Showing posts with label Peter Dutton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peter Dutton. Show all posts

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Is Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton value for money?


Australia's millionaire Minister for Home Affairs and Liberal MP for Dickson Peter Dutton has gathered to himself a lucrative salary worth in the vicinity of $478,068 per annum, before any parliamentary entitlements are realised.

The Prime Minister's annual salary is only a little under $50,000 more than this, while the U.S, President's annual salary is apparently around AU$70,000 less than Dutton's annual payment for services rendered.

So is Peter Dutton giving taxpayers value for the revenue dollars they supply.

It honestly doesn't appear to be the case if this audit is any indication.


On 18 July 2017, the Prime Minister announced that the government had decided to establish a Home Affairs portfolio which would have responsibility for:

federal law enforcement;
national security;
transport security;
criminal justice;
emergency management;
immigration and multicultural affairs; and
border-related functions.

The Department of Home Affairs has assumed all of the department’s functions (including the ABF) in addition to functions from each of the Departments of Prime Minister and Cabinet; Social Services; Infrastructure and Regional Development and the Attorney-General’s department.

In addition to the ABF, the Home Affairs portfolio also includes the following entities:

the Australian Federal Police;
the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission;
the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre; and
the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. …..

Conclusion

10. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection achieved the integration of DIBP and ACBPS and the creation of the Australian Border Force in a structural sense and is also progressing with the implementation of a suite of reform projects. However, it is not achieving commitments made to government in relation to additional revenue, and is not in a position to provide the government with assurance that the claimed benefits of integration have been achieved.

11. The department established largely effective governance arrangements which were revised over time in response to emerging issues.

12. The department’s record keeping continues to be poor.

13. The department is effectively managing a suite of 38 capability reform projects and has developed sound monitoring arrangements, although the Executive Committee does not have visibility of the overall status of individual projects.

14. The efficiency savings committed to by the department were removed from its forward estimates and have thus been incorporated in the budget. However, the department has not verified whether efficiencies have been delivered in the specific areas which were nominated in the Integration Business Case.

15. Based on progress to the end of December 2017, if collections continue at the current rate the department will only collect 31.6 per cent of the additional customs duty revenue to which it committed in the Integration Business Case.

16. In the Integration Business Case, the department committed to a detailed Benefits Realisation Plan. The plan was not implemented despite several reviews identifying this omission. As a result, the department cannot demonstrate to the government that the claimed benefits of integration have been achieved….

18. Reporting to the Executive focused primarily on integration and organisational reform, with minimal coverage of progress in delivery of the suite of 38 capability reform projects. Following the identification of this as a gap in the 2017 Gateway Review, an Enterprise Transformation Blueprint was established to provide the Executive Committee with greater visibility over the progress of activity across the department.

19. There was no evidence identified to indicate that written briefings were provided to the Minister on progress throughout the implementation process.

20. Detailed communication plans were established and implemented to support the integration process. ‘Pulse Check’ surveys were regularly taken to evaluate staff satisfaction and engagement with the process.

21. The audit found that the department did not maintain adequate records of the integration process. This finding repeats the outcomes of a substantial number of audits and reviews going back to 2005. The department’s own assessment is that its records and information management is in a critically poor state. The problems and their solutions are known to the department, and it has an action plan to address them, although numerous previous attempts to do so have not been successful.

22. The department also experienced a loss of corporate memory due to the level of turn-over of SES staff, with almost half of SES officers present in July 2015 no longer in the department at July 2017.

23. The department initially identified possible risks to effective integration. However, regular reporting against those risks ceased when the Reform and Integration Task Force was disbanded.

24. The department made extensive use of consultants to assist it with the integration process. Despite a requirement to evaluate contracts upon completion, this did not occur in 31 out of 33 (94 per cent) of contracts with a value of more than $1 million examined by the ANAO, and therefore it is unclear whether these services represented value for money…..

The Assurance Partner [Third Horizon] was engaged by DIBP as a consultant for the period 19 June 2014 to 18 June 2016 with a contract value of $2 million The total paid to the consultant was $1.6 million. Due to the department’s concerns with the Assurance Partner’s performance, the engagement ended early in August 2015……


The initial allocation of funds for the Portfolio Reform Program in the 2014–15 budget was $710.4 million.5 Additional funds were approved in successive budgets which brought the total funding for the Program to $977.8 million. [my yellow highlighting]

BRIEF BACKGROUND

North Coast Voices, 26 June 2018, Australia’s Border Farce lives down to its nickname


Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Former head of Australia's Border Force is still under investigation for corruption


It appears that Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Minister for Home Affairs and Liberal MP for Dickson Peter Dutton's captain's pick is still under investigation.

ABC News, 4 July 2018:

The former head of Australia's Border Force is still under investigation for corruption despite being sacked more than three months ago.

Roman Quaedvlieg was one of Australia's highest-paid public servants until his unprecedented dismissal for helping his girlfriend land a job with the agency.

The termination came after inquiries were launched by the Prime Minister's Department and the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI).

The ABC has now learned the ACLEI probe is still underway — more than a year after the Commonwealth watchdog was told of Mr Quaedvlieg's alleged misconduct.

"I've never been interviewed by anyone, including ACLEI," Mr Quaedvlieg said in a statement.

"This is the first I've heard the ACLEI investigation is still active."

Fall of Roman's empire:
May 2017: Roman Quaedvlieg begins paid leave following complaint
June 2017: Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) notified
August 2017: ACLEI provides update to Immigration Department boss
August 2017: PM's Department boss asked whether grounds exist to sack Quaedvlieg
February 2018: Attorney-General receives PM's Department report
March 15, 2018: Governor-General terminates Quaedvlieg's employment

The inaugural Border Force commissioner said he was considering his legal options after being removed from the $600,000-a-year role.

Mr Quaedvlieg has previously denied any wrongdoing and last year expressed frustration at the time taken for investigations to be concluded.

The commission said it received a referral from Immigration Department secretary Michael Pezzullo mid-last year.

"The Integrity Commissioner received a notification in relation to Mr Quaedvlieg … in June 2017 and commenced a corruption investigation shortly thereafter," a spokesman said.

"At this time the investigation remains ongoing."

ACLEI has oversight of about 20,000 Commonwealth law enforcement officials, including members of the Australian Federal Police and the Home Affairs Department.
The agency had 47 full-time-equivalent staff during the 2016-17 financial year.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Australia’s Border Farce lives down to its nickname


Minister for Home Affairs and Liberal MP for Dickson Peter Dutton’s poor oversight and lack of managerial skills is on display for all to see…….


The benefits of the merger of the Immigration and Customs departments and creation of Australian Border Force  haven't been proven and promised increased revenue hasn't materialised, a damning audit report has found.

While the Department of Immigration and Border Protection did achieve the merger effectively, it "is not in a position to provide the government with assurance that the claimed benefits of integration have been achieved," the report said.

The merger of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service took place in 2015, with its functions now covered under the Department of Home Affairs. Controversial at the time, it heralded a move to focus more on guarding the country's borders over resettlement and migration.

In the business case for the merger, the department committed to a "Benefits Realisation Plan," but because the plan was not implemented, the claimed benefits have not been measured and can't be demonstrated, the report said.

While the business case for the integration of the departments promised an increase in revenue from customs duty, less than half of the promised revenue increase has materialised. At the end of 2017, just 42.2 per cent of the extra revenue committed to had been achieved, and the report predicted that at the current rate just 31.6 per cent of the additional revenue promised would be delivered.

When the merger was announced, then immigration minister Scott Morrison promised "hundreds of millions in savings" would be reinvested back into the agency.
Auditor-general Grant Herir slammed the department's record keeping, which the department admitted was in a "critically poor state," and said there was no evidence that the Minister Peter Dutton was given written briefings on the progress of the integration of the departments.

In its response, the Department of Home Affairs acknowledged it had issues with record keeping and committed to making improvements a priority. The report didn't look on this commitment favourably though, pointing to more than 10 years of audits and reviews that have made similar findings.

The problems and their solutions are known to the department, and it has an action plan to address them, although numerous previous attempts to do so have not been successful," it said.

The report also found that the department experienced a loss of corporate memory through the merger.

"Almost half of SES officers present in July 2015 [were] no longer in the department at July 2017," it said.

The report also found that out of 33 consultancy contracts with values of more than $1 million, just 2 were evaluated for value for money, meaning that it was unclear if the other 31 contracts had been value for money.

Spending on consultancy in the department more than doubled in the years after the merger, topping more than $50 million in each of the 2014-15 and 2015-16 financial years…..

The Age, 19 June 2018:

The multimillion-dollar college that trains Australia’s border security personnel has “overpromised and underdelivered” and immigration and customs officials have repeatedly abused their powers, a scathing report has found.

The government-commissioned findings also said many department staff lack the training needed to perform their jobs and “jaws of death” have gripped officials struggling to complete more work with fewer resources.

In May 2014 the Coalition Abbott government controversially announced the creation of the Australian Border Force (ABF), as part of a merger of customs and immigration border operations. Crucial to the new super-charged agency was the establishment of the ABF College, with multiple campuses, to ensure recruits and existing staff “have the right skills to do their jobs”.

Under the former department of immigration and border protection, consultants RAND Australia were asked to evaluate the progress of the merger, ahead of the creation of the Home Affairs portfolio in December last year which combined immigration, border protection, law enforcement and intelligence.

The findings concluded that “clear and unequivocal” progress has been made towards building a “modern border management capability”.

However, success had been “uneven” and in particular, the ABF College “largely remains a disappointment to senior leaders across the department”.

The report involved interviews with senior department officials, who cited concern that the college’s curriculum was “not adequate for actual training needs”.

The college’s use of technology was poor and, in many cases, was used to “automate bad learning environments” rather than improve training.

The college was supposed to train staff across the department, however many officials were not given time to attend courses.

Overall, the college and other training opportunities in the department “overpromised and underdelivered to the detriment of the workforce and the morale”.

One senior official was so frustrated at the problems that he suspended a board examining the issues “until new terms of reference and fresh ideas were developed”.
The report is dated 2018 but it is not clear exactly when it was finalised. The Department of Home Affairs did not answer questions from Fairfax Media on how much had been spent on the college and where its campuses were located. Officials have previously said the 2014-15 budget included $54 million to establish the college and other training measures, and that several campuses would be established including in Sydney and Canberra.

Across the department’s broader workforce, senior officials said staff in many cases lacked “the capability to do the work required of their assigned positions”.

This included customs and immigration investigators “not understanding the law, use of force protocols, and rules of engagement” which in some cases led to “abuse of power,” the report said.

One official said field compliance officers “were doing dangerous jobs without proper training” and another described a junior officer who was “unable to manage shipboard operations due to a lack of proper training and experience”.

Department staff described being held in the “jaws of death” as they juggled an increased workload and declining resources. Senior officials repeatedly raised concern that the ABF received more resources than other divisions but “has not been subjected to the same level of scrutiny”….

As a local member it appears that Dutton is also having ‘workforce’ issues ahead of the forthcoming federal election…..

www.peterdutton.com.au as of 20 June 2018:

Peter is working hard but could use your help.
If you can spare an hour or two to help Peter in Dickson, please join the team.

The most shameful evidence of Peter Dutton's management style is found when one condiders that as Minister for Immigration and Border Protection since 23 December 2014, he currently has ultimate responsibility for the welfare of asylum seekers held in custody. 

Bringing the total number of deaths in onshore or offshore detention and in the community to est. 64 people since January 2000. 

That is the equivilant of almost four deaths each year on Peter Dutton's watch and around three deaths per year overall.

According to MSN on 21 June 2018; There are nearly 700 men currently in detention on Papua New Guinea, and more than 900 men, women and children on Nauru.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

No need to worry about the possibility that a Liberal-Nationals Federal Government will impose censorship on the free press in Australia



The time to fret over the possibility of government censorship of the media is over because in February 2018 it ceased being a distant possibility and became fact.

This is what the Australian Press Council stated about the News Corp online article….

Australian Press Council (APC):   


The Press Council has considered whether its Standards of Practice were breached by an article published in news.com.au on 31 May 2017, headed “Islamic State [IS] terror guide encourages luring victims via Gumtree, eBay”.

The opening paragraph read: “ISLAMIC State has released a step-by-step guide on how to murder nonbelievers, which includes how to lure targets via fake ads on Gumtree and eBay”. The article proceeded to relay in detail how an article in “[t]he latest edition of the terror group’s English-language propaganda magazine … encourages would-be terrorists to advertise products on second-hand selling sites … to lure victims and assassinate them”. The article mostly comprised extracts from the source material describing the steps necessary to perform such acts.

The Council considered that the article did publish much of the source material from IS verbatim, with limited accompanying analysis or context, such as comments from experts and websites such as Gumtree. The Council accepted there was no intention to encourage or support terrorism, but considered that republishing content from terrorist entities in this manner can perpetuate the purpose of such propaganda and give publicity to its ideas and practices.

However, the Council accepted the public interest in alerting readers to potential risks to their safety. It considered that on balance, the public interest in alerting readers to the dangerous content of the terrorist propaganda and its instructional detail was greater than the risk to their safety posed by the effective republication of terrorist propaganda content. Given this, the Council concluded that the public interest justified publication of the article. Accordingly, the publication did not breach General Principle 6.

The Council noted that great care needs to be exercised by publications when reporting on terrorist propaganda to ensure that public safety is not compromised. In particular, effectively republishing source material comprising instructional detail in how to carry out particular terrorist acts could pose a risk to public safety, and reasonable steps should be taken to prevent such an outcome.

This is what the Turnbull Government did…….

News.com.au, 28 February 2018:

…the article titled “Islamic State terror guide encourages luring victims via Gumtree, eBay” no longer exists.

A week after it was published on May 31, 2017, the Attorney-General’s office contacted news.com.au to demand it be taken down, saying the Classification Board had ruled it should be refused classification as it “directly or indirectly” advocated terrorist acts.

It appears to be the first time section 9A of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 has been used to censor a news report, since it was first added in 2007.

The action has alarmed the publisher of news.com.au as Australian media in general were not informed the Classification Board had the power to ban news stories or that the eSafety Commissioner had the power to instigate investigations into news articles.

“The first news.com.au knew of this matter was when contacted by the Attorney-General’s Department and advised of the Classification Board decision,” news.com.au argued as part of a separate Press Council investigation into the article.
“The department, board and the eSafety Commissioner did not contact news.com.au beforehand to advise of the investigation. Consequently, news.com.au was not given the right to make submissions or a defence in regard to the article.”

News.com.au removed the article as it was facing legal penalties from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) if it refused, including fines or even civil or criminal legal action.
In justifying its decision, the Classification Board noted the article contained “detailed references and lengthy quotations from Rumiyah (Islamic State’s propaganda magazine)” with limited author text to provide context.

News.com.au asked the board why there was no opportunity for news organisations to defend the article based on public interest grounds but a response provided by a spokesman for the eSafety Commissioner did not directly address this.

The spokesman said the board did consider whether the material could “reasonably be considered to be done merely as part of public discussion or debate, or as entertainment or satire” before making its decision.

He also acknowledged this may have been the first time a news article had been censored using this section.

However, as a government which to a man fails to grasp how the Internet works their well-laid plans seldom go off without a hitch and, the article that Turnbull & Co wish to erase from memory remains on national and international news sites as I write.