory body that provides independent merits review of a range of government decisions.

Access to documents

The tribunals allow access to documents they hold in accordance with the Migration Act and the FOI Act.

Act, the The Migration Act 1958 (the Act) is the principal legislation which establishes the tribunals and sets out their functions, powers and procedures. The Act is the legislative basis for all decisions reviewable by the tribunals.

AEIFRS The Australian Equivalents to International Financial Reporting Standards.

affirm To ratify the decision under review - the original decision remains unchanged and in force.

AIAL Australian Institute of Administrative Law.

ANAO The Australian National Audit Office is a specialist public sector practice providing a full range of audit services to the Parliament and public sector agencies and statutory bodies.

ANU The Australian National University.

applicant The applicant for review.

APEC Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

appropriations Amounts authorised by Parliament to be drawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or Loan Fund for a particular purpose, or the amount so authorised. Appropriations are contained in specific legislation - notably, but not exclusively, the Appropriation Acts.

APS The Australian Public Service.

APS employee A person engaged under section 22, or a person who is engaged as an APS employee under section 72, of the Public Service Act 1999.

ARC The Administrative Review Council.

asylum seeker An asylum seeker is a person who has left their country of origin, has applied for recognition as a refugee in another country and is awaiting a decision on their application.

AustLII The Australasian Legal Information Institute publishes a website that provides free internet access to Australian legal materials, including published MRT and RRT decisions.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

authorised recipient

A person authorised by the applicant to do things on behalf of the applicant that consist of, or include, receiving documents in connection with a review.

AWA Australian Workplace Agreement.

bridging visa A bridging visa is a temporary visa generally granted to eligible non-citizens to enable them to remain lawfully in Australia for one of a number of specified reasons, the most common being while they are awaiting the outcome of application for a substantive visa.

case It is the tribunals’ practice to count multiple applications for review as a single case where the legislation provides that the applications for review can be handled together, usually where members of a family unit have applied for the grant of visas at the same time.

CaseMate CaseMate is the tribunals’ case management system. It is a customised database that contains, in electronic form, information on individual cases.

CDS The Commonwealth Disability Strategy recognises that the Australian Government has an impact on the lives of people with disabilities through its many programs, services and facilities.

CEO The Chief Executive Officer is the Principal Member, who is responsible for the operations and administration of the tribunals.

Chief Financial Officer The Chief Financial Officer is the executive responsible for both the strategic and operational aspects of financial planning,

management and record-keeping in APS departments and agencies.The Registrar is the Chief Financial Officer of the Tribunals.

COAT The Council of Australasian Tribunals.

Comcare A statutory authority responsible for workplace safety, rehabilitation and compensation.

Commonwealth Ombudsman The Commonwealth Ombudsman considers and investigates complaints about Australian Government departments and

agencies, including the tribunals.

competitive tendering and contracting

The process of contracting out the delivery of government activities previously performed by an agency to another organisation.The activity is submitted to competitive tender, and the preferred provider of the activity is selected from the

range of bidders by evaluating offers against predetermined selection criteria.

Glossary of terms and abbreviation Ί 4 1

GLOSSARY

GLOSSARY

constitution Constitution is the formal process by means of which the Tribunal is constituted and a case allocated to a member for the purposes of a particular review. Once constituted as the Tribunal for the purposes of a particular review, a member is responsible for the decision-making processes and the decision of the Tribunal for that review.

consultancy A consultancy is one type of service delivered under a contract for services. A consultant is an entity engaged to provide professional, independent and expert advice or services and may be an individual, a partnership or a corporation.

corporate governance

The process by which agencies are directed and controlled. It is generally understood to encompass authority, accountability, stewardship, leadership, direction and control.

CPA The Commonwealth Public Account.

CSS Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme

current assets Cash or other assets that would, in the ordinary course of operations, be readily consumed or convertible to cash within 12 months after the end of the financial year being reported.

current liabilities Liabilities that would in the ordinary course of operations, be due and payable within 12 months after the end of the financial year under review.

DIAC The Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Officers of DIAC hold delegations to make the primary decisions reviewable by the tribunals.

decision statement

The formal document which sets out the Tribunal decision and reasons in writing for a particular review.

Deputy Principal Member The Deputy Principal Member assists the Principal Member in relation to the operations of tribunals.

Deputy Registrar The Deputy Registrar of the Tribunals assists the Registrar.

Department, the The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (also DIAC).

DFAT The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

District Registrar District Registrars assist the Registrar. A District Registrar is responsible for day to day operations and management of a tribunal registry.

EL Executive level officer of the APS.

executive officer The executive officer is the Principal Member.The Principal Member is responsible for the overall operation and administration of the Tribunals.

expenditure The total or gross amount of money spent by the Government on any or all of its activities.

FCA The Federal Court of Australia.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

FCAFC The Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia.

Finance The Department of Finance and Deregulation.

financial results The results shown in the financial statements of an agency.

FMA Act The Financial Management and Accountability Act iggy is the principal legislation governing the collection, payment and reporting of public moneys, the audit of the Commonwealth Public Account and the protection and recovery of public property. FMA Regulations and Orders are made pursuant to the FMA Act.

FMCA The Federal Magistrates Court of Australia.

FMO Finance Minister’s Orders.

FOI Freedom of Information.

FOI Act The Freedom o f Information Act ig82 (the FOI Act) creates a legally enforceable right of public access to documents in the possession of agencies.

former visa holder A person who previously held a visa. For example, a person whose visa has been cancelled.

GST Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a broad-based tax of 10% on most goods, services and other items sold or consumed in Australia.

Guidance on the Assessment of Credibility

This paper provides an overview of general principles concerning the assessment of credibility of applicants and witnesses giving evidence before the MRT and the RRT. It also contains information about the practices that may be observed by the Tribunals when undertaking an assessment of credibility.

Guide to Refugee Law in Australia The Guide to Refugee Law in Australia was developed in 1996 and is maintained by the Legal Services Section as a reference

tool for members and staff of the RRT. It contains an analysis of the legal issues relevant to the determination of refugee status in Australia and is regularly updated to reflect developments in the law.

HCA The Fiigh Court of Australia.

hearing An appearance by a person before either the MRT or the RRT. The appearance may be in person, or by video or telephone link.

IARLJ The International Association of Refugee Law Judges.

IASB International Accounting Standards Board.

IFRS International Financial Reporting Standards.

IT Information technology.

Glossary of terms and abbreviations

GLOSSARY

GLOSSARY

Management Board

The Management Board (the Board) is a body that manages the strategic operations of the tribunals. It consists of the Principal Member, the Deputy Principal Member, the Registrar and Senior Members.

jurisdiction Jurisdiction defines the scope of the tribunals’ power to review decisions.

Legal Services Directions Issued by the Attorney-General under the Judiciary Act 7903, the Legal Services Directions require Chief Executives of agencies to

ensure that their agencies’ legal services purchasing, including expenditure, is appropriately recorded and monitored and that, by 30 October each year, the agency makes publicly available

records of the legal services expenditure for the previous financial year.

Member A member is constituted as the MRT or the RRT for the purposes of a particular review and is responsible for the decision-making process and the decision of the MRT or the RRT for that review. Up to three members may be constituted as the MRT.

merits review Merits review is the administrative reconsideration of the subject matter of the decision under review.

Ml AC The acronym MIAC is used to identify the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship in abbreviated court citations.

migration agent A migration agent is someone who uses knowledge of migration law and procedures to advise or assist a person who is applying for a visa or in other transactions with DIAC or the tribunals. They may be a lawyer and may work in the private or not-for-

profit sector. A migration agent operating in Australia is required by law to be registered with the MARA.

Minister, the The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.

MRT The Migration Review Tribunal.

non-ongoing APS employee An APS employee who is not an ongoing APS employee. A temporary employee engaged for a specified term or the

duration of a specified task.

notification The act of formally making known or giving notices.

OHS Occupational health and safety.

OMARA The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority undertakes the role of regulator to the migration advice industry. It is responsible for registration, complaints, professional standards, education and training for migration agents.

ongoing APS employee

A person engaged as an ongoing APS employee as mentioned in paragraph 22<2)(a) of the Public Service Act 1999. A person employed on a continuing basis.

OPA Official Public Account

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribuna ANNUAL REPORT 2009-2010

operations Functions, services and processes performed in pursuing the objectives or discharging the functions of an agency.

outcomes The results, impacts or consequence of actions by Govei nment on the Australian community.

outputs The goods or services produced by agencies on behalf of Government for external organisations or individuals. Outputs include goods and services produced for other areas of Government external to an agency.

PAES Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements.

PBS Portfolio Budget Statements.

performance pay Also known as performance-linked bonuses and usually taking the form of a one-off payment in recognition of performance. Retention and sign-on payments are not considered to be performance pay, and nor is performance-linked advancement which includes advancement to higher pay points which then

becomes the employee’s nominal salary.

PMD Principal Member Direction.

PRC The People's Republic of China.

primary decision A primary decision is the decision subject to review by either the MRT or the RRT.

Principal Member The Principal Member is the executive officer of the tribunals and is responsible for the tribunals’ overall operations and administration; ensuring that their operations are as fair, just, economical, informal and quick as practicable; allocating work, determining guidelines and issuing written directions.

Principal Registry The Principal Registry is the tribunals’ national office. The tribunals' executive functions are performed at the Principal Registry.

protection visas Protection visas are a class of visas a criterion for which is that the applicant for the visa is a non-citizen in Australia to whom Australia has protection obligations under the Refugees Convention, or a non-citizen in Australia who is the spouse or a dependant of a non-citizen who holds a protection visa.

PSS Public Sector Superannuation Scheme.

purchaser/ provider arrangements

Arrangements under which the outputs of one agency are purchased by another agency to contribute to outcomes. Purchaser/provider arrangements can occur between Australian

Government agencies or between Australian Government agencies and State/Territory government agencies or private sector bodies.

Refugees Convention

Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees done at Geneva on 28 July 1951 as amended by the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees done at New York on 31 January 1967.

Glossary of terms and abbreviations

GLOSSARY

GLOSSARY

Registrar The Registrar of the tribunals assists the Principal Member with the administrative management of the tribunals.

Registry A registry is an office of the tribunals.

Regulations, the The Migration Regulations 1994, unless otherwise indicated.

remit To send the matter back for reconsideration. A Tribunal may remit a decision to DIAC when it decides that a visa applicant has satisfied the criteria which the primary decision-maker found were not satisfied, or that the visa applicant is a refugee.

representative A representative is someone who can forward submissions and evidence to the tribunals, contact the tribunals on the applicant’s behalf, and accompany the applicant to any meeting or hearing arranged by the tribunals. With very limited exceptions, a representative must be a registered migration agent.

review applicant A review applicant is a person who has made an application for review to either of the tribunals.

review application A review application is an application for review that has been made to either of the tribunals.

reviewable decision

A reviewable decision is a decision that can be reviewed by either the MRT or the RRT. Reviewable decisions are defined in the Act and the Regulations.

RRT The Refugee Review Tribunal.

RSD Refugee status determination.

Senior Management Group

The Senior Management Group (SMG) comprises the Registrar, the Deputy Registrar, District Registrars and Directors.This group meets at least once a month and deals with agency management and planning issues.

Senior Member Senior Members provide guidance to and are responsible for members within each of the registries.

service charters It is Government policy that agencies which provide services directly to the public have service charters in place. A service charter is a public statement about the service an agency will provide and what customers can expect from the agency.

SES Senior Executive Service of the APS.

set aside To revoke the decision under review - the original decision is deemed not to have been made. A Tribunal sets aside a decision when it decides that the primary decision should be changed. When a Tribunal sets aside a primary decision it may substitute a new decision in place of the primary decision.

source country The country of nationality or citizenship of a visa applicant.

SSAT The Social Security Appeals Tribunal.

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

statutory objective

The tribunals’ statutory objective is to provide a mechanism of review that is fair, just, economical, informal and quick. The MRT and the RRT's statutory objectives are set out in sections 353 and 420 respectively of the Act.

Tribunal The Migration Review Tribunal (the MRT) or the Refugee Review Tribunal (the RRT).

tribunals The Migration Review Tribunal (MRT) and the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT), unless otherwise indicated.

Tribunals’ Plan The Tribunals' Plan 2007-2010 replaced the MRT-RRT Corporate Plan 2005-07. It is a high level document setting out the tribunals’ key strategic aims and priorities and core values.

UNHCR The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

VRB The Veterans’ Review Board.

visa applicant A visa applicant is a person who has made a visa application.

workplace diversity

The concept of workplace diversity values and utilises the contributions of people of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.

Glossary of terms and abbreviations 1 4 7

GLOSSARY

-

1 A 8 Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal a n n u a l report 2009-2010 1

In d e x

m

INDEX

Index

A

abbreviations 139-47

access to information 125-8

address 2

Administrative Appeals Tribunal 43,46, 80,140

advertising campaigns 80

advertising expenditure 80

application fees 16

application forms 16

applying for review 16

asset management 79

asylum seekers 16,140

audit 62-3,82-4

AustLII website 19,140

Australian National Audit Office 26, 62, 63,64, 65-7,140

Australian Public Service Code of Conduct 62

Australian Public Service Values 62

Australian Workplace Agreement 141

B

budget 26

see also financial statements

C

cancellation of visas 14,15,16,24

case law 24,37-43

caseload 26,28

caseload and constitution arrangements n, 18,61, 65

caseload strategy section 71

Certified Agreement 73-4,76

Code of conduct 19,46,49, 62

Committees

Audit and Risk Management 12,60,62

Community Liaison 11,12

Management Board 35,45,60, 61, 62,

7T 144 Member Professional Development

35, 69

OHS 75 Senior Management Group 60,71,146

Commonwealth Disability Strategy 77,141

Commonwealth Ombudsman 47,49, 63, 141

Community Liaison meetings 12,46, 49- 50,127

competitive tendering and contracting

79, H i

complaints 25,47-9,63,65, 67,76,134,

Hi, 144

consultancy services 79-80,142

contact details 2

contracts 79-80

Convention relating to the Status of Refugees 15-16,145

corporate governance 12, 60,64,142

corporate plan 61

corrections to previous reports 80

Council of Australasian Tribunals 49

countries (source countries) 11,27,146

country advice information 12,18,127

courts 37-8

D

decisions 19

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 142

Department of Immigration and Citizenship 10,14,42,64,142

Deputy Principal Member 10,20,60,6i, 68, 69,71,120,142,144

Deputy Registrar 21, 60,142,146

detention cases 18,25,27,32, 33

disability action plan 46,77,132-4

discretionary grants 80

District Registrars 21,142,146

documents 127

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

E

ecologically sustainable development 78

email address 2

ethical standards 62

expenditure 26,79-80,142

external relations 49-50

external scrutiny 63-7

F

Federal Court judgments 11,39-43

fees 16

financial performance 26

financial statements 81-118

Fraud Control Plan 62,63

freedom of information 125-8,143

G

glossary 139-47

Green Committee 78

H

health and safety 67,74-5

hearings 17-18,35

High Court judgments 11,39-41

human resources 21, 67-77

I

immigration detention 16,27

industrial relations 63

Information and Communications Technology Review 63

information resources 18-19

internal auditors 60, 62-3

International Association of Refugee Law Judges 49,50,143

Internet address 2

Interpreter Advisory Group 35

interpreters 2,7,18, 25,35,37,44,45,46, 48, 62,70,78

Interpreters' Handbook 19,46

J

judicial decisions 38-43

L

Legal Services 18,21, 69,70,72,143,144

legislative changes 10, 50

list of requirements 135-8

lodgements 10,11,27,29-30

M

market research 80

Member Code of Conduct 62

Members 7,11,12,14,20,25,37,44,46,49, 50, 60, 62, 67,68-9,70,71,74,75,76, 77,78, 80,120-4,130,144

Memorandum of understanding 50, 63,

133

merits review 12,14-15,19,24,126,140,

144

migration agents 17, 36,49,144,146

Minister 3,14,18, 36, 37,38,42,43, 63. 68, 70,144

N

National telephone enquiry number 2, 45,46

0

occupational health and safety 74-5,144

offices 2,46

Ombudsman 47,49, 63,141

organisational structure 19,21,60,126

Outcome 11,23,24,33,36,38,44,61,65, 66, 67,145

Output 11, 26, 65, 66, 80,145

P

performance 10-12,24-6

performance audit 64-7

performance management 69-70,73,77

planning 61

Principal Member 10,20,37,50,60, 61,63, 68, 69,71,120,141,142,144,145

Index j

INDEX

INDEX

Principal Member Directions 11, 18,45,46, 61.65.71.145

Principal Member's report 10-12

procedural fairness 76

professional development 60,69-70

property management policy 64

protection visas 14,15,16,27,32,33,38,39, 41.43.55.65.145

Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees 15-16,145

purchaser/provider 80,145

purchasing 78-9

R

reform agenda 64

refugee 15,16

Refugees Convention 16,57,58,145

Registrar 7,10,21, 60, 61,141,144,146

remuneration 67,68,72,73,120

representation of applicants 17,18,35,36, 46.49.67.128.146

revenue 26,86,93,96,99,101,111

risk management 60,62-3

S

salaries 73,74

Senior Management Group 60,71,146

Senior Members 20,35,37,46, 60, 62,68, 69.71.120.144.146

Service charter 18,19,44-7, 67,77,134,146

source countries 11,27,146

staff 21,70-1

statistics 7,18,28-34,7f 129-30

structure 20,21,60

surveys 72,77

T

temporary protection visas 15,58,65

tendering 78-9,80,133,141

time limits 16

timeliness of decisions 11,18,25,32,37,48, 65,69,71

training 25,44,46,48, 69,72,73,75

Tribunals’ Plan 19,24,46,61,65,77,147

U

United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 15-16

V

visas 14-15,16

visits to tribunal 49,70

W

website address 2

workers’ compensation 75

workforce planning 65,72

workplace diversity 46,67,76-7,147

Workplace Harassment Contact Officers

77

Migration Review Tribunal · Refugee Review Tribunal annual report 2009-2010

m rt-rrt.gov.au