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Migration Act 1958—Section 486O—Assessment of detention arrangements—Personal identifier 1001202-O3, 1001513-O5, 1002416-O3, 1002672-O3, 1002918-O2, 1002944-O, 1003017-O1, 1003024-O1, 1003025-O1, 1003124-O—Government response to Ombudsman’s reports


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RESPONSE TO OMBUDSMAN’S ASSESSMENT NO. 11 / 2020 MADE UNDER SECTION 486O OF THE MIGRATION ACT 1958

STATEMENT TO PARLIAMENT - No. 11 / 2020

General Comments

I refer to the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s assessment tabled in Parliament today. This assessment refers to 13 people who have been in immigration detention for two or more years. This assessment contains recommendations relating to six cases.

Response to the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s assessment

1. Tabling statement for case: 1001202-O3

I note the Ombudsman’s recommendation. The Minister recently declined to intervene under section 195A of the Migration Act 1958 (the Act) to grant this person a bridging visa.

2. Tabling statement for case: 1001513-O5

These persons were recently referred to the Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs under section 195A of the Act for his consideration to grant them a bridging visa.

3. Tabling statement for case: 1002672-O3

The Department recently commenced an assessment of this person against the Minister’s section 195A Ministerial guidelines. If they are found to meet the guidelines, a submission will be prepared for the consideration of the Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs to grant a bridging visa.

The Department does not accept the Ombudsman’s recommendation to commission a contemporary independent risk assessment. The Department has a suitable risk assessment tool that is applied to all detention cases and is used to inform placement decisions, including Ministerial Intervention processes.

The Department notes that the Minister’s personal intervention powers are non-compellable, meaning the Minister is under no obligation to exercise or to consider exercising these powers. Cases are only referred to the Minister if they meet the Ministerial Intervention guidelines.

The Department is open to discussing this recommendation in more detail with the Ombudsman.

4. Tabling statement for case: 1002918-O2

The Department is initiating an assessment of this person against the Minister’s section 195A and 197AB Ministerial guidelines. If they are found to meet the guidelines, a submission will be prepared for the consideration of the Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs to grant a bridging visa or approve a community placement under a residence determination.

The Department does not accept the Ombudsman’s recommendation to commission a contemporary independent risk assessment. The Department has a suitable risk assessment tool that is applied to all detention cases and is used to inform placement decisions, including Ministerial Intervention processes.

The Department notes that the Minister’s personal intervention powers are non-compellable, meaning the Minister is under no obligation to exercise or to consider exercising these powers. Cases are only referred to the Minister if they meet the Ministerial Intervention guidelines.

The Department is open to discussing this recommendation in more detail with the Ombudsman.

5. Tabling statement for case: 1002944-O

The Department is initiating an assessment of this person against the Minister’s section 197AB Ministerial guidelines. If they are found to meet the guidelines, a submission will be prepared for the consideration of the Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs to approve a community placement under a residence determination.

The Department does not accept the Ombudsman’s recommendation to commission a contemporary independent risk assessment. The Department has a suitable risk assessment tool that is applied to all detention cases and is used to inform placement decisions, including Ministerial Intervention processes.

The Department notes that the Minister’s personal intervention powers are non-compellable, meaning the Minister is under no obligation to exercise or to consider exercising these powers. Cases are only referred to the Minister if they meet the Ministerial Intervention guidelines.

The Department is open to discussing this recommendation in more detail with the Ombudsman.

6. Tabling statement for case: 1003017-O1

This person was recently referred to the Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs for his consideration under section 195A of the Act to grant a bridging visa.

7. Tabling statement for cases: 1002416-O3, 1003024-O1, 1003025-O1, 1003124-O

I note that the Ombudsman made no recommendations in relation to these cases.

(Original signed by Alan Tudge)

THE HON ALAN TUDGE MP Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs

18 / 6 / 2020