Wednesday, 9 December 2020
Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity Committee; Report
On behalf of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, I present the committee's report, incorporating a dissenting report, entitled Integrity of Australia's border arrangements.
Report made a parliamentary paper in accordance with standing order 39(e).
by leave—The Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity has tabled this report from our longstanding inquiry into the integrity of Australia's border arrangements. We investigated how well government agencies which worked to secure our border are able to protect themselves from infiltration and corruption, including transnational, serious and organised crime elements who might seek to subvert Australia's borders. The inquiry is of significance to Australia's national security interests because maintaining the integrity of our border agencies is critical for ensuring the current and future economic and social wellbeing of the nation.
Our committee found that, overall, our law enforcement agencies have adopted appropriate and robust mechanisms to seek out infiltration and corruption when they happen. We found that the commission has performed those functions well in investigating potential breaches of border agency integrity. The key challenge remains that we need to ensure that law enforcement agencies work together in a more coordinated fashion. We need to take significant action to improve border-related functions to ensure those processes maintain their integrity and continue to support Australians.
There is more to do, including further streamlining the number of identity-card-approving authorities and creating a central register. A further recommendation was that home affairs and the department of water and the environment develop better consistency across their integrity and anticorruption frameworks. As part of this inquiry, a delegation from the committee travelled to New Zealand and Vanuatu to understand the integrity frameworks of our near neighbour countries and how individual initiatives or aspects of those frameworks might be relevant to Australia.
My sincere thanks to our secretariat and to the governments of New Zealand and Vanuatu for their openness to our discussions and for the strength of the ongoing partnerships we have to tackle transnational, serious and organised crime in the Pacific region.