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Auditor-General delivers yet another damning report on DIMIA.



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senator.barlett@aph.gov.au www.democrats.org.au

DEMOCRATS MEDIA 05/359 THURSDAY 7 JULY 2005 SENATOR ANDREW BARTLETT AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS IMMIGRATION SPOKESPERSON Auditor-General Delivers Yet Another Damning Report on DIMIA Democrats Deputy Leader, Senator Andrew Bartlett says a report by the Auditor-General into the management of immigration detention centres provides yet more proof that the whole system is a shambles. “Despite being couched in bureaucratic language, the Auditor-General’s report is damning,” Senator Bartlett said. "The report shows that DIMIA’s management of immigration detention centres and the outsourcing of contracts continues to be severely flawed. “These flaws mean greater expense to the taxpayer and a greater likelihood of failures in the Duty of Care to people kept in detention.” “This is just the latest example in a long line of evidence which shows that the administration and implementation of our Migration laws is severely flawed.” “The Government has agreed with all the Auditor-General’s recommendations, but no one can possibly have any faith that these will be adequately implemented. Indeed, as long as mandatory detention remains part of the law, these problems are likely to continue, because it inherently gives disproportionate power to bureaucrats with minimal independent oversight of how those powers are used.” Among its findings, the Auditor-General’s report stated that: • The Department’s contract with service provider GSL “does not adequately specify key responsibilities that are to be met, either by DIMIA or GSL”; • Clear and consistent definitions are not provided for health standards which are central to detainee welfare; • Duty of care, and the specific obligations for a subcontractor supplying psychological services are not consistent with the Department’s Immigration Detention Standards; • Although detention services have been delivered under outsourced arrangements for the past seven years, DIMIA is yet to finalise more than half of the relevant agreements with State agencies; • There is an unclear liability, indemnity and insurance regime, so it is not possible for the Commonwealth to know with any certainty what events are covered by the Services Provider’s insurance and to what extent the cover that has been obtained is limited or qualified; • The Department assumes that detention services are being delivered satisfactorily at each immigration detention centre unless the reporting of an Incident (or repeated Incidents) highlights a problem, yet DIMIA officials exercise considerable discretion as to what actually gets reported; and • The lack of clarity in the performance standards and measures means that it is not possible for DIMIA to objectively assess the ongoing performance of the Services Provider. Media inquiries - Senator Bartlett 0418 743 789 www.andrewbartlett.com News releases can also be sent by email. Please advise us if you want to join the email distribution list.