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Chapter 9 - National Security and Criminal Justice - departmental programs

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National Security and Criminal Justice - departmental programs

Program 1.2

Attorney-General's Department operating expenses - National Security and Criminal Justice

Summary

Through Program 1.2 the department will contribute to Outcome 1 in 2011-12 and future years by:

  • supporting development of capability and capacity within the national security community and the Australian community to prepare for, prevent, respond to, mitigate and recover from (PPRR) national security threats
  • developing preventative mechanisms and effective responses to adverse national security events through an effective legal framework for counter-terrorism, cyber security and telecommunications interception
  • maintaining policy on countering violent extremism, national security information coordination and geospatial capacity
  • coordinating the operations of portfolio agencies as well as Australian Government and international partner agencies in managing Australia's borders and preventing harm to the Australian economy, businesses and individuals from serious and organised crime
  • supporting a whole-of-nation, resilience-based approach to emergency management policy and programs
  • engaging in international legal cooperative efforts against crime.

The responsibility for cyber security policy coordination was transferred to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) under the Administrative Arrangements Order of 14 December 2011. This included responsibility for the Cyber Security Strategy and its related whole-of-government coordination functions; cyber security crisis management arrangements; international cyber security policy engagements; and cyber security public communications policy settings. AGD retained responsibilities for ensuring the protection of Australia's critical national infrastructure from cyber threats.

The department provides leadership and coordination to support the peak decision-making body on emergency management, the Standing Council on Police and Emergency Management (SCPEM) and its senior officials group the National Emergency Management Committee (NEMC), which is co-chaired by the Secretary of the department. These bodies work to strengthen Australia's resilience to disasters by providing strategic leadership on nation-wide emergency management policy.

In 2011-12 the department continued to coordinate and deliver activities under the Countering Violent Extremism Program to support Australia's broader counter-terrorism efforts by addressing factors that can make people vulnerable to extremist influences and recruitment by terrorists.

In 2011-12, the department continued to conduct chemical security risk assessments, consulted with governments, industry and the community on ways to deliver risk management strategies, and raised community and industry awareness of the risks posed by the misuse of chemicals for terrorist purposes.

During 2011-12, the department worked closely with agencies within the Attorney-General's portfolio and across other portfolios on a range of measures directed at ensuring an effective legal framework for national security and counter-terrorism. This included ongoing engagement with the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, passage of legislation directed towards more seamless coordination between national security agencies and legislation to enable ratification of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, and the development of a range of possible national security reform proposals which are currently the subject of an inquiry by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

Cyber crime is an issue that can have serious economic and social consequences, and necessitates a coordinated approach across all Australian jurisdictions. During 2011-12, the department continued to lead Australia's national response to cyber crime. Through its leadership of the National Cybercrime Working Group, the department continued to work closely with police and justice agencies from all Australian jurisdictions to develop a collaborative and nationally coordinated response to cyber crime. The department also continued to lead work on a national reporting facility for cyber crime, to be called the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network, which will make it easier for victims to report instances of cyber crime and assist in developing a clearer intelligence picture to enable improved strategic and operational responses to these offences.

Given the borderless nature of the internet, effective international cooperation is essential to combating cyber crime globally. 'Cyber threats' was the central theme at the July 2011 meeting of the Quintet of Attorneys-General, which was held in Sydney, following which the Quintet developed an action plan to address cyber crime. The Commonwealth Law Ministers, who also met in Sydney in July 2011, also recognised the significant threat of cyber crime in the Commonwealth and agreed to explore mechanisms for effective cooperation and enforcement within the Commonwealth.

The department also continued to work on developing and implementing Commonwealth organised crime policy under the Organised Crime Strategic Framework (OCSF). During 2010-11, the first iteration of the Commonwealth Organised Crime Response Plan (OCRP) was completed and the department undertook an evaluation of the OCSF. The Case Study on page 164 provides more detail about the OCRP and the evaluation of the OCSF.

Fraud also poses a significant threat to Australian individuals and businesses. It is of particular concern to the finance and banking industry, as it threatens to undermine confidence in our financial systems. During 2011-12, the department worked with the banking and finance industry to continue development of the National Fraud Exchange, which will assist institutions to reduce fraud losses and remedy vulnerabilities, and increase their capacity to share solutions to fraud.

In 2011-12, the department progressed a significant package of legislative reforms that streamlines and modernises Australia's legal framework for international crime cooperation with the passage of the Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Amendment Act 2012 on 29 February 2012.

The department continues to lead Australia's engagement as a state party to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. In 2011-12 the department led the review of Australia's compliance with Chapters 3 and 4 of the Convention. The review was conducted by a team of experts from the USA and Turkey and facilitated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The review found Australia has a comprehensive and proactive approach to combating corruption, and recommended continued progress on a range of important anti-corruption initiatives, such as the development of a National Anti-Corruption Plan.

The department continues to advance Australia's engagement in international cooperative efforts against crime in a number of other areas. For example, the department worked closely with law enforcement agencies both in Australia and overseas to meet Australia's international responsibilities for cooperation in relation to extradition, mutual assistance in criminal matters, and international transfer of prisoners. It completed several significant and high-profile cases which involved working closely with a number of domestic and foreign law enforcement agencies.

The department also continued to promote the rule of law and effective governance in the Pacific, South Asia, South-East Asia and Africa. Collaborations with partner countries built the capacity of their law and justice officials and strengthened laws and processes on transnational crime, people smuggling, people trafficking, terrorism and anti-money laundering, domestic crime and policing (in the Pacific), and international crime cooperation.

Major achievements

Public safety mobile broadband

A key issue regularly raised in Australia is the need for better communications across public safety agencies as well as across all states and territories. A key enabler for improved communications is mobile broadband communications and interoperability, including in the context of equipment as well as operating protocols and procedures. With this in mind, a multi-jurisdictional Public Safety Mobile Broadband Steering Committee was established in June 2011, to develop a nationally interoperable mobile broadband communications capability for public safety agencies.

The Committee, co-chaired by this department and the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, comprises Commonwealth and state and territory senior officials, as well as representatives of multi-jurisdictional bodies responsible for public safety. The focus of the Committee has been to work with jurisdictions to develop a national implementation plan, which will incorporate the policy, financial, governance, and operational and technical aspects associated with delivering the capability. The work of the committee includes jurisdictional modelling for the design and funding, assessing benefits and costs associated with each proposed model and reviewing the likely quantity of spectrum required for such a capability. A comparison of the 700 MHz and 800 MHz bands was also undertaken. Forums and workshops were conducted in every state and territory, involving consultations with central agencies and public safety agencies.

National Flood Risk Information Project

The independent Natural Disaster Insurance Review (the Review), commissioned by the Australian Government in March 2011, released its Final Report in November 2011. The Review found that measuring flood risk has been problematic due to inconsistent and incomplete flood and land use mapping data and that this information is not readily accessible to consumers.

In response to the Review, the Australian Government committed $12 million to establish a National Flood Risk Information Portal, to be hosted by Geoscience Australia, and to develop associated national guidelines on the collection, comparability and reporting of flood risk information. This project is funded over four years, commencing 1 July 2012. The aim of the project is to enhance community awareness of the flood risks they face, and create opportunities to improve and better inform decision making in a wide range of areas including emergency and environmental management, land use planning and insurance.

In June 2012, Part 1 of the National Guidelines for the National Flood Risk Information Portal was endorsed by the Standing Council on Police and Emergency Management. These strategically focused Guidelines will be supplemented by more operational and technically focused Guidelines (Part 2) which will provide the framework for the portal's operation. While the Commonwealth will drive development and implementation of this initiative, the close collaboration and commitment of state, territory and local governments will be critical to the portal's success. As such, the amount of information accessible through the portal will increase over time, as will the quality and consistency of the data.

National security training and education

The Department, through the Australian Emergency Management Institute (AEMI) and the Protective Security Training Centre (the Centre), continues to provide nationally consistent education and training programs to the sectors. These programs support the outcomes of both the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (NSDR) and the Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF).

Throughout the year 555 students from 85 organisations attended training at the Protective Security Training Centre. The Centre provides nationally recognised vocational training in protective security, security risk management, and personnel security and conducting government investigations. This included customised training for a range of Australian, state and territory government agencies.

Following the release of NSDR in February 2011, AEMI has implemented significant design and realignment of education, training, community awareness and school education programs. To this end over 2500 participants have attended educational programs, workshops, forums and nationally collaborative events (such as the Resilient Australia Awards).

In addition, AEMI delivered DisasterMapper, which is an innovative interactive schools resource tool which is designed to help students and teachers locate information about disaster. The Institute has also led the development of the Australian Emergency Management Knowledge Hub, which provides research, resources and news relevant to the emergency management sector and includes interactive data and information, photos, video and media about past disaster events.

National security legislation

National security and counter-terrorism legislation

The department undertook a range of work to progress ongoing review of counter-terrorism laws, including:

  • engaging actively with the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, whose first report was tabled during the reporting period
  • finalising arrangements for the COAG Review of Counter-Terrorism Laws which is scheduled to commence in the second half of 2012.

A number of pieces of national security-related legislation were progressed, including:

  • Royal Assent of the Intelligence Services Legislation Amendment Act 2011, which continued the work on achieving seamless coordination and information sharing between agencies
  • passage of legislation to enable Australia to ratify the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism
  • passage of legislation to provide for financial assistance of up to $75,000 to Australians harmed as a direct result of a declared overseas terrorist act and to the close family members of persons who die as a direct result of a declared overseas terrorist act.

Working with intelligence, security and law enforcement agencies, the department also developed a range of possible law reform measures aimed at ensuring agencies are adequately equipped to perform their functions in a changing technological environment and with appropriate safeguards and accountabilities. The Attorney-General has referred this package of proposals to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security for further consideration, public inquiry and report.

There were some developments on the listing of terrorist organisations under the Criminal Code, including:

  • the re-listing of four organisations as terrorist organisations in March 2012 (Ansar al-Islam, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and Lashkar-e Jhangvi)
  • the relisting of Hizballah External Security Organisation as a terrorist organisation in May 2012
  • the lapsing of the previous listing of Asbat al-Ansar in March 2012 (this organisation was not re-listed)
  • a declaration by the Attorney-General in December 2011 to de-list the Islamic Army of Aden
  • the preparation of a listing protocol outlining the process and requirements that apply to the listing of terrorist organisations - this is publicly available on the Australian Government National Security website www.nationalsecurity.gov.au.

Cyber security

CERT Australia

The Computer Emergency Response Team, CERT Australia, continued to bed down its capabilities in providing information and advice to operators of critical infrastructure and systems of national interest. Its domestic stakeholder base grew to around 500 companies and organisations, to which it provided a wide range of alerts and advisories on the latest cyber threats to inform their cyber security mitigation and planning activities. It also participated in a range of cyber security exercises conducted by the Australian, state and territory governments in partnership with industry. Internationally the CERT achieved full membership of the Asia Pacific CERT and a seat on its Steering Committee, as well as membership of the Forum for Incident Response and Security Teams. The information gained from international partners is an important element of the information and advice the CERT provides to its domestic stakeholders.

Cyber security policy

The responsibility for whole-of-government cyber security policy coordination was transferred from the Attorney-General's Department to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet under the 14 December 2011 Administrative Arrangements Order. The Attorney-General's Department continues to support this work through a number of policy initiatives, which are also consistent with the Government's usual practice of promoting the security and resilience of Australia's critical infrastructure. This includes continuing work with national security and law enforcement agencies, the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy on the telecommunications sector security reforms to address cyber threats and vulnerabilities to Australia's telecommunication infrastructure, and with NBN Co on national security issues in the design and operation of the National Broadband Network.

Identity security

The department has finalised working-level consultations with the Commonwealth and states and territories on the Review of the National Identity Security Strategy (NISS).

As part of the implementation of the NISS, the department has progressed the implementation of the Document Verification Service (DVS), which has the aim of minimising identity fraud. Technical connection of all key evidence-of-identity document-issuing agencies in the Commonwealth, states and territories to the DVS was completed during the year. Preparatory work to allow the verification of Medicare cards was also completed and this service will be available in 2012-13. Australian Government approval of access to the service by private sector organisations was received. The department is working with states and territories to provide businesses access to the national service.

Critical infrastructure

The department has continued to implement the Australian Government's Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy (the Strategy), which seeks to enhance the resilience of our critical infrastructure to all hazards. This work is progressed in partnership with relevant Australian Government agencies, states and territories and business to achieve complementary and mutually beneficial outcomes.

While there have been many successes in implementing the Strategy over the past year, two significant achievements stand out. A key objective of the Strategy is to enhance the capacity of critical infrastructure owners and operators to manage unforeseen or unexpected risks to their operations through an organisational resilience approach. As organisational resilience is a relatively new concept, work was undertaken to deepen our understanding of organisational resilience and the benefits of taking such an approach. A research or evidence base is being developed to underpin and reinforce the concept. In March 2012, Research Paper 1: CEO perspectives on organisational resilience was launched by the Secretary, Roger Wilkins AO. It is the first in a series of research papers on organisational resilience being developed under the Strategy, and has received national and international interest and acclaim.

Building on the success of the inaugural Critical Infrastructure Resilience (CIR) Conference, the department hosted its second CIR Conference on 15-16 March 2012 in Sydney. Bringing together stakeholders from private and public sectors, the popular event addressed the theme 'CIR: Expect the unexpected', which explored the attributes of organisational resilience. The Conference was again well received by attendees and continued to explore contemporary issues affecting critical infrastructure, while promoting a culture of collaboration between business and government.

The primary goal of the Critical Infrastructure Program for Modelling and Analysis (CIPMA) is to strengthen national security and enhance the resilience of Australia's critical infrastructure by providing 'virtual insight' into the economic and social impacts of disruptions to services - whether caused by natural or human disasters. Owners and operators of critical infrastructure can use this information to prepare, prevent, respond to or recover from an adverse event. CIPMA also helps governments shape their policies on national security and critical infrastructure resilience.

During 2011-12, CIPMA has further developed its modelling capability through strong partnerships with a range of national and international stakeholders that include private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure, state and territory governments and Australian Government agencies. CIPMA also supports the work of the Trusted Information Sharing Network for Critical Infrastructure Protection (TISN). Key projects related to surface transport supply chains, water supply and disruptions to the banking and finance sector.

Chemicals of security concern

Under the Chemicals of Security Concern work program, chemical security risk assessments on fourteen chemicals identified as stored and/or transported in bulk were completed as was the majority of the assessment for security-sensitive ammonium nitrate. Additional achievements in 2011-12 included:

  • broad consultation with industry and the community on options to deliver a number of measures to reduce the national security risks associated with chemicals of security concern
  • commencement of a process to reform state and territory regulations covering security-sensitive ammonium nitrate
  • development of a homemade explosives guide and associated DVD to educate first-responders about identifying and handling clandestine homemade explosive laboratories
  • development of security awareness DVDs for the pharmaceutical and pool and spa sectors.

All-hazards crisis response

The Australian Government Crisis Coordination Centre was officially opened on 17 October 2011. The Centre is the Government's central crisis coordination resource and the primary source of information and situational awareness in domestic emergencies and crises. Most states in Australia were impacted by natural disasters during 2011-12. This included flooding along the east coast, severe weather across Australia and bushfires in Western Australia. The department coordinated whole-of government crisis management support to states and territories in response to events arising from the 2011-12 disaster season.

Emergency management

Emergency management initiatives

The inaugural meeting of the Standing Council on Police and Emergency Management (SCPEM) was held on 11 November 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. The Council focused on the significant gains that have been made in building more disaster-resilient governments, businesses, communities and households under the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (NSDR).

The department continued to drive the implementation of significant national emergency management projects. This includes: reaching agreement on a nationally consistent methodology for disaster risk assessments; developing the National Work Program for Flood Mapping; revising the Volunteer Action Plan; developing a National Disaster Resilience Communications Plan; completing a review of the effectiveness of relief and recovery payments; working with the Land Use Planning and Building Codes Taskforce to enhance resilience in the built environment; and enhancing the surge capacity of Triple Zero (see page 28 for a case study on this project).

In September 2010, the Australian Government committed to contribute funding to enhance the national telephone-based emergency warning system, Emergency Alert, to enable the delivery of warnings to mobile phones based on the location of the handset at the time of an emergency (location-based solution (LBS)). Work to introduce this capability continued in 2011-12. On 13 January 2012, the Australian and Victorian governments jointly announced that the Victorian Government (as project leader on behalf of the states and territories) had signed a contract with Telstra Corporation to deliver location-based warnings to Telstra mobile telephone customers by late 2012. Telstra will also provide an interface for all national telecommunications carriers to deliver an LBS for their customers. Emergency Alert currently delivers warnings to landlines and mobile telephones based on the customer's registered service address. The Project Agreement between the Commonwealth and Victoria (on behalf of all states and territories) outlining the terms and conditions of the funding was executed on 13 June 2012.

National Emergency Management Projects

Under the auspices of the National Emergency Management Committee, twenty-eight initiatives were funded through the National Emergency Management Projects Program this year. All projects that are funded through this Program must address capability gaps of national significance, minimise adverse effects of disasters, and contribute to strengthening the resilience of individuals, communities, businesses and institutions.

Emergency management volunteers

In 2011-12, the department supported several initiatives to attract, support and retain emergency management volunteers, including:

  • revision of the National Emergency Management Volunteer Action Plan (NEMVAP), endorsed by the Standing Council for Police and Emergency Management on 29 June 2012. The Plan sets out twenty-two recommended actions to further progress implementation consistent with the NSDR. It will help ensure that emergency management volunteers continue to be available, well prepared, appropriately trained, equipped and resourced to help their communities build disaster resilience, including disaster response and recovery capability into the future.
  • funding and secretariat support for the peak body representing the emergency management volunteer sector, the Australian Emergency Management Volunteer Forum (AEMVF)
  • establishment of the Emergency Management Volunteer Training Qualifications Working Group, as endorsed by the Standing Council for Police and Emergency Management in late 2011, to address concerns raised by the sector regarding amendments to the determination for trainer and assessor competencies
  • development of a Regional and Remote Volunteer Leadership Development Program, funded through the National Emergency Management Projects.

The NEMVAP and stocktake of volunteer activities by jurisdictions are available on the Australian Emergency Management website- www.em.gov.au.

Counter-terrorism

In 2011-12, the department supported the National Counter-Terrorism Committee (NCTC) to coordinate policies and programs to develop national counter-terrorism capability. This was achieved through activities encompassing training and exercises, planning, policy development and procurement programs aimed at developing effective inter-jurisdictional and inter-agency cooperation and response capacity. The department also managed the NCTC-administered fund, provided ongoing secretariat support to six of the seven subcommittees and their working groups, and continued to manage fourteen capabilities on behalf of the NCTC.

During the year, the fourth annual cycle of the NCTC Capability Review and Development Process was completed. Seventy-two projects and activities were successful in gaining funding for exercises, training courses and procurement of specialist equipment with the objective of ensuring an effective nation-wide counter-terrorism capability is maintained.

Countering violent extremism

The department has continued to progress a national approach to countering violent extremism (CVE), which aims to reduce the risk of home-grown terrorism by strengthening Australia's resilience to radicalisation and helping individuals to disengage from violent extremist influences and beliefs. In 2011-12, the department undertook a range of evidence-based projects to identify and address the processes that lead to violent extremism, including the Resilient Communities website www.resilientcommunities.gov.au which provides a platform for sharing information and challenging extremist ideologies, community engagement, research and developing an evaluation strategy. Please refer to Chapter 10 to review the achievements under the CVE program in 2011-12.

National Security Hotline

The National Security Hotline is the single point of contact for the public to report possible signs of terrorism in Australia. It also provides information to callers on a wide range of national security matters including information from the pharmaceutical industry regarding purchases of, or enquiries about, chemicals of security concern.

In addition, the Australian Crime Commission contracts the National Security Hotline to provide its Organised Crime Reporting Telephone Service. The National Security Hotline also responds to after-hours calls to the Computer Emergency Response Team Hotline and to provide information to Parliamentarians and their staff regarding Government response to national disasters occurring in their electorates through a Parliamentary Assistance Line.

Surveillance and telecommunications interception

The department develops legislation and policy to ensure national security and law enforcement bodies can use electronic investigative tools to prevent, investigate and prosecute serious offences. The department develops legislation in a multi-jurisdictional environment where emerging national security issues and technological developments require that a proactive approach is taken to ensure effective investigation tools are available while balancing privacy for individuals and ensuring appropriate accountability mechanisms are in place.

The Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Amendment Act 2012 amended the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987, the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (the TIA Act), and the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 to enable the Commonwealth Attorney-General to authorise the provision of lawfully intercepted warrant information, lawfully accessed information and material obtained through the use of a surveillance device to foreign countries in certain circumstances where the information relates to certain serious offences. Increasingly inter-country assistance is required to address the transnational nature of criminal offences such as child pornography, people trafficking and drug trafficking.

The Telecommunications Interception and Other Legislation Amendment (State Bodies) Act 2012 amended the the TIA Act to introduce the Victorian Public Interest Monitor (PIM), the South Australian Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC), the Victorian Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) and the Victorian Inspectorate (VI) into the interception regime. Including the ICAC and the IBAC will allow the Attorney-General to declare these agencies to be interception agencies if the respective state legislation meets the accountability requirements in the TIA Act. This will maintain the national operation of the interception regime.

Australia is making progress towards its proposed accession to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime. The Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 was referred to the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety on 23 June 2011. The Committee released its report on 18 August 2011 making thirteen recommendations. The Government has announced its intention to respond to the recommendations in the Senate, including by moving amendments to the Bill.

Background checking

In accordance with the AusCheck Guidelines, during the reporting period forty-five requests were received for access to the AusCheck database for information for national security and/or law enforcement purposes. Requesting agencies were the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the Australian Tax Office, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, the Office of Transport Security and the Australian Crime Commission.

During 2011-12, AusCheck completed 85,592 background checks for the Aviation Security Identification Card scheme, 52,370 background checks for the Maritime Security Identification Card scheme, and 88 background checks for the National Health Security checking scheme.

Demand for Maritime Security Identification Card background checking services doubled for most of 2011-12. Demand increased from the usual 2,000 requests per month peaking at 6,500 requests for maritime background checking in September. AusCheck completed 22,000 more maritime background checks in 2011-12 than in the previous reporting period with no significant delays incurred.

AusCheck continued to record high levels of client satisfaction in 2011-12. This year's AusCheck client satisfaction survey, conducted independently by Orima Research in April 2012, reported 91 per cent of respondents as agreeing or strongly agreeing that AusCheck's services are of high quality (see Figure 9.1). This outcome represents a result that is consistent with AusCheck's previous high levels of client satisfaction.

Figure 9.1: AusCheck client satisfaction survey, 2008-12

Figure 9.1: AusCheck client satisfaction survey, 2008–12

  Strongly agree Agree Niether agree
nor disagree
Disagree Strongly disagree
2008 13% 7%1 13% 1% 1%
2009 16% 74% 9% 0% 0%
2010 11% 69% 20% 0% 0%
2011 18% 72% 9% 0% 0%
2012 21% 70% 10% 0% 0%

 

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) provides immediate, one-off payments to individuals and families adversely affected by major disasters to support their recovery.

During 2011-12, the department administered the AGDRP four times in three States. Over 64,000 claims were paid totalling approximately $78 million. The AGDRP was made available for the following natural disasters in 2011-12:

  • Queensland floods (January 2012)
  • New South Wales floods (January and March 2012)
  • Victorian floods (February 2012).

Further information on the NDRRA and the AGDRP can be found in Chapter 10.

Ex gratia payments

During the year, the department administered ex gratia assistance in the form of immediate, one-off payments to eligible New Zealand 'non protected' Special Category Visa (subclass 444) holders who had been adversely affected by a natural disaster. In total, 202 claims were granted to the value of approximately $232,000.

National Crisis Coordination Capability Program

The Australian Government Crisis Coordination Centre (CCC) was delivered in September 2011 and officially opened by the then Attorney-General, the Hon Robert McClelland MP, on 17 October 2011. The CCC was successfully used during flooding events in summer 2012 to support the Australian Government Crisis Committee and coordinate whole-of-government actions in response to the emergencies.

The CCC 's Information Management System was further developed, with Release 2 of the system launched in December 2011. The second release of the System enables Australian Government and state and territory agencies to share briefing information during a crisis.

The National Crisis Coordination Capability Program has now delivered all required components.

Criminal information exchange with New Zealand and the United States of America

The department has responsibility for the six-month trial with NZ for the exchange of criminal history information for employment vetting purposes as announced by the Prime Ministers of Australia and NZ on 29 January 2012. The department led negotiations between Australia and NZ on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to govern the trial between Queensland and NZ. The MoU was signed on 29 May 2012 and the trial began on 2 July 2012. On completion of the trial, it is proposed that an assessment will be made to determine whether the arrangement should be extended to include requests from all Australian jurisdictions.

The objective of the trial is to establish more systematic and efficient arrangements for exchanging criminal history information for employment vetting purposes. This will assist employers to obtain information in a more timely manner in order to make more informed decisions regarding the suitability of an individual for a position of employment.

The department also led negotiations on behalf of Australia with the United States Department of Homeland Security on a Memorandum of Understanding on Enhancing Cooperation in Preventing and Combating Crime. Under the MoU, both countries will be able to crosscheck biometric data such as fingerprints and DNA and, in the event of a match, request further information from the other country on any individual of interest. Checks are subject to national laws, so information will not be shared where this is currently not legally permitted by either Australia or the US.

Legislation to bolster criminal assets confiscation

The department has been responsible for developing legislation to support the new multi-agency Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce that was launched by the Government in March 2011. The Crimes Legislation Amendment Act (No 2) 2011, which received Royal Assent on 5 December 2011, will enhance the pursuit of criminal assets by allowing the AFP to conduct proceeds-of-crime litigation on behalf of the Taskforce. The legislation also enhanced the role of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) by bringing the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service within the jurisdiction of the Commission on a whole-of-agency basis.

Legislation to strengthen Commonwealth law enforcement

The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Powers and Offences) Act 2012 was granted Royal Assent in April 2012. This legislation introduced a wide range of reforms to support the work of Commonwealth law enforcement officers. The Act includes amendments that streamline existing arrangements enabling the Australian Crime Commission to share information with other government agencies, including state and territory police forces. The measures will allow the Australian Crime Commission to proactively collaborate with the private sector, such as financial institutions, to combat serious and organised crime. The Act also contains important reforms to the sentencing of federal offenders in response to recommendations made by the 2006 Australian Law Reform Commission's report Same crime, same time. Implementing these recommendations makes arrangements for granting parole to federal offenders more effective and accountable. Measures in the Act also implement recommendations made by the 2010 report DNA forensic procedures: further independent review of Part 1D of the Crimes Act 1914, including clarifying arrangements relating to AFP DNA collection procedures and creating stricter rules around laboratory accreditation when DNA is analysed during an investigation.

A series of other amendments in the Act will help Commonwealth law enforcement agencies to effectively prevent and prosecute criminal activities. These amendments enhance the ability of ACLEI to investigate corruption, including by providing ACLEI with the power to refer a person to a court for contempt if they fail to cooperate with an investigation, and enable the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service to seize without a warrant all unlawfully imported and border-controlled drugs.

Working in partnership with other countries on criminal and policing issues

In 2011-12, the department continued to work with partner countries across the Asia-Pacific region and Africa to strengthen laws, processes and capacity of officials to address global governance challenges such as transnational crime (including people smuggling, people trafficking, terrorism and money laundering); domestic crime and policing (in the Pacific); and international crime cooperation (ie extradition and mutual assistance).

The department's rule-of-law aid work in 2011-12 has assisted partner countries across the spectrum of policy development, legislation and the implementation of legislation, as well as providing training and mentoring at the operational level. This work advances whole-of-government priorities including Australia's aid priorities in An Effective Aid Program for Australia: Making a real difference - Delivering real results (Australia's Aid Policy).

The department continued to have the largest Australian Public Service (APS) contingent deployed to Papua New Guinea under Australia's flagship capacity building program, the Strongim Gavman Program (SGP). In 2011-12, we had twelve positions in PNG's Department of Justice and Attorney General, Office of the Public Prosecutor, the Office of the State Solicitor, the Office of the Solicitor-General and Correctional Services. Key achievements in 2011-12 included providing support in the establishment of a family sexual violence unit, assisting in the revision and implementation of a digital file management system, support in the establishment of a proceeds of crime unit, assisting in the incorporation of digital voice recorders into standard police interviewing practice and assisting PNG lawyers.

Also within the Pacific region, the department supported Australia's regional engagement at the Pacific Island Officers' Network (PILON) meeting in New Zealand in December 2011. The department also successfully hosted two legal officers, from the Samoan Law Reform Commission and the Solomon Islands Office of the Public Prosecutor, as part of the Pacific Legal Policy Twinning Program.

In the Asian region, the department has continued to work with partner countries to strengthen legal frameworks and capacity to develop and implement laws to counter transnational crimes. In particular:

  • The department was active in efforts to tackle trafficking in persons through the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, and in May 2012 co-chaired with Indonesia the Bali Process Technical Experts Workshop on Trafficking.
  • The department posted its first officer to the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in January 2012 to manage the department's Strengthening Legal Frameworks to Counter Terrorism Program (SLF Program) with Indonesia, and support the department's broader bilateral legal relationship. This in-country representation has greatly enhanced the department's ability to deliver on its work with a range of Indonesian law and justice agencies.
  • The department worked collaboratively with key Indonesian agencies in 2011-12 to deliver a busy program of work under the SLF Program. In late 2011, the department facilitated a Prosecutor Pairing Program which placed two Indonesian prosecutors with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions to learn about Australia's experience in prosecuting terrorism cases. The department has also provided advice and assistance to the drafting teams developing Indonesia's Counter Financing of Terrorism Bill and preparing amendments to Indonesia's Counter Terrorism Law, including through study tours to Australia. In May 2012, the department co-chaired the second Indonesia Australia Counter-Terrorism Dialogue in Jakarta, which agreed the forward work plan until the end of the SLF Program in June 2013.
  • The department participated in the first Board meeting of the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Justice (AIPJ) on 27 June 2012. This five-year, $50 million AusAID program commenced in June 2011 and works with the Government of Indonesia to achieve its long term goal of entrenching the rule of law and upholding human rights.
  • The department has maintained a strong program of work through the Pakistan-Australia Joint Working Group on Border Management and Transnational Crime which met in Islamabad on 12-13 September 2011, as well as hosting productive discussions when the Legal Issues Sub-Committee of the Joint Working Group met in Canberra on 12-13 April 2012. Through this meeting the department and Pakistan have agreed upon a strong forward work-plan designed to support Pakistan in strengthening legislative and operational frameworks related to people smuggling, anti-money laundering and the counter-financing of terrorism.
  • The department worked with Sri Lanka to build regional strength in the approach to people smuggling and other transnational crime by co-hosting a mutual legal assistance workshop with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Justice from 15 -17 May in Colombo.
  • The department worked with AusAID to finalise the Memorandum of Cooperation between Australia and the United States for the deployment of Australian Justice Advisers to the Justice Centre in Parwan, Afghanistan, to mentor local legal professionals. The work of the advisers will be important in strengthening the rule of law in a country that has suffered decades of conflict.
  • The department finalised an MoU with the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice to enhance legal cooperation in criminal matters, which was signed by the Australian Attorney-General and the Vietnamese Minister of Justice on 10 April 2012. This MoU formalises the department's current and ongoing program of assistance to Vietnam, with a focus on combating transnational crime. The department is in the process of delivering a plan of action on strengthening frameworks for international legal cooperation, including anti-money laundering and proceeds of crime.

In Africa, the department delivered regional workshops on mutual legal assistance, anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing to promote best practice and greater cooperation between countries. The department also completed several bilateral projects, which support key regional priorities, including providing assistance to Ghana to develop mutual assistance regulations, and preparing an issues paper for Botswana to guide the development of its whistleblower legislation.

Across a number of regions, work continued in 2011-12 to strengthen legislative frameworks and deliver in-country training on anti-money laundering and proceeds of crime initiatives. On several occasions this assistance led to the partner country undertaking proceeds-of-crime investigations within its own jurisdiction. Focus is on building regional cooperation and intra-agency cooperation within countries to enhance the global network to combat transnational crime. A key outcome of this regional engagement was co-hosting, together with the United States Department of Justice and the Indonesian Government's Financial Intelligence Unit (PPATK), the Third Asset Forfeiture and Financial Investigations Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia in May 2012. Over 100 delegates from approximately twenty-three jurisdictions in the Asia-Pacific region participated in the conference to strengthen regional knowledge and capacity to take effective proceeds-of-crime action, and in turn, strengthen regional capacity to combat domestic and transnational crime.

International crime cooperation arrangements

The department progressed significant reforms to Australia's international crime cooperation laws with the passage of the Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Amendment Act 2012 in February 2012. The Amendment Act will introduce a number of important efficiencies and updates to Australia's international crime cooperation laws to ensure that Australian authorities are equipped with the appropriate tools to enable them to assist their foreign counterparts in the investigation and prosecution of serious criminal offences, while maintaining access to due process and legislative safeguards for individuals.

Amendments to the Extradition Act 1988 will allow a person to waive extradition proceedings, extend the availability of bail in the later stages of the extradition process, remove duplication in the decision-making process and allow a person to be prosecuted in Australia in lieu of extradition where the person's surrender has been refused for any reason. A number of minor and technical amendments will also be introduced to improve the general operation of the Act.

Amendments to the Mutual Assistance Act in Criminal Matters Act 1987 will expand the range of assistance that Australia can provide to foreign countries. In particular, the Amendment Act will enable forensic procedures and surveillance devices to be used in Australia by Australian law enforcement agencies for the purposes of assisting a foreign country in a criminal matter, and will streamline the process for authorising proceeds-of-crime action on behalf of foreign countries.

The Amendment Act will also strengthen safeguards in both the Extradition Act and the Mutual Assistance Act by making discrimination against a person on the basis of their sex or sexual orientation a mandatory ground for refusing a request for extradition or mutual assistance. Changes to both Acts will also strengthen protections in situations where a person may be subjected to torture.

The reforms follow an extensive public consultation process as well as consideration by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs. The Committee's report was tabled in Parliament on 12 September 2011.

The Amendment Act was passed by Parliament on 29 February 2012 and will come into force on 20 September 2012.

The department continued to work to strengthen international crime cooperation during the reporting year. The department actively participated in a number of multilateral fora aimed at combating transnational crime and corruption, including the fourth Conference of Parties to the United Nations Conventions Against Corruption, the twenty-first session of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, and the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols.

The department continued to work with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to build and maintain Australia's relationship with the International Criminal Court, actively participating in the tenth session of the Assembly of States Parties in December 2011. In addition, the department continued to progress the negotiation and implementation of bilateral treaties on mutual assistance, extradition and the international transfer of prisoners in accordance with Australian Government priorities.

The department also continued to lead Australia's engagement in the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Anti-Corruption and Transparency Taskforce.

A number of extradition cases continue to engage the interest of the Australian and international communities, including Hungary's extradition request for Charles Zentai, who is wanted for prosecution for an alleged war crime, and Croatia's request for Daniel Snedden (also known as Dragan Vasiljkovic), who is also wanted to face prosecution for alleged war crimes.

Another matter that attracted significant public interest was in respect of Paul Douglas Peters, who was surrendered by the United States to Australia to face prosecution for offences arising from the 'collar bomb' incident in Mosman, Sydney. In collaboration with New South Wales authorities, departmental officers worked to ensure that the request was made as quickly as possible. Mr Peters was arrested the following day in the United States and subsequently waived his right to an extradition hearing.

A number of extradition 'firsts' occurred this year, including the first surrender of a person to Indonesia in over a decade, and the surrender of a person from Mexico to Australia to face prosecution for child sex offences. In a significant development in international crime cooperation between Australia and India, two people were surrendered from India to Australia for prosecution for serious offences, including sexual assault and attempted murder. These surrenders were the first extraditions from India to Australia and followed the extradition treaty between Australia and India coming into force in January 2011. The surrenders were achieved through close collaboration between the department, the AFP and India's Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi.

Australia also concluded two extraditions in relation to alleged foreign bribery offences, resulting in the surrender of one person to Australia and one person to the United Kingdom.

Australia's first successful prisoner transfer with New Caledonia occurred in 2011-12. An international transfer-of-prisoner treaty between Australia and China came into force on 10 November 2011. As a result, Australians imprisoned in China can apply to transfer to Australia under the International Transfer of Prisoners Scheme and Chinese nationals imprisoned in Australia can similarly apply to transfer to China.

In a trend consistent with the past five years, the department saw a significant increase in the number of requests made by Australia to foreign countries for mutual assistance in criminal matters. Approximately 75 per cent of the requests made to foreign countries were on behalf of Commonwealth agencies. The department observed that a higher number of Australian requests than in other years were for offences relating to frauds against the Commonwealth (including tax fraud), money laundering, foreign bribery, people smuggling and child sex offences. A large number of requests were made in urgent circumstances to support ongoing drug operations by Australia law enforcement agencies. While the number of foreign requests to Australia for mutual assistance slightly decreased, fewer requests were for routine assistance while more requests sought substantial assistance requiring ministerial authorisation. An emerging trend is greater numbers of requests both to and from Australia for proceeds-of-crime action. Australian authorities took urgent action to restrain proceeds of crime on behalf of a foreign country by registering a foreign restraining order under the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987 within forty-eight hours of receiving a formal request.

A significant number of extradition litigation matters progressed during the year involving challenges before the Federal Court, Full Federal Court and High Court at various stages of the extradition process. As at 30 June 2012, an application for special leave to the High Court had been made in respect of O'Donoghue v Honourable Brendan O'Connor [2012] FCA 227, and decisions were reserved in respect of appeals in O'Connor v Zentai [2011] FCAFC 102 and Adamas v The Honourable Brendan O'Connor (No.2) [2012] FCA 227.

Federal offenders management

The department administers the sentences of federal offenders under Part 1B of the Crimes Act 1914. It deals with the release of federal prisoners on parole, breaches of parole conditions, early release on licence, interstate transfer of federal prisoners, forensic mental health cases and applications by parolees to travel overseas. The department also advises the Minister for Home Affairs and Justice on petitions to exercise the Royal Prerogative of Mercy and applications to refer federal offenders' cases to courts of appeal. In 2011-12, the Attorney-General, the Minister for Home Affairs and Justice, and the department made 218 decisions to release federal prisoners on parole or licence.

Evaluations/reviews

Review of Australia's compliance with the United Nations Conventions Against Corruption

In 2011-12, the department was responsible for managing the review of Australia's compliance with Chapters 3 and 4 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). The review was conducted by a team of experts from the United States and Turkey and facilitated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The review process is an important obligation for state parties to the Convention, and involves the completion of a comprehensive self-assessment report and a country visit by the review team. The Executive Summary of Australia's review was tabled at the UNCAC Implementation Review Group meeting in Vienna on 18 June 2012. The Executive Summary commends Australia for its comprehensive and proactive approach to combating corruption, and recommends Australia continue implementing a number of important anti-corruption initiatives, such as the development of Australia's first National Anti-Corruption Plan.

Parliamentary committee reviews of terrorist organisation listings

During the reporting period, the department provided submissions to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security on its reviews of the re-listing of terrorist organisations. The Committee tabled its report on the re-listing of Ansar al-Islam, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi on 28 May 2012, and its report on the re-listing of Hizballah's External Security Organisation on 28 June 2012.

Outlook at 30 June 2012

The department will continue to implement and drive work across the broad national security agenda in Australian Government. This will include work that enhances national security, combats organised crime, improves identity and technology security and strengthens emergency management and builds resilience. The work will cover national security legislation, cyber security, critical infrastructure resilience, and identity security risk management, security of chemicals of concern, protective security policy, and emergency management policy and crisis coordination.

The department's national security outlook in 2012-13 includes:

  • continuing to implement the broad national security agenda across government in the ongoing development of national security legislation
  • progressing and completing proposals for telecommunications sector security reforms to ensure that governments and industry remain resilient to events impacting upon the confidentiality, integrity and availability of telecommunications infrastructure. This work will be informed by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security inquiry outcomes
  • continuing to implement the NSDR under the auspices of the Standing Council on Police and Emergency Management
  • working with the National Emergency Management Committee's Land Use Planning and Building Codes Taskforce to enhance resilience in the built environment
  • facilitating implementation of the long-term projects constituting the National Work Program for Flood Mapping
  • continuing to work with states and territories to enhance the national telephone-based warning system, Emergency Alert, to enable the delivery of warnings to mobile phone handsets based on the location of the handset at the time of an emergency
  • hosting a Young Leaders in Emergency Management Forum in conjunction with the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) and AEMVF
  • delivery of the finalised National Security Capability Plan and enhancements to our National Security Fusion Capability to ensure all relevant information is being captured, fused, analysed and disseminated in a timely way across border security, law enforcement and intelligence agencies to help combat organised crime and terrorism
  • in cooperation with the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy the department will deliver the National Implementation Plan for the Public Safety Mobile Broadband capability to COAG's Standing Council on Police and Emergency Management in September 2012 with aim of implementation between 2017 and 2020
  • continuing to work with Geoscience Australia and states and territories to develop the National Flood Risk Information Project and deliver Part 2 of the National Guidelines.

The department will support the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security's inquiry into potential reforms of national security legislation.

In 2012-13 the department will continue to coordinate and deliver activities through a national approach to countering violent extremism by strengthening Australia's resilience to radicalisation and developing initiatives to address extremist influences that threaten Australia's security.

During 2012-13 the department will undertake chemical security risk assessments for twenty-nine agricultural/veterinary chemicals, complete a risk assessment for ammonium nitrate, finalise the approach to reducing national security risks associated with eleven precursor chemicals to homemade explosives, and develop a new phase for industry and community awareness-raising, including redevelopment of the chemicals security website.

Some of the key priorities in the year ahead include:

  • continuing to review and improve the national security legislative framework through:
    • engaging with and responding to issues raised by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, who has an ongoing role in examining Australia's counter-terrorism and national security legislation
    • supporting the COAG Review of Counter-Terrorism Laws which will be conducted in the second half of 2012
    • engaging with the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security inquiry into potential reforms of national security legislation, and progressing any agreed legislative proposals following the Committee's report
  • implementing the new regime for financial assistance for Australian victims of terrorism overseas, which will include broad consultation on principles to guide the quantum of payments to victims and close family members.

The department will lead the National Cybercrime Working Group in considering ways to further enhance cooperation between Australian jurisdictions in combating cyber crime. The department will also continue to develop the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network, including preparation of a business case for consideration by Commonwealth, state and territory Attorneys-General and Police Ministers.

The department will continue to work with the banking and finance industry to develop the National Fraud Exchange, to ensure that institutions can share information and work together to combat fraud within the industry.

The department will continue to consider ways in which the Commonwealth's serious drug offences framework could be updated and better adapted to respond to threats in the illicit drug market.

The department will continue to lead work across government and with industry stakeholders to develop and implement new measures to address organised crime in the aviation and maritime industries in response to vulnerabilities identified by Operation Polaris. Implementing these measures will involve significant coordination and collaboration both within the portfolio and with other departments such as the Department of Infrastructure and Transport. The department will develop the legislation necessary for the measures to be implemented as well as working with other agencies to develop and implement new policy proposals.

The department will continue to work with domestic and international partners to implement elements of the Organised Crime Strategic Framework.

As announced by the former Minister for Home Affairs in September 2011, the department is leading the development of a National Anti-Corruption Plan. The Plan will provide a clear statement of our whole-of-government approach to combating corruption and will ensure the Commonwealth is adequately equipped to deal with existing and emerging corruption threats. The department is leading an extensive public consultation process to inform the development of the Plan.

As a state party to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, Australia is required to assist in review of state parties' compliance with the Convention. During 2012-13, the department will lead Australia's review of Tanzania's and the Netherlands' compliance with the Convention. Both reviews will be facilitated by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, and Australia will partner with Mozambique in reviewing Tanzania, and with Uruguay in reviewing the Netherlands. The department will also continue to lead Australia's involvement in the G20 and APEC Anti-Corruption working groups.

In 2012-13, the department will continue to lead Australia's negotiations on bilateral international crime cooperation treaties and related instruments. We will also continue to work collaboratively with other Australian Government agencies to represent Australia's interests in multilateral forums aimed at combating transnational crime, including the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

In 2012-13, the department will continue to promote the rule of law and effective governance in Asia-Pacific and Africa by working with partner countries to build the capacity of law and justice officials and to strengthen laws and processes on combating transnational crime, people smuggling, people trafficking, terrorism and money laundering; domestic crime and policing (in the Pacific); and international crime cooperation. The department will develop and implement a new Rule of Law Aid Strategy to advance and facilitate coordinated and effective delivery of Australia's Rule of Law aid priorities.

Performance results

Table 9.1: Performance results, Program 1.2

Key performance indicators Results
National leadership and coordination on identity security policy, including whole-of-government leadership for the National Identity Security
Strategy (NISS)
Substantially achieved

Comment: The department has finalised working level consultations on the review of the NISS in consultation with the states and territories. The DVS is currently being prepared for roll out to the private sector.
A coordinated legal, policy and operational framework to provide a resilience-based PPRR approach to disasters, including support to crisis coordination and decision making Substantially achieved

Comment: The Department is working in collaboration with states and territories to implement the COAG National Strategy for Disaster Resilience. The Strategy is a long-term national policy framework which focuses on integrated, whole-of-nation efforts to build Australia's resilience to natural disasters and improve approaches to prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. It guides action across all levels of government, as well as businesses, the non-profit sector and the broader community.
Provision and support of a relevant and consistent protective security environment across government Achieved

Comment: The department has delivered seminars and one-on-one meetings with senior executives and security practitioners to provide advice and support during the implementation of the Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF). The department has launched a dedicated protective security website to improve access to PSPF documentation. Departmental officers provide an online and telephone inquiry and advisory service. The framework will be fully implemented by most agencies by July 2013.

The Protective Security Training Centre throughout the year provided training in protective security, security risk management, and personnel security to 555 students from 85 organisations.
Degree of engagement by state, territory and Australian Government agencies in building national security capability and capacity Achieved

Comment: Federal, state and territory government agencies are fully engaged in building national security capability and capacity. The department contributed substantially to this engagement through its support of National Counter-Terrorism Committee and National Emergency Management Committee activities.
A legal and policy framework that builds community confidence and facilitates effective action to
prevent and respond to national security challenges
Achieved

Comment: The effectiveness of the legal framework is kept under ongoing review, including by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, and amendments are progressed to respond to practical issues identified as a result of the operation of the legislation.
Enhanced community and
stakeholder confidence in and understanding of the national security legal and policy framework
Achieved

Comment: Changes to national security laws have been subject to public consultation, and have been developed to ensure personal freedoms are considered.
Effective legislative and policy frameworks and conduct of casework that bring people to justice while maintaining suitable safeguards and accountability mechanisms Achieved

Comment: There have been successful counter-terrorism prosecutions, and the laws have been amended to ensure ongoing effectiveness while maintaining suitable safeguards and accountability mechanisms
Implementation of a framework
for addressing serious and
organised crime
Substantially achieved

Comment: Implementation of elements of the Organised Crime Strategic Framework is an ongoing priority.
Australia's international crime cooperation frameworks are maintained and strengthened Achieved

Comment: The department continued bilateral negotiations with several partner countries on international crime cooperation treaties, and led Australia's involvement in multinational fora on transnational crime and corruption.

The department also progressed a significant package of reforms to Australia's international crime cooperation laws with the passage of the Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Amendment Act 2012 in February 2012.
Identifiable progress on legislative and operational initiatives undertaken with foreign countries Substantially achieved

Comment: The department continues to strengthen the capacity of countries in the Pacific, South Asia, South-East Asia, and Africa to address transnational crime and related criminal justice issues, through active engagement and supporting regional organisations. For example, Attorney-General's Department Strongim Gavman Program advisers working in the Office of the Public Prosecutor (OPP) in Papua New Guinea have assisted in the establishment of a family and sexual offences (FASO) unit. The FASO unit, together with the establishment of a National Court FASO list, allows more focus on the professional development of junior lawyers in an under-resourced area and complements AusAID's broader focus on family and sexual offences.

 

Our people

The Australian Government Crisis Coordination Centre

from concept to whole-of-government operational resource

The idea for a central point of information and coordination during domestic crises emerged in 2008 with the release of the National Security Statement. In 2009 the government accepted two new policy proposals for the delivery of the National Crisis Coordination Capability Program. The Australian Government Crisis Coordination Centre (CCC) project was established as part of the Program.

The project was much more than the building of physical facilities and comprised two distinct components. The first was the development of an operating model for the new idea of a whole-of-government coordination centre. 'The development of the CCC Concept of Operations required not only the research and development work, but also securing the support of other Australian Government agencies for the idea', said Simone Davenport, Change Manager for the CCC Project. 'This was the most significant change ever made to the way crises are managed by the Australian Government, so we had to develop a whole new approach to stakeholder consultation as well a major change management effort.'

The second component of the project was the design and construction of the physical facilities to support the new operating model. 'Having developed the new operating model, we wanted to make sure the layout of the new facilities matched it', said Majdie Hordern, CCC Project Manager. The multidisciplinary project team brought together staff from Emergency Management Australia, Information Division, Corporate Division Property Section and the Departmental Security Unit. 'Our primary focus was ensuring that the building, audiovisual, information technology and security arrangements supported multiple agencies working collaboratively together during emergencies.'

The official opening of the CCC by the Attorney-General on 17 October 2011 was a proud moment for the project team. The opening marked the successful realisation of a whole-of-capability approach to the project - an approach that initiated and entrenched significant changes in the way crisis information and crisis coordination occurs across governments, and delivered an impressive and technically advanced facility that supports and enhances nationwide crisis management. 'It was the culmination of all our years of effort to create the department-led whole-of-government capability for crisis coordination. It's a great outcome,' said Rheannon Nicholson, Director of the National Crisis Coordination Capability Program.

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