Menu
News

Report highlights failings in immigration detention

The department has responded to the report, saying it had already made significant progress in information sharing and investment in departmental staff.
The department has responded to the report, saying it had already made significant progress in information sharing and investment in departmental staff. Department of Immigration and Citizenship

AN AUDIT of management practices in Australia's detention system has found systemic problems including a lack of oversight and poor quality individual management plans.

The Australian National Audit Office released its report on Individual Management Services Provided to People in Immigration Detention on Monday.

It looked into the Commonwealth's management of more than 7600 detainees in Australia's 19 detention centres and community detention, as well as on Nauru and Manus Island.

The number of detainees has grown from about 1000 in June 2009 to 7670 people in September last year, many detained in privately-run facilities costing the government more than $1.7 billion in annual contracts.

In its audit of the individual management system, the ANAO looked at interaction with detainees, clothing, catering and activities, individual management plans and internet access.

While it recognised immigration detention was "one of the most complex, controversial and debated areas of government policy", it also highlighted failings within the system.

The report revealed the huge growth in irregular maritime arrivals in recent years had led to "considerable variability in the level and standard of services delivered" to detainees.

"The inconsistency in service provision has arisen largely because the Department of Immigration and Citizenship has not exercised sufficient strategic direction and national management oversight in response to the growth across the network," it reads.

"Generally, IMPs were of a poor quality and were not dynamic or meaningful documents that could be used to effectively meet the individual needs of detainees."

However, the ANAO did make four recommendations to the government which may help to address the problems it identified.

These included a major review of IMPs creating clear contract management guidance for the service providers; improving service delivery measurement and developing a communication strategy between service providers and the department.

The department has responded to the report, saying it had already made significant progress in information sharing and investment in departmental staff.

"The recognition from the majority of respondents to the People in Detention ANAO survey that they felt that they were treated respectfully, fairly and reasonably by the detention service provider and DIAC staff is a positive reflection on the dedicated staff who work in a complex and challenging environment," the department wrote.

"DIAC acknowledges that there is scope to realise further improvements through consistency in contractual requirements across the immigration detention facilities and will continue to build on the work that has already been undertaken."


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Gallery hums with two new exhibitions

SHOW STOPPER: Hobie Porter at the opening of Unnatural History: The Tower Hill Project at The Lismore Regional Gallery.

Regional Gallery hums with two new exhibitions

Chicks With Attitude - the true meaning behind the CWA

BAKE READY: Alison (centre) on the new branch of Lismore's CWA outside the tea rooms at Spinks Park.

Meet the CWA chicks who serve crackerjack scones

Um... can you just not?

CANDID: Barnaby Joyce caught eyeing off former staffer and current partner Vikki Campion back at a summit in 2016.

When you doing something you think you shouldn't, can you just not?

Local Partners