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Audit Committee to inquire into Home Affairs’ abandoned $92 million visa application procurement

Parliament of Australia 2 mins read

The Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) has initiated a new inquiry to examine the Department of Home Affairs’ procurement of a replacement IT system for processing visa applications.

Home Affairs engaged in a multi-stage procurement for the visa processing capability which commenced in September 2017, with a new related process beginning in October 2020.

Chair of the Committee, Mr Julian Hill MP, said that the inquiry will consider the expenditure incurred and whether value for money was achieved, the impact of anticipated savings on the Department of Home Affairs, the conduct of entities or persons involved or interested in the process, the ethical use of resources and ethical behaviour, and any lessons arising.

“The previous Government wasted $92 million on a failed attempt to privatise visa processing, yet after they abandoned their tender process still forced Home Affairs to bear a $180 million cut from fake savings that never materialised.

“The Auditor-General examined some of these issues in a report tabled this year, but further questions that have emerged warrant a stand-alone inquiry.

“The Parliament and public should understand what went on regarding this aborted, wasteful privatisation and what lessons should be learnt given the critical importance of actually doing something to upgrade Home Affairs’ antiquated IT systems.

“The Committee looks forward to hearing from Home Affairs and to considering the conduct of entities or persons involved or interested in that procurement process”, Mr Hill said.

The inquiry will focus on matters contained in or related to Auditor-General Report No. 34 of 2022-23 - Procurement of the Permissions Capability.

The Committee invites submissions from interested parties by 31 January 2024.

Further information about the inquiry is available on the Committee website.

Media inquiries

Mr Julian Hill MP, Chair of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit via Laura Hooper on 0422 85 11 27

For background information

Committee Secretariat
02 6277 4615

For more information about this Committee, you can visit its website. On the site, you can make a submission to an inquiry, read other submissions, and get details for upcoming public hearings. You can also track the Committee and receive email updates by clicking on the blue ‘Track this Committee’ button in the bottom right-hand corner of the page.

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