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Migration Act 1958—Section 486O—Assessment of detention arrangements—Personal identifier 1000872-O2, 1002443-O3, 1002558-O3, 1002679-O2, 1002758-O2, 1002804-O2, 1002932-O2, 1003022-O1, 1003034-O1, 1003121-O—Government response to Ombudsman's reports


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RESPONSE TO OMBUDSMAN’S ASSESSMENT NO. 15 / 2020 MADE UNDER SECTION 486O OF THE MIGRATION ACT 1958

STATEMENT TO PARLIAMENT - No. 15 / 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 three cases.

Response to the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s assessment

1. Tabling statement for case: 1002558-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 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 does not accept the Ombudsman’s recommendation to commission a contemporary independent risk assessment. The Department already has an adequate risk assessment tool that is applied to all detention cases and is used to inform placement decisions, including Ministerial Intervention processes.

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

2. Tabling statement for case: 1003034-O1

I note the Ombudsman’s recommendations. In February 2020, the Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs intervened under section 197AD of the Migration Act 1958 (the Act) to vary the community placement of this person under a Residence Determination.

3. Tabling statement for case: 1003121-O

I note the Ombudsman’s recommendations. The person in this case, has advised the Department that they no longer wish to pursue a transfer to a detention facility closer to their family.

The Department will regularly review this person’s placement and carefully consider any further requests they make for a transfer closer to their family.

4. Tabling statement for cases: 1000872-O2, 1002443-O3, 1002679-O2, 1002758-O2, 1002804-O2, 1002932-O2 and 1003022-O1

I note that the Ombudsman has 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

16 / 7 / 2020