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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 581

Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Employment and Minister for Women) (11:03): Thank you for the questions, Senator McKim, and also for enabling me take some of the statistical analysis on notice. I will take your questions on length of time and cost on notice and provide that information to you.

Regarding the issue that you raise generally, I believe you may have raised it in in relation to the findings of a recent Commonwealth Ombudsman's report. The response I have received from the minister, specifically in terms of the Commonwealth Ombudsman's report into the administration of section 501 of the Migration Act, is that the department has, over the past 12 months, significantly improved its management of the section 501 case load. However, given the time frame in which the report was actually prepared, some of these improvements are not reflected in the final document. The improvements that have been made include streamlining administrative processes to expedite cancellation and revocation decisions, and expanding the capacity to make decisions at an earlier stage in a noncitizen's custodial sentence. The advice I am given is that these initiatives have already seen a gradual decline in the overall number of section 501 cases in detention. The minister's department will provide you with the actual statistical information that you requested.

Bill agreed to.

Bill reported without amendments; report adopted.