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Thursday, 29 October 2009
Page: 7734

Senator Cash asked the Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs, upon notice, on 15 September 2009:

With reference to the Australian National Audit Office audit report no. 24 of 2006-07, Customs’ cargo management  re-engineering project: (a) what action has been taken to comply with recommendations nos 1 to 7; (b) what additional costs will be involved in implementing each recommendation; and (c) was any additional funding sought in subsequent budgets for any additional costs to be incurred in implementing each recommendation.

Senator Wong (Minister for Climate Change and Water) —The Minister for Home Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(a)   On 17 June 2009, Customs and Border Protection provided a response to the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) request for the provision of a written report on the status of the implementation of the ANAO’s recommendations contained in the ANAO Performance Audit Report No 24 and the recommendations of the review conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton of the Integrated Cargo System. This response provides a contextual background to the issues and progress as well as an in depth status on the progress of each recommendation. A copy of the report provided to the JCPAA is available using the following link under Report 412: In the period since the JCPAA submission, Customs and Border Protection has closed one outstanding recommendation (recommendation 1) and made further progress in finalising the last open recommendation (recommendation 5). An update on both recommendations is provided in the following paragraphs. Recommendation 1 - Align Customs legislation with ICS business rules. (closed) Customs and Border Protection has resolved the initial documented issues of non alignment and has developed an approach to address issues that continue to arise in business as usual operations. Recommendation 5 - Update Memoranda of Understandings with other Government agencies about the ICS (open). Customs and Border Protection has completed updating relevant aspects of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) and the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to reflect the implementation of the ICS. Work is continuing on MOU’s with the Department of Defence and with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The development of an MOU with Defence is an ongoing process which is directed towards an overarching agreement supplemented by an array of annexes on specific topics. Customs and Border Protection and the ABS signed the Heads of Agencies Agreement on 21 January 2009 and have continued to work on the subsidiary agreement work plan. The ABS provided new plans to Customs and Border Protection on 16 September 2009. The plans will be presented to the Deputy Heads meeting on 22 October 2009 for agreement.

(b)   There will be no requests for additional funding to finalise the remaining recommendation. The finalisation of the outstanding MOUs will be pursued during the normal course of business.

(c)   No.