Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee
22/05/2012
Estimates
IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP PORTFOLIO

IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP PORTFOLIO

In Attendance

Senator Lundy, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Sport, Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation

Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Executive

Mr Martin Bowles PSM, Acting Secretary

Dr Wendy Southern PSM, Deputy Secretary

Mr Peter Vardos PSM, Deputy Secretary

Mr John Moorhouse, Deputy Secretary

Ms Jackie Wilson, Deputy Secretary

Internal Products: Enabling divisions that provide services and support to the delivery of all programs

Mr Stephen Sheehan, Chief Finance Officer, Financial Strategy and Services Division

Mr Steve Biddle, Assistant Secretary, Financial Strategy and Budgets Branch

Ms Jenny Hardy, Chief Lawyer, Governance and Legal Division

Mr Gavin McCairns, First Assistant Secretary, Risk Fraud and Integrity Division

Mr Craig Farrell, Chief Human Resources Officer, People Strategy and Services Division

Mr Tony Kwan, Chief Information Officer, Technology Services Division

Ms Mardi Stewart, Acting National Communications Manager, National Communications Branch

Mr David Seale, Director, National Communications Branch

Ms Renelle Forster, Assistant Secretary, Ministerial and Executive Services Branch

Mr Todd Frew, First Assistant Secretary, Visa and Offshore Services Division

Ms Marie Johnson, First Assistant Secretary, Client Strategy and Performance Division

Mr Stephen Allen, First Assistant Secretary, Border, Refugee and Onshore Services Division

Outcome 1—Managed migration through visas granted for permanent settlement, work, study, tourism, working holidays or other specialised activities in Australia, regulation, research and migration policy advice and program design

Program 1.1—Visa and Migration

Mr Kruno Kukoc, First Assistant Secretary, Migration and Visa Policy Division

Outcome 2—Protection, resettlement and temporary safe haven for refugees and people in humanitarian need through partnering with international agencies; assessing humanitarian visa applications; and refugee and humanitarian policy advice and program design

Program 2.1—Refugee and Humanitarian Assistance

Ms Vicki Parker, First Assistant Secretary, Refugee, Humanitarian and International Policy Division

Mr Stephen Allen, First Assistant Secretary, Border, Refugee and Onshore Services Division

Outcome 3—Lawful entry of people to Australia through border management services involving bona fide traveller facilitation; identity management; document verification; intelligence analysis; partnerships with international and domestic agencies; and border policy advice and program design

Program 3.1—Border Management

Mr Stephen Allen, First Assistant Secretary, Border, Refugee and Onshore Services Division

Mr Gavin McCairns, First Assistant Secretary, Risk Fraud and Integrity Division

Outcome 4—Lawful stay of visa holders and access to citizenship rights for eligible people through promotion of visa compliance responsibilities, status resolution, citizenship acquisition integrity, case management, removal and detention, and policy advice and program design

Program 4.1—Visa compliance and Status resolution

Mr Christopher Callanan, First Assistant Secretary, Compliance and Case Resolution Division

Mr Charles Wann, Assistant Secretary, Detention Services Policy Branch

Mr Greg Kelly, First Assistant Secretary, Status Resolution Services Division

Program 4.2—Onshore Detention Network

Mr Ken Douglas, First Assistant Secretary, Detention Infrastructure and Services Division

Ms Janet Mackin, Acting First Assistant Secretary, Detention Operations Division

Program 4.3—Offshore Asylum Seeker Management

Mr Greg Kelly, First Assistant Secretary, Status Resolution Services Division

Mr Ken Douglas, First Assistant Secretary, Detention Infrastructure and Services Division

Ms Kate Pope, First Assistant Secretary, Community Programs and Children Division

Mr Stephen Allen, First Assistant Secretary, Border, Refugee and Onshore Services Division

Mr John Lynch, Chief Executive Officer, Independent Protection Assessment Office

Ms Janet Mackin, Acting First Assistant Secretary, Detention Operations Division

Program 4.4—Foreign Fishers

Ms Janet Mackin, Acting First Assistant Secretary, Detention Operations Division

Mr Gavin McCairns, First Assistant Secretary, Risk Fraud and Integrity Division

Program 4.5—Regional Cooperation and Associated Activities

Ms Vicki Parker, First Assistant Secretary, Refugee, Humanitarian and International Policy Division

Program 4.6—Refugee Status Determinations for Offshore Entry Persons

Mr John Lynch, Chief Executive Officer, Independent Protection Assessment Office

Ms Jenny Hardy, Chief Lawyer, Governance and Legal Division

Ms Vicki Parker, First Assistant Secretary, Refugee, Humanitarian and International Policy Division

Mr Stephen Allen, First Assistant Secretary, Border, Refugee and Onshore Services Division

Outcome 5—Equitable economic and social participation of migrants and refugees, supported through settlement services, including English language training; refugee settlement; case coordination; translation services; and settlement policy advice and program design

Program 5.1—Settlement Services for Migrants and Refugees

Mr Garry Fleming, First Assistant Secretary, Citizenship, Settlement and Multicultural Affairs Division

Outcome 6—A cohesive, multicultural Australian society through promotion of cultural diversity and a unifying citizenship, decisions on citizenship status, and multicultural and citizenship policy advice and program design

Program 6.1—Multicultural and Citizenship Services

Mr Garry Fleming, First Assistant Secretary, Citizenship, Settlement and Multicultural Affairs Division

Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority

Ms Christine Sykes, Chief Executive Officer

Mr Stephen Wood, Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal

Mr Denis O’Brien, Principal Member

Ms Amanda MacDonald, Deputy Principal Member

Mr Colin Plowman, Registrar

Mr Rhys Jones, Deputy Registrar

Committee met at 09:00

CHAIR ( Senator Crossin ): I declare open this public hearing of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee. The Senate has referred to the committee the particulars of proposed and certain proposed expenditures in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2013 and the particulars of proposed and certain proposed supplementary expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012. The committee must report to the Senate on 26 June 2012. It has set 6 July 2012 as the date by which answers to questions on notice are to be returned.

Under standing order 26, the committee must take all evidence in public session. This includes answers to questions on notice. Officers and senators are familiar with the rules of the Senate governing estimates hearings, but copies are available if you need them. I particularly draw the attention of witnesses to an order of the Senate of 13 May 2009 specifying the process by which a claim of public interest immunity should be raised, which will be incorporated in Hansard.

The extract read as follows—

Public interest immunity claims

That the Senate—

(a) notes that ministers and officers have continued to refuse to provide information to Senate committees without properly raising claims of public interest immunity as required by past resolutions of the Senate;

(b) reaffirms the principles of past resolutions of the Senate by this order, to provide ministers and officers with guidance as to the proper process for raising public interest immunity claims and to consolidate those past resolutions of the Senate;

(c) orders that the following operate as an order of continuing effect:

(1) If:

(a) a Senate committee, or a senator in the course of proceedings of a committee, requests information or a document from a Commonwealth department or agency; and

(b) an officer of the department or agency to whom the request is directed believes that it may not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, the officer shall state to the committee the ground on which the officer believes that it may not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, and specify the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document.

(2) If, after receiving the officer’s statement under paragraph (1), the committee or the senator requests the officer to refer the question of the disclosure of the information or document to a responsible minister, the officer shall refer that question to the minister.

(3) If a minister, on a reference by an officer under paragraph (2), concludes that it would not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, the minister shall provide to the committee a statement of the ground for that conclusion, specifying the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document.

(4) A minister, in a statement under paragraph (3), shall indicate whether the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document to the committee could result only from the publication of the information or document by the committee, or could result, equally or in part, from the disclosure of the information or document to the committee as in camera evidence.

(5) If, after considering a statement by a minister provided under paragraph (3), the committee concludes that the statement does not sufficiently justify the withholding of the information or document from the committee, the committee shall report the matter to the Senate.

(6) A decision by a committee not to report a matter to the Senate under paragraph (5) does not prevent a senator from raising the matter in the Senate in accordance with other procedures of the Senate.

(7) A statement that information or a document is not published, or is confidential, or consists of advice to, or internal deliberations of, government, in the absence of specification of the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document, is not a statement that meets the requirements of paragraph (I) or (4).

(8) If a minister concludes that a statement under paragraph (3) should more appropriately be made by the head of an agency, by reason of the independence of that agency from ministerial direction or control, the minister shall inform the committee of that conclusion and the reason for that conclusion, and shall refer the matter to the head of the agency, who shall then be required to provide a statement in accordance with paragraph (3).

(Extract, Senate Standing Orders, pp 124-125)