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Migration and Ombudsman Legislation Amendment Bill 2005

Schedule 1 Amendments relating to time limits for processing protection visas

   

Migration Act 1958

1  After section 65

Insert:

65A   Period within which Minister must make decision on protection visas

             (1)  If an application for a protection visa:

                     (a)  was validly made under section 46; or

                     (b)  was remitted by any court or tribunal to the Minister for reconsideration;

then the Minister must make a decision under section 65 within 90 days starting on:

                     (c)  the day on which the application for the protection visa was made or remitted; or

                     (d)  in the circumstances prescribed by the regulations—the day prescribed by the regulations.

             (2)  Failure to comply with this section does not affect the validity of a decision made under section 65 on an application for a protection visa.

2  At the end of Subdivision AL of Division 3 of Part 2

Add:

91Y   Secretary’s obligation to report to Minister

Secretary must give periodic reports to Minister

             (1)  The Secretary must give a report under this section to the Minister within 45 days after the end of each of the following periods (each of which is a reporting period ):

                     (a)  the period that started on 1 July 2005 and ends, or ended, on 31 October 2005; and

                     (b)  each subsequent period of 4 months.

Secretary must give additional reports to Minister as required

             (2)  The Minister may give to the Secretary a notice requiring the Secretary to give to the Minister a report under this section in addition to the reports required under subsection (1). The notice must specify the period to which the report is to relate (also a reporting period ).

             (3)  The Secretary must give the report under subsection (2) to the Minister:

                     (a)  within 45 days after the day on which the reporting period ends; or

                     (b)  within 45 days after the day on which the Minister gives the notice to the Secretary;

whichever is later.

             (4)  A notice under subsection (2) is not a legislative instrument.

Information that must be included in report

             (5)  A report under this section relating to a reporting period must include information about each application for a protection visa:

                     (a)  that:

                              (i)  an applicant has validly made under section 46; or

                             (ii)  a court or tribunal has remitted to the Minister for reconsideration; and

                     (b)  for which:

                              (i)  the Minister has made a decision under section 65 during the reporting period, but has not made the decision within the decision period; or

                             (ii)  the Minister has not made a decision under section 65 before or during the reporting period, and the decision period has ended (whether before or during the reporting period).

             (6)  The report must also include:

                     (a)  the date on which each application was made that:

                              (i)  was validly made under section 46; and

                             (ii)  paragraph (5)(b) applies to; and

                     (b)  the reasons why decisions were not made within the decision period.

Note:          The reasons mentioned in paragraph (6)(b) may relate to aspects of processing applications that are beyond the Department’s control.

Information that must not be included in the report

             (7)  A report under this section must not include:

                     (a)  the name of any current or former applicant for a protection visa; or

                     (b)  any information that may identify such an applicant; or

                     (c)  the name of any other person connected in any way with any application for a protection visa made by the applicant mentioned in paragraph (a); or

                     (d)  any information that may identify that other person.

Information that may be included in the report

             (8)  The report may include any other information that the Secretary thinks appropriate.

Reports to be tabled in Parliament

             (9)  The Minister must cause a copy of a report under this section to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the day on which the Minister receives the report from the Secretary.

Definition

           (10)  In this section:

decision period for an application for a protection visa means the period of 90 days starting on:

                     (a)  the day on which the application for the protection visa was made or remitted as mentioned in subsection (5); or

                     (b)  in the circumstances prescribed by the regulations—the day prescribed by the regulations.

3  After section 414

Insert:

414A   Period within which Refugee Review Tribunal must review decision on protection visas

             (1)  If an application for review of an RRT-reviewable decision:

                     (a)  was validly made under section 412; or

                     (b)  was remitted by any court to the Refugee Review Tribunal for reconsideration;

then the Refugee Review Tribunal must review the decision under section 414 and record its decision under section 430 within 90 days starting on the day on which the Secretary gave the Registrar the documents that subsection 418(2) requires the Secretary to give to the Registrar.

             (2)  Failure to comply with this section does not affect the validity of a decision made under section 415 on an application for review of an RRT-reviewable decision.

4  After section 440

Insert:

440A   Principal Member’s obligation to report to Minister

Principal Member must give periodic reports to Minister

             (1)  The Principal Member must give a report under this section to the Minister within 45 days after the end of each of the following periods (each of which is a reporting period ):

                     (a)  the period that started on 1 July 2005 and ends, or ended, on 31 October 2005; and

                     (b)  each subsequent period of 4 months.

Principal Member must give additional reports to Minister as required

             (2)  The Minister may give to the Principal Member a notice requiring the Principal Member to give to the Minister a report under this section in addition to the reports required under subsection (1). The notice must specify the period to which the report is to relate (also a reporting period ).

             (3)  The Principal Member must give the report under subsection (2) to the Minister:

                     (a)  within 45 days after the day on which the reporting period ends; or

                     (b)  within 45 days after the day on which the Minister gives the notice to the Principal Member;

whichever is later.

             (4)  A notice under subsection (2) is not a legislative instrument.

Information that must be included in report

             (5)  A report under this section relating to a reporting period must include information about each application for a review of an RRT-reviewable decision:

                     (a)  that:

                              (i)  an applicant has validly made under section 412; or

                             (ii)  a court has remitted to the Refugee Review Tribunal for reconsideration; and

                     (b)  for which:

                              (i)  the Refugee Review Tribunal has reviewed the decision under section 414 and has recorded its decision under section 430 during the reporting period, but has not done so within the decision period; or

                             (ii)  the Refugee Review Tribunal has not reviewed the decision under section 414 and has not recorded its decision under section 430 before or during the reporting period, and the decision period has ended (whether before or during the reporting period).

             (6)  The report must also include:

                     (a)  the date on which each application was made that:

                              (i)  was validly made under section 412; and

                             (ii)  paragraph (5)(b) applies to; and

                     (b)  the reasons why decisions were not reviewed within the decision period.

Note:          The reasons mentioned in paragraph (6)(b) may relate to aspects of processing applications for review that are beyond the Refugee Review Tribunal’s control.

Information that must not be included in the report

             (7)  A report under this section must not include:

                     (a)  the name of any current or former applicant for review of an RRT-reviewable decision; or

                     (b)  any information that may identify such an applicant; or

                     (c)  the name of any other person connected in any way with any application for review of an RRT-reviewable decision made by the applicant mentioned in paragraph (a); or

                     (d)  any information that may identify that other person.

Information that may be included in the report

             (8)  The report may include any other information that the Principal Member thinks appropriate.

Reports to be tabled in Parliament

             (9)  The Minister must cause a copy of a report under this section to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the day on which the Minister receives the report from the Principal Member.

Definition

           (10)  In this section:

decision period for an application for review of an RRT-reviewable decision means the period of 90 days starting on the day on which the Secretary has given to the Registrar the documents required to be given by subsections 418(2) and 418(3).

5  Application of amendments

(1)       The amendments made by items 1 and 3 of this Schedule apply only to applications made on or after the commencement of those items.

(2)       The amendments made by items 2 and 4 of this Schedule apply in relation to:

                     (a)  applications made on or after the commencement of this Schedule; and

                     (b)  applications made before the commencement of this Schedule that, at the date of commencement, have not been decided.