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Government Federal, Immigration

Audit Committee expands inquiry into failed privatisation of visa processing

Parliament of Australia 2 mins read

The Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) has expanded an existing inquiry examining the previous government’s failed attempts to privatise the visa processing system and deliver new IT systems in Home Affairs, to examine public sector IT projects more widely.

Committee Chair, Mr Julian Hill MP, said that “lessons must be drawn from both stages of the failed attempt to privatise and procure a new visa processing system for Home Affairs, and it’s already clear that broader scrutiny of other large-scale public sector IT projects is warranted.

“We will get to the bottom of what happened with the visa processing debacle, and how and why nearly $150 million was wasted. There are broader lessons to be drawn however into appropriate practices for new IT projects and expenditure in the public sector, including capability-building, advice to government, probity and ethics, and value for money for the Commonwealth.”

In addition to both stages of the failed visa processing privatisation, including Auditor-General Report No. 34 of 2022-23 - Procurement of the Permissions Capability, the inquiry will now also consider others reports including:

Additional areas of focus for the Committee will include:

  • The Digital Transformation Agency’s role in evaluating public sector IT investment.
  • Department of Finance assessments of certain high value procurements.
  • The Australian Public Service Digital Profession’s role in building digital capability in the public service.
  • Any lessons learnt from previous large-scale IT projects.

Details of the revised inquiry, including the new terms of reference and details on hearings, will be made available on the Committee website.

The Committee invites submissions to the inquiry addressing the revised terms of reference to be received by Friday 12 April 2024. The Committee is reminding witnesses of interest of its power to summon witnesses should that be required.

Media enquiries

Mr Julian Hill MP, Chair of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit via Laura Hooper on 0422 851 127.

For background information

Committee Secretariat
02 6277 4615
jcpaa@aph.gov.au

Committee Secretary
Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit
PO Box 6021
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

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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