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Annual Report 2009-10 Performance Reports - Outcome 2

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Chapter 7 Outcome 2 - Coordinated federal criminal justice, security and emergency management activity for a safer Australia

Overview

During 2009–10, the Department made significant progress towards achieving Outcome 2. The Department has led the development and implementation of major strategies in cyber security, organised crime, and regional law and justice engagement, such as the Australian Government Cyber Security Strategy, which includes the new national computer emergency response team, CERT Australia; the Commonwealth Organised Crime Strategic Framework, which provides a unified strategic direction for all agencies with responsibility for combating organised crime; and Australia’s Framework for Law and Justice Engagement with the Pacific, which informs Australia’s future engagement in the Pacific law and justice sector.

The Department has cultivated effective working relationships across government, both at Australian Government and State or Territory levels, and with non-government and foreign institutions. These working relationships contribute to improving the coordination of federal criminal justice, security and emergency management activity for a safer Australia.

The Department successfully negotiated the National Partnership Agreement between the Australian Government and States and Territories on community resilience against natural disasters, and the National Response to Organised Crime, which aligns the efforts of Australian, State and Territory law enforcement agencies in responding to identified and emerging organised crime threats.

In 2009–10, the Department also engaged with its international partners to respond to organised and transnational crime, money laundering and counter-terrorism financing. The Department led development of the Declaration to Cooperate in Combating Organised Crime between Australia, the United States, Canada and New Zealand and is responsible for progressing Australia’s implementation of the Declaration.

In the coming year, we anticipate the Department’s priorities and goals will include developing legislative and policy responses to cyber crime and fraud against the Commonwealth and continuing to implement measures to combat organised crime and enhance the legislative frameworks of our partner countries in Asia, Africa and the Pacific. The Department will also be implementing the Government’s expanded national security agenda, delivering on projects such as the Countering Violent Extremism taskforce projects, the Parliament House Briefing Room and a Crisis Coordination Centre and adopting an all-hazards approach to national security policy development and working in close collaboration with stakeholders to drive the resilience agenda.

In addition to the Department’s role in leading and coordinating the development and implementation of these strategies, the Department contributes to achieving Outcome 2 by providing policy advice and operational coordination and services in the areas of counter-terrorism, security law, resilience policy, emergency management, criminal law, law enforcement, crime prevention, border management, critical infrastructure protection, and protective security. The Department also undertakes a range of activities to meet obligations and responsibilities in international as well as domestic circumstances.

Performance reports for each program contributing to Outcome 2 are presented in this chapter.

Resource summary

Table 11: Resource summary, Outcome 2—Coordinated federal criminal justice, security and emergency management activity for a safer Australia

  Budget*
2009–10
$’000
(a)
Actual expenses
2009–10
$’000
(b)
Variation
$’000
(a)–(b)
Program 2.1: National security      
Component 2.1.1 National security resilience policy      
Annual departmental expenses 32,842 28,574 4,268
Revenue from independent resources (s31): 1,395 756 639
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 33 34
Administered items:      
National emergency warning system 4,295 2,765 1,530
Component 2.1.2 Emergency management      
Annual departmental expenses 23,238 24,580 –1,343
Revenue from independent resources (s31): 132 1,567 –1,436
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 28 29
Administered items:      
National security public information campaign 1,000 827 173
National crisis coordination capability 779 592 187
       
Component 2.1.3 National security capability development      
Annual departmental expenses 31,744 33,948 –2,204
Revenue from independent resources (s31): 2,496 2,710 –241
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 39 39
Administered items:      
Aerial firefighting 14,007 14,007
Disaster Resilience Australia Program 2,000 1,914 86
National Emergency Volunteers Support Fund 3,705 3,505 200
National Counter-Terrorism Committee—special fund and operating expenses 17,090 15,962 1,128
       
Component 2.1.4 National security law and policy      
Annual departmental expenses 24,775 22,352 2,423
Revenue from independent resources (s31): 10,066 10,939 –872
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 28 29
       
Total for Program 2.1 169,692 165,127 4,566
       
Program 2.2: Criminal justice      
Component 2.2.1 Criminal justice      
Annual departmental expenses 16,605 16,224 382
Revenue from independent resources (s31): 573 784 –211
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 25 25
Administered items:      
National Community Crime Prevention program 6,152 5,705 447
Payments for membership of international bodies 106 91 15
Payments for grants to Australian organisations 1,202 1,198 4
Safer Suburbs program 3,564 3,471 93
       
Specific purpose payments      
Schools security program 7,400 6,779 621
       
Special appropriations      
National Handgun Buyback Act 2003 s 9 2,700 150 2,550
       
Component 2.2.2 International crime cooperation      
Annual departmental expenses 20,869 19,693 1,176
Revenue from independent resources (s31): 3,188 3,048 141
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 28 29
Administered items:      
Australia’s contribution to the International Criminal Court 8,822 7,906 916
Anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing—information and public awareness campaign –8 8
Pacific Police Development program 168 66 102
       
Total for Program 2.2 71,402 65,160 6,242

Note:

* Full year budget, including any subsequent adjustment made to the 2009–10 Budget.

Program 2.1: National security

Summary

The Attorney-General’s Department is responsible for key aspects of national security policy, legislation, capability development and operational coordination. This includes counter-terrorism, security law, countering violent extremism, emergency management, building community resilience against natural disasters, critical infrastructure protection, identity security, cyber security, chemicals of security concern and protective security.

Working closely with the National Security Adviser and taking an all-hazards approach to national security, the Department seeks to improve the coordination of security and emergency management activity among agencies within the Attorney-General’s portfolio and across governments.

In 2009–10, the Department progressed changes to legislative and policy frameworks to ensure they are robust and can be used to bring people to justice. These included the introduction of key changes to Australia’s national security and counter-terrorism laws.

The Department continued to engage in a diverse range of projects associated with enhancing the security of Australia, its people and the infrastructure upon which they rely. This work is building a more resilient nation through developing national security capabilities and promoting the concept of organisational resilience within the business community generally, and critical infrastructure in particular.

The Department is also strengthening Australia’s natural disaster relief and recovery arrangements and providing support for Australian Government decision makers in times of crisis through the National Crisis Coordination Capability Program and ongoing development of the National Disaster Recovery Strategy.

Major achievements

National security, resilience policy and building capabilities

In November 2009, the Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management—Emergency Management endorsed a National Disaster Resilience Framework, which sets clear principles to guide the emergency management community to foster disaster resilience in Australia. The Department developed the Framework in consultation with stakeholders.

At its December 2009 meeting, COAG agreed to adopt a whole-of-nation, resilience-based approach to disaster management, which recognises that a national, coordinated and cooperative effort is required to enhance Australia’s capacity to withstand and recover from disasters. The Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management—Emergency Management and COAG agreed that the National Disaster Resilience Framework would be the interim policy framework for the emergency management community and would be used to develop a whole-of-government strategy for disaster resilience in 2010. The Department, in consultation with stakeholders, is working on a National Disaster Resilience Strategy for COAG to consider in late 2010. 

Following the COAG Senior Officials Meeting review of national critical infrastructure protection arrangements, it was agreed to adopt a resilience approach to critical infrastructure. Following this, at the Critical Infrastructure Advisory Council meeting in December 2009, the Attorney-General announced the intention to shift the focus of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Program from ‘protection’ to ‘resilience’ to better support the owners and operators of critical infrastructure to build the resilience of their organisations in an all-hazards environment. The Department developed the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy in consultation with stakeholders and in June 2010 the Attorney-General launched the new strategy.

The Department played a major role in establishing governance and administrative arrangements for, and continues to support, the National Emergency Management Committee and the National Critical Infrastructure Resilience Committee, created by COAG in December 2009.

The Australian Emergency Management Institute continues to provide a broad range of emergency management clients with access to professional development on key issues that support a more resilient Australia.

A new vision for the institute has been agreed, which will see the institute become a centre of excellence for knowledge and skills development in emergency management. This will establish the institute as forward looking, innovative and client-focused, with education, training and research activities clearly aligned to national policy and capability development priorities.

Courses delivered covered risk assessment and mitigation, business continuity, emergency planning, and managing recovery. Some 1,183 students from emergency management organisations, volunteer sector and private industry attended residential based courses and workshops at the institute. A further 404 students attended courses and forums delivered by the institute within the jurisdictions.

The institute promoted awareness of disaster resilience in children through its school education program. The online teaching resources focused on natural disaster education and building community resilience by generating a greater understanding of risk, emergency management and preparation. The resources included interactive media, digital stories covering experiences from Black Saturday, and lessons that promote community awareness of risk.

The institute continues to manage a national program to strengthen disaster resilience in culturally and linguistically diverse communities, with a particular focus on promoting engagement between the community and emergency service agencies to build participation, partnerships, respect and resilience.

National security legislation

In 2009–10, the Department worked closely with other Australian Government agencies to progress the Government’s response to a number of reviews relating to national security and counter-terrorism legislation, including the:

  • Inquiry by the Hon John Clarke QC into the case of Dr Mohamed Haneef (November 2008)
  • Review of Sedition Laws in Australia by the Australian Law Reform Commission (July 2006)
  • Review of Security and Counter-Terrorism Legislation by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (December 2006), and
  • Inquiry into Proscription of Terrorist Organisations under the Australian Criminal Code by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (September 2007).

These were addressed in the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 and the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement Bill 2010 and take into account outcomes of extensive public consultation.

The Department also helped the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet create the role of Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, whose task would be to annually review operation of national security legislation. Parliament passed the legislation to create the monitor on 18 March 2010.

The Department worked with relevant departments and agencies to progress legislative amendments to enhance interoperability between national security agencies and enable the Government to take a coordinated, intelligence-led approach to national security, as outlined in the National Security Statement. The Anti-People Smuggling and Other Measures Bill 2010 passed by Parliament on 13 May 2010, included amendments to enable the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation to assist in the whole-of-government effort against people smuggling and other serious threats to Australia’s territorial and border integrity.

The Aviation Crimes and Policing Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 was introduced into Parliament on 23 June 2010. The Bill would insert new offences, and increase penalties for existing offences in the Crimes (Aviation) Act 1991 to ensure an adequate legal framework directed against crimes such as hoaxes and threats against aviation, and assault of air crew. The Bill would also remove gaps in the availability of standard Australian Federal Police powers in airports that are Commonwealth places. The Department’s work on these measures supports its work with the Australian Federal Police and other Australian Government, State and Territory agencies to implement the Government’s decision for the Australian Federal Police to take on the full community policing role at Australia’s 11 major airports.

On 24 June 2010, the Attorney-General introduced the Telecommunications Interception and Intelligence Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 into Parliament. This Bill proposes amendments to facilitate closer cooperation, assistance and information sharing between Australia’s national security community.

Cyber security

The Attorney-General launched the Australian Government Cyber Security Strategy in November 2009. The strategy was a key outcome of the Department-led E-Security Review 2008. The Government’s cyber security policy aims to maintain a secure, resilient and trusted electronic operating environment that supports Australia’s national security and maximises the benefits of the digital economy. As part of the strategy, the Department has brought together Australia’s existing computer emergency response arrangements under a new national computer emergency response team, CERT Australia. CERT Australia began operation in January 2010 and will progressively build capacity throughout 2010.

The Department contributed to Cyber Security Awareness Week in June 2010, by working with the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy to support a range of activities, which included briefings for business. The Department also coordinated development of the whole-of-government publication Protecting Yourself Online—What everyone needs to know.

The Department is also working with national security and law enforcement agencies, the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and NBN Co. to help ensure that national security issues are addressed in the design and operation of the national broadband network. This is consistent with the Government’s usual practice of promoting the security and resilience of Australia’s critical infrastructure.

The Cyber Security Crisis Management Plan is being developed and will be tested in Cyber Storm III, an international cyber security exercise, in 2010–11, before it is finalised.

Critical infrastructure protection

In line with the Australian Government’s new resilience-based approach, the Department has developed, through extensive consultation with stakeholders, the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy, which outlines the Australian Government’s approach to critical infrastructure resilience. Launched by the Attorney-General in June 2010, the strategy has a strong focus on business–government partnerships and demonstrates a commitment to working with owners and operators, and State and Territory governments, to achieve complementary and mutually beneficial outcomes.

In addition, the Critical Infrastructure Program for Modelling and Analysis (CIPMA) has successfully moved from a research-based pilot project to an operational program. CIPMA enjoys strong support from the Trusted Information Sharing Network, with five sectors currently engaged: banking and finance, communications, energy, water, and transport. CIPMA provides enhanced understanding of key dependencies between sectors, vulnerabilities in the networks and the impact of potential threats.

All-hazards crisis response

In 2008, the Homeland and Border Security Review recommended centralisation of information and coordination during a crisis, as well as improvements to the way the Prime Minister and the Cabinet are briefed.

The National Crisis Coordination Capability Program was established to implement those recommendations of the review, which included the mechanisms and capabilities to support a consistent whole-of-government approach to crisis management. This capability will be delivered through central physical facilities—a Parliament House Briefing Room and a Crisis Coordination Centre. Construction of the Briefing Room began on 19 April 2010 and will be activated in late September 2010. Construction of the Crisis Coordination Centre will begin in August 2010 with activation in early 2011.


Katherine Buchanan, National Security Capability Development Divison 

Katherine Buchanan, National Security
Capability Development Division

Our people

Enhancing Australia’s resilience to natural disasters

a more strategic, collaborative approach to natural disaster mitigation

Reforming the Government’s approach to building emergency management capacity and capability, and increasing Australia’s resilience to a range of natural disasters, has involved large-scale negotiations with the States and Territories.

The resultant Natural Disaster Resilience Program is a strategic, nation-wide effort to make Australia ‘disaster resilient’, better able to withstand and recover from a disaster.

The program’s flagship is the National Partnership Agreement on Natural Disaster Resilience, which in turn actions COAG’s higher strategic reform, the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations. The overarching aim of the Agreement is to improve the quality and effectiveness of government services by reducing Australian Government prescriptions on service delivery by the States, providing them with increased flexibility in how they deliver services to the community.

The program replaces grant activities such as the Natural Disaster Mitigation and Bushfire Mitigation programs, and in 2010–11 will include support to emergency management volunteers. The new approach to funding allows the States and Territories flexibility to address the different natural disaster risks they each face.

It seeks to foster greater coordination and collaboration across sectors and between key stakeholders, create new linkages, and recognise that protecting Australia from the impact of disaster is a shared responsibility.

Katherine Buchanan, Assistant Director, Emergency Capability Development Branch, explained that, ‘One of the main challenges has been to transition from direct Australian Government-based disaster mitigation activities, to jurisdiction-based activities that meet agreed objectives.

‘We are now working with States and Territories in a much more strategic and collaborative way to fund natural disaster mitigation activities, recognising that different jurisdictions have different priorities, and that these may change over time.

‘The success of this strategic approach to disaster resilience is based on flexibility of approach combined with a massive team effort. It’s about building and maintaining sound relationships across all sectors for the benefit of the Australian community,’ Katherine said.


Emergency management

In 2009–10, $118.284 million was reimbursed to the States and Territories under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements. Work on recovery assistance for the 2009 Victorian bushfires continued in 2009–10 through the Department’s administration of the arrangements. To-date the commitment for this event is $237 million, comprising an advance payment of $220 million (2008–09) and a further commitment in October 2009 of $17.06 million. Claims for this event will continue over coming years.

The Department provided subject matter expertise and input into the review and drafting of national plans, such as the National Counter–Terrorism Handbook, Australian Government Disaster Response Plan (COMDISPLAN), Australian Government Plan for the Reception of Australian Citizens and Approved Foreign Nationals Evacuated from Overseas (COMRECEPLAN), the Australian Government Overseas Disaster Assistance Plan (AUSASSISTPLAN) and various Australian Health Plans. In March 2009, the Australian Emergency Management Committee agreed to draft the National Catastrophic Disaster Plan (NATCATDISPLAN), which will be applied to catastrophic natural disasters not covered by other national plans. A complete review and update of the Australian Aviation Disaster Plan (AUSAVDISPLAN) is currently underway.

In September 2009, two major earthquakes struck off the coasts of Samoa and West Sumatra generating widespread destruction including a tsunami affecting Apia. The Department activated disaster plans to provide assistance, manage Australian casualties overseas, and coordinate reception of Australians and others evacuated as a result of these events. The Department coordinated deployment of 86 Australian officers to Samoa and also coordinated repatriation of five deceased Australians. In Sumatra the Department deployed an urban search and rescue team, consisting of 36 officers, and equipment to assist with recovery.

The Department provides secretariat and policy support to the newly formed National Emergency Management Committee. This committee will focus on a resilience agenda to enhance Australia’s capacity to withstand and recover from disasters. The Department played a major role in establishing governance and administrative arrangements for the committee and in arranging transition of ongoing work items from the now disbanded Australian Emergency Management Committee to the new committee.

The Department contributed to delivering COAG’s April 2009 decision to enhance Australia’s natural disaster arrangements through development of a telephone-based emergency warning system to enable States and Territories to deliver warnings to landline and mobile telephones based on the customer’s address. This was done through the procurement and ongoing management of the Location Based Number Store. This is a secure central database that provides critical data to the national telephone-based warning system, Emergency Alert, and Western Australia’s warning system State Alert.

The Australian Government committed to improving Australia’s disaster resilience and announced a comprehensive Disaster Resilience Australia Package. The Disaster Resilience program announced in the Federal Budget contributes to this broader package of initiatives. This is a co-funded initiative managed by the Australian Government, States and Territories under a National Partnership Agreement, through the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations.

Through the National Partnership Agreement, the Australian, State and Territory governments have committed to contributing to community resilience against natural disasters by identifying and addressing natural disaster risk priorities, taking into account climate change and the need for social inclusion. Activities funded under the National Partnership Agreement will be closely linked to achieving this outcome and to addressing the key priorities identified by the Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management—Emergency Management and COAG. The National Partnership Agreement will be monitored and reviewed regularly to ensure it maintains a strategic approach and continues to address agreed priorities.

The National Partnership Agreement is signed by the Prime Minister and each Premier and Chief Minister. The Department administers it on behalf of the Australian Government.

The Department made an agreement with the United States to promote emergency management cooperation, signed by the Attorney-General in Washington DC in April 2010. Discussions with several other countries in the region, including French New Caledonia, to develop partnership agreements are continuing.

Counter-terrorism

The Department continued to support the National Counter-Terrorism Committee (NCTC) in coordinating national policies and programs and in developing national counter-terrorism capabilities.

The Department supported the NCTC program of activities, which encompasses training, exercises, planning, policy development and equipment procurement programs. The Department also managed the NCTC administered fund and provided secretariat support to a number of NCTC subcommittees and working groups.

The Department refined and coordinated the third annual cycle of NCTC continuous improvement processes—the NCTC Capability Review and Development Process.

The Department coordinated a major review of the National Counter-Terrorism Handbook, resulting in a more valuable resource for police commanders and officials in the counter-terrorism environment. The new handbook will significantly improve operational use and more easily facilitate future updates to content as they emerge.

The Department coordinates the NCTC Evaluation Findings Resolution Process, the mechanism used to ensure significant lessons resulting from real world events and NCTC activities are considered and addressed. The process was used to action the findings identified in the final report from Exercise Mercury 08. The outcomes will inform future capability development initiatives.

The Department coordinated a program of activities and exercises in preparation for a major multijurisdictional counter-terrorism exercise involving all levels of government and the private sector. The main deployment for this activity will occur in early 2010–11.

From a legal perspective, the Department continued to advise on aspects of high profile counter terrorism-related litigation. These all involved complicated issues requiring carefully considered and appropriate responses from the Australian Government.

Under the COAG intergovernmental agreement on Australia’s Arrangements for the Management of Security Risks Associated with Chemicals, the Department developed a methodology, agreed to by States, Territories and industry, for assessing risks posed by 96 chemicals of potential interest to terrorists.

Using the methodology, the Department produced national risk assessments on hydrogen peroxide and nitric acid.

Throughout 2010, we will continue to work with stakeholders to assess risks posed by the other improvised explosive device precursor chemicals and to develop treatments to mitigate unacceptable risks. We will also undertake further activities with industry and the public to raise awareness about the risks posed by some chemicals when used by terrorists.

Countering violent extremism

A dedicated Countering Violent Extremism Taskforce was established to coordinate a comprehensive, national approach to countering violent extremism issues. Work has commenced on evidence-based programs to counter violent extremism and on developing a strategy for community engagement. The taskforce will also support initiatives that form part of the Australian Government’s broader social inclusion and national security agendas.

National Identity Security Strategy

The Department continued to lead implementation of the National Identity Security Strategy. A key element of the Strategy—the Document Verification Service—was enhanced in 2009–10 with birth certificates and drivers licences from most jurisdictions being added to the documents capable of being verified.

Improving the integrity of agency identity data holdings is a key element of the National Identity Security Strategy. The Department published better practice guidelines for data matching: Improving the Integrity of Identity Data—Data Matching—Better Practice Guidelines 2009.

The Department also published identity theft prevention products, including ID Theft—Protecting your Identity and ID Theft—Lost, Stolen or Found Identity Documents.

National Security Hotline

The National Security Hotline has developed a secondary surge capacity in collaboration with Centrelink and the Australian Taxation Office. These arrangements have been developed over the past three years and are tested monthly. The surge capacity provided by these two agencies is a cost effective and efficient strategy to maintain the National Security Hotline during times of unexpected peak load.

Bilateral arrangements between the National Security Hotline facility, the Australian Taxation Office and Centrelink were further developed and strengthened during 2009–10, including development of an e-learning training package for National Security Hotline staff. In the past, most of the training and development of these two agencies was undertaken face-to-face. The new e-learning package allows Centrelink and the Australian Taxation Office to train their surge staff through self-paced, distance learning.

National security framework

A key aspect of the inaugural National Security Statement to Parliament in 2008 included establishment of a Strategic Policy Framework for National Security. The framework comprises three elements: national security priority setting, resource allocation, and performance evaluation of the national security community. The Department has played an integral role in advancing these elements, contributing to the recent development of the Coordinated National Security Budget for 2010–11, two annual performance evaluations of the national security community and an annual coordinated setting of national security priorities. These initiatives enable a more integrated Australian Government national security structure that enhances national security policy coordination.

Surveillance and telecommunication interception

The Department develops Australian Government policy relating to use of electronic investigative tools to prevent, investigate and prosecute serious offences. The Department operates in a constantly changing environment in circumstances where changes in technology, emerging national security issues, reviews and legal challenges require the involvement of all stakeholders, including across government and private and international forums.

The Department cooperates with stakeholders to ensure a consistent approach and develop policy in this area. During 2009–10, the Department was pivotal in ensuring there was a national approach to lawful access of telecommunications, access to stored communications and access to telecommunications data. This includes accessing necessary information for national security and law enforcement purposes.

The Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment Act 2010 clarified the basis upon which both public and private network owners could access communications for protecting a computer network.

Amendments were also made to the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979, the Surveillance Devices Act 2004, in the Anti-People Smuggling and Other Measures Act 2010, the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Serious and Organised Crime) Act 2010 and the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Serious and Organised Crime) Act (No.2) 2010 to allow Australian Government agencies greater capacity to investigate and deter people smuggling networks and serious and organised crime.

Australia has announced its intention to accede to the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime. The convention is the only binding international treaty on cybercrime. It encourages countries to develop and maintain comprehensive national legislation on cybercrime, including international cooperation between signatory countries. Australia currently meets a number of requirements of the convention, such as specific criminal offences directed at unauthorised access to data, online fraud and use of the internet to sexually exploit children. However, some further legislative amendments will be needed to meet the remaining requirements.

Protective security and background checking

The Department coordinated protective security arrangements for the Prime Minister’s international program, including his attendance at significant meetings of world and regional leaders, including the UN General Assembly, New York; the 2009 Group of Eight (G8) Summit, Italy; the UN Climate Change Conference, Copenhagen (COP 15); and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Trinidad.

The Department worked closely with a range of Australian Government and State and Territory agencies and representatives of foreign governments to coordinate security arrangements for 96 visits by foreign dignitaries to Australia, including the President of Indonesia, the Vice President of the Peoples Republic of China, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, and HRH Prince William of Wales KG. On behalf of the Australian Government, protective security arrangements were also arranged for a number of special events, including all Federal Community Cabinet meetings and Anzac Day commemorative services at Gallipoli, Turkey.

Physical security risk reviews and security infrastructure upgrades were completed at most official establishments and ministerial offices and residences, as well as a major security risk review at the Australian Parliament House.

The AusCheck Amendment Act 2009 received Royal Assent on 7 December 2009. The Act created a framework for AusCheck to undertake national security background checking for additional schemes, subject to privacy controls and accountabilities, and created further safeguards concerning AusCheck handling of personal information. The Department provided the Government with policy advice in support of this reform.

During 2009–10, AusCheck completed 80,181 background checks for the Aviation Security Identification Card scheme, 17,951 background checks for the Maritime Security Identification Card scheme, and 4,349 recommendations concerning applications for a personnel security clearance.

During the reporting period, the AusCheck database produced responses to three requests for information for national security and law enforcement purposes. Requesting agencies were the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, and Centrelink.

In its third year of operation AusCheck continues to record strong satisfaction levels from its client base. The AusCheck client satisfaction survey for 2010, which Orima Research conducted in April 2010, reported 80 per cent of respondents as agreeing or strongly agreeing that AusCheck’s services are of high quality, with the remainder expressing no dissatisfaction (see Figure 5). Respondents also rated AusCheck’s staff highly, with 82 per cent agreeing or strongly agreeing that ‘AusCheck’s staff are helpful and professional’. General satisfaction levels from this year’s survey have remained consistent with the results from the previous two surveys.

Figure 5: AusCheck background checking service client survey, 2008–10

Figure 5: AusCheck background checking service client survey, 2008-10 

In 2009–10 the Protective Security Training Centre provided nationally recognised vocational training in protective security, security risk management, and personnel security to over 800 students from 130 organisations. This included custom designed training for a range of Australian Government and State government agencies.

In June 2010, the Attorney-General announced the new Protective Security Policy Framework. The new policy creates a more effective protective security framework by streamlining practices in order to achieve better security outcomes as well as reduce red tape, increase efficiency, eliminate duplication and reduce costs. The new framework is simpler to understand, easier for practitioners to use, and easier to update. It strengthens the links to agency specific risk management whereas the old Protective Security Manual, which the framework replaces, focused on a compliance-based regime. In an effort to improve transparency, all parts of the document that could be made public are available at <http://www.ag.gov.au/NationalSecurity/ProtectiveSecurityPolicyFramework/Pages/default.aspx>.

On 1 December 2009, the Government announced a major change to personnel security vetting within the Australian Government. From late 2010, the current framework, in which each agency makes its own arrangements for vetting and issue of security clearances, will be replaced with a centralised vetting service in the Department of Defence, which will serve all agencies except for a small number that are exempt. This will reduce compliance costs and red tape for agencies, employees and contractors and save the Government at least $5.3 million each year. The Department worked closely with a number of other agencies including the Department of Defence and the Department of Finance and Deregulation to deliver policy options and costings to support this reform.


Paul Stoddart and Laura Andrew, National Security Resilience Policy Division 

Paul Stoddart and Laura Andrew,
National Security Resilience Policy
Division

Our people

Looking ahead with Future Focus

The Shift to Critical Infrastructure Resilience

we need to address the unforeseen or unexpected

Australia’s national security policies and programs have broadened to ensure we are best placed to prepare for, prevent, and if necessary, respond to all hazards. The shift to resilience is part of this reform—and in terms of critical infrastructure it means seeking to ensure the continued operation of essential services, such as energy, food, water, transport, communications, health, banking and finance.

‘Seeing the Attorney-General officially launch the Australian Government’s Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy on 30 June 2010 was a real kick,’ said Paul Stoddart, Director of the Critical Infrastructure Policy Section.

Development of the strategy had been months in the making and required extensive consultation with other Australian Government departments, State and Territory governments and private sector stakeholders.

‘It certainly challenged us intellectually—especially being able to articulate the shift from critical infrastructure protection to resilience, and to build consensus on that approach.

‘Developing the strategy required many long hours but also meant working more closely with colleagues and stakeholders. This has strengthened professional relationships and team spirit. Indeed, it’s been a superb team effort,’ said Paul.

‘Critical infrastructure resilience is relatively new and will grow and evolve. Our team is shaping and influencing this space, which is very appealing. We are working closely with business and appreciate the opportunities to gain different perspectives and understandings about how the sectors operate.’

The previous protection program had been highly successful and established strong business–government partnerships—most notably through the Trusted Information Sharing Network, which continues to be a key avenue of engagement.

‘The previous program provided a solid foundation by establishing risk management and business continuity as essential elements. However, in the current security environment, this approach needs updating to not only address reasonably foreseeable risk, but also the unforeseen or unexpected. This is where the new strategy comes into play,’ said Paul.


Evaluations/reviews

The Homeland and Border Security Review

In 2008, the Australian Government considered the results of a comprehensive review of homeland and border security arrangements in Australia by Mr Ric Smith AO PSM. The review made recommendations regarding the roles, responsibilities and functions of departments and agencies involved in homeland and border security. It also considered possible changes to optimise the coordination and effectiveness of Australia’s homeland and border security efforts. As at June 2010 the Department completed implementation of more than half of the recommendations and proposals we had been assigned. We continue to progress the remaining recommendations and proposals and anticipate full implementation by December 2010.

In particular, the Homeland and Border Security Review recommended the Department undertake a review of the Critical Infrastructure Protection program to clearly define the Government’s role and review its critical infrastructure protection activity to ensure it remains appropriate. The review was undertaken in close consultation with business and government stakeholders. The review recommendations have been incorporated in the new Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy.

The review also recommended that the Department undertake an independent review of the Critical Infrastructure Program for Modelling and Analysis (CIPMA). The review focused on finding ways to accelerate the program, examining whether it operates on a cost recovery basis, and looking at the efficiency and effectiveness of the current business model. Following a procurement process, international consulting company GHD was selected to undertake the independent review. GHD consulted widely during the review and forwarded its final report to the Department in late June 2010. We will consider the review recommendations in early 2010–11.

Parliamentary committee reviews of terrorist organisation listings

During the reporting period, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security undertook reviews into the relisting of Hamas’ Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the Kurdistan Workers Party, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and Palestinian Islamic Jihad as terrorist organisations under the Criminal Code Act 1995 (tabled 17 November 2009) and a review into the listing of Al-Shabaab as a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code Act 1995 (tabled 26 October 2009). The Department provided evidence to the committee for each review and coordinated the Government responses, which were tabled in Parliament on 13 May 2010.

Review of secrecy laws

On 11 March 2010, the Attorney-General tabled the Australian Law Reform Commission report Secrecy Laws and Open Government. The Department has a strong interest in this report as it administers the Australian Government’s key secrecy provisions and is generally responsible for secrecy policy. Consideration of the report’s recommendations and development of a Government response will be a key priority for the Department in the year ahead. The Department will be engaging closely with other Australian Government departments and agencies to coordinate a response to the report.

Review of national disaster plans

The Department reviewed arrangements for Australian Government support under the national disaster plans. AusAID funded the review, and other Australian Government agencies and State and Territory representatives participated.

The Australian and international response to the tsunami in Samoa and an earthquake in Sumatra in September 2009, led to a comprehensive evaluation of the Department’s multi-jurisdictional response coordination. The Department has implemented the outcomes of this review.

Review of Intergovernmental Agreement to National Identity Security Strategy

The intergovernmental agreement, signed in 2007, underpins the National Identity Security Strategy, which COAG endorsed. The agreement provides for its review after three years of operation to assess the circumstances and necessity for it to continue. All parties to the agreement have agreed that there is a need for it to continue. The Department is undertaking the review during 2010 and its findings will inform the revised draft agreement.

Outlook as at 30 June 2010

The Department will continue implementing and driving the broad national security agenda across the Australian Government for national security legislation, cyber security, critical infrastructure protection, identity security, security of chemicals of concern, protective security policy, emergency management policy and crisis coordination.

Through its work on strategic policy development, legislative frameworks, national security capability development and operational coordination, the Department’s national security work outlook includes:

  • adopting an all-hazards approach to national security policy development and working in close collaboration with the States and Territories to drive the resilience agenda in emergency management policy and for protection of critical infrastructure
  • working with States and Territories to investigate the feasibility of delivering emergency warnings to mobile telephones based on the location of a handset at the time of an emergency
  • progressing legislation to respond to various national security-related reviews, which help in the ongoing assessment of Australia’s national security legislative framework
  • implementing policy outcomes from the Cyber Security Strategy and the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy and developing the National Disaster Resilience Strategy
  • promulgating and advising on changes to the Australian Government Protective Security Framework
  • ongoing development of the National Partnership Agreement on National Disaster Resilience with all States and Territories and support to the National Emergency Management Priority Projects, which will contribute to community resilience against natural disasters
  • activating the Parliament House Briefing Room in late 2010, and the Crisis Coordination Centre in early 2011
  • improving the use of geospatial capabilities to support situational awareness and decision making during crises
  • continuing to work with the Australian Federal Police, other agencies and the States and Territories to implement new airport policing arrangements
  • coordinating a major evaluation of Australia’s fire danger ratings, including the community’s understanding of key messages and information
  • commencing work on amendments to domestic legislation to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime
  • progressing the countering violent extremism project
  • replacing the current fleet of armoured vehicles used for protecting the Prime Minister and visiting international dignitaries
  • undertaking background checking for the national health security checks scheme
  • delivering a major multi-jurisdictional counter-terrorism exercise, Mercury 10
  • increasing the capacity of CERT Australia, Australia’s official national computer emergency response team
  • continuing the role of the Australian Emergency Management Institute as a centre for excellence in delivering emergency management and protective security education and training
  • ensuring the effectiveness of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 and the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 in light of new and emerging technologies
  • continuing to develop CIPMA, which delivers strategic support to decision makers involved in critical infrastructure protection, counter-terrorism and emergency management
  • continuing to implement the Document Verification System which contributes to national identity security, and
  • working with stakeholders to further develop the national arrangements for the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

 


Gemmie Alliston, National Security Law and Policy Division 

Gemmie Alliston, National Security
Law and Policy Division

Our people

Countering violent extremism in Australia

enhancing social cohesion and resistance to extremist ideologies

In response to the 2010 Counter-Terrorism White Paper, the Department has established a taskforce to develop a policy program designed to counter violent extremism in Australia. This program is contributing to Australia’s counter-terrorism strategy through a collaboration of Australian, State and Territory government agencies to enhance existing activities and develop a coordinated, evidence-based policy response to Australia’s violent extremism issues.

As Gemmie Alliston, an acting Assistant Director in the taskforce, explained, ‘The countering violent extremism policy framework is a combination of security, law enforcement and broader strategies to enhance social cohesion and resistance to extremist ideologies.

‘A key part of this is the community engagement strategy we are developing. Our strategy will enable people to express their concerns and views and propose suggestions on countering violent extremism through forums, community cabinet-style meetings, online discussion boards, focus groups, and meetings with specific interest groups. Having a wide ranging strategy will help ensure specific groups, such as young people and women, are given the opportunity to have their say.

‘Community engagement in a government context is always challenging. It is particularly so when trying to amass and reconcile the diverse views that different sectors of affected communities have on countering violent extremism. But, one of the most rewarding parts of my role is knowing we are genuinely trying to make sure people have an opportunity to voice their views and suggestions.’

The taskforce’s work is challenging because in many cases it is trialling approaches and activities that have never been done in Australia. While the taskforce has examined and learned from what has happened overseas, the Australian context is unique because of the large variety of beliefs that exist in this country. It can be challenging to work in such an uncertain and groundbreaking environment.


Performance results

Table 12: Performance results, Program 2.1: National security

Key performance indicators Results
Public confidence in effectiveness of the national security framework is maintained and enhanced Achieved

The Department worked closely with all stakeholders in implementing the Strategic Policy Framework for National Security, announced in December 2008 as part of the National Security Statement. This framework ensures a coordinated, whole-of-government effort in strategic planning and coordination of national security policy and action. The framework includes three specific elements: priority setting, resource allocation and performance evaluation.

The Department works with relevant stakeholders using the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 to ensure they achieve compliance with accountability obligations supporting use of powers in an appropriate manner.
Initiatives and frameworks are developed and implemented taking into consideration community needs and interests Achieved

All national security initiatives and frameworks developed and implemented by the Department have undergone extensive consultation with communities. This includes extensive liaison and community engagement activities during development of national security laws to ensure personal freedoms are considered. In addition, all departmental programs affecting local communities, such as the countering violent extremism project, include community engagement strategies.
A uniform national system for community emergency warnings is developed and adopted Achieved

The Department contributed to delivery of a telephone-based emergency warning system to enable States and Territories to deliver warnings to landline and mobile telephones based on the address of the customer. The Department procured and manages the Location Based Number Store, a secure central database, which provides critical data to the national telephone-based warning system, Emergency Alert, and Western Australia’s warning system StateAlert.
Vetting and background checking procedures identify relevant information concerning national security risks Achieved

Relevant audit and review activities identified no deficiencies in vetting and background checking outcomes.
Government decision makers are satisfied they have sufficient information to make robust decisions in national security emergencies Achieved

The Department continues providing information about national security emergencies to government decision makers on a 24/7 basis. We provide situational awareness and decision-making support to the Australian Government Crisis Committee and the National Crisis Committee.
National capabilities to prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from national security threats and emergencies are enhanced Achieved

The Department supported the National Counter-Terrorism Committee (NCTC) and coordinated its training, exercises, planning, policy development and equipment procurement programs. The Australian Emergency Management Institute continued providing education and training for key emergency management competencies.

The Department procured and continues to manage a database that provides critical data to the national telephone-based warning system, Emergency Alert, and Western Australia’s warning system StateAlert. This is a significant contribution in delivering COAG’s April 2009 decision to enhance Australia’s natural disaster arrangements through developing a telephone-based emergency warning system to enable States and Territories to deliver warnings to landline and mobile telephones based on the customer’s address.
Effective national arrangements for emergency prevention, response and recovery are agreed and implemented in all Australian jurisdictions Achieved

The National Emergency Management Committee has been established to strengthen the nation’s resilience to disasters by providing strategic leadership on nation-wide emergency management policy and through supporting related capability and capacity development activities.

A number of national arrangements for emergency prevention, response and recovery are agreed and implemented, for example the National Catastrophic Disaster Plan (NATCATDISPLAN).
Ministers are satisfied that program objectives are appropriate, specific and measurable and that there are robust indicators to provide effective scrutiny of trends in progress towards objectives Achieved

Regular progress reports are provided to ministers as appropriate.

Table 13: 2.1.1 National security resilience policy

Administered items Results
National emergency warning system Achieved

The Department procured, and continues to manage, the Location Based Number Store, a critical database that provides the essential telephone number and associated address data to the emergency warning delivery systems, Emergency Alert and StateAlert. These systems deliver warnings to landline and mobile telephones based on the customer’s service address.
Budget price: $4.295 million Actual price: $2.765 million
National specific purpose payments Results
National emergency warning system1 Achieved

Payment was made to Victoria to establish, on behalf of participating States and Territories, the national telephone-based emergency warning system, Emergency Alert. The funding provided for the cost of the contract with the provider, costs incurred in procurement, and support to the States and Territories to educate the public about telephone-based warnings. Given the successful establishment of Emergency Alert, the National Partnership Agreement has now expired.
Budget price: $15.700 million Actual price: $15.700 million

Note:

1 Appropriation held and payments made by the Department of the Treasury as National Partnership Payments.

Table 14: 2.1.2 Emergency management

Administered Items Results
National security public information campaign Achieved

The national security public information campaign in 2009–10 consisted of national radio advertising, online and mobile search, press advertising and public relations through industry magazines, and an information kit mailed out to industry and community networks.
Budget price: $1.000 million Actual price: $0.827 million
National crisis coordination capability Partially Achieved

Establishment of the Parliament House Briefing Room is progressing and is scheduled for delivery in October 2010.
Budget price: $0.779 million Actual price: $0.592 million
National specific purpose payments Results
Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements1 Achieved

$118 million was reimbursed to the States and Territories under the NDRRA. NDRRA is a demand driven program which provides reimbursement to the States and Territories for the costs of natural disaster relief and recovery. The budget price is based on estimates from States and Territories. States did not submit claims for reimbursement in 2009–10 as per their estimates. It is anticipated that the States will submit the outstanding claims in 2010–11.
Budget price: $371.400 million Actual price: $118.284 million
Queensland Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal2 Achieved
Budget price: $0.250 million Actual price: $0.250 million

Notes:

1 Appropriation held and payments made by the Department of the Treasury.

2 Appropriation held and payments made by the Department of the Treasury as National Partnership Payments.

Table 15: 2.1.3 National security capability development

Administered Items Results
Disaster Resilience Australia Program Partially Achieved

The National Emergency Management Committee has been established and is developing the Disaster Resilience Strategy. In 2009–10, funding under this program included the National Emergency Management Volunteers Support Fund, the National Partnership Agreement and the National Emergency Management Projects.
Budget price: $2.000 million Actual price: $1.914 million
National Emergency Volunteers Support Fund Achieved

Included in the Disaster Resilience Australia Program
Budget price: $3.705 million Actual price: $3.505 million
Administered Items Results
National Counter-Terrorism Committee—special fund and operating expenses Achieved

The NCTC Administered Fund is an annual appropriation to support the operation of the Australian Secure Network (ASNET) and the agreed NCTC Program of Activities. The Program of Activities consists of activities specifically programmed for each financial year to support development and maintenance of nationwide counter-terrorism capability and capacity.

The Fund supports NCTC meetings, sub-committees and working groups; national policy and operational seminars, forums and workshops; development of documentation to support the NCTC and the nationwide counter-terrorism capability; a program of training, development and counter-terrorism exercises and purchase of specialist counter-terrorism equipment.

As part of the Australian Government’s Appropriation to the Department for 2009–10, the NCTC Administered Fund received $14.483 million; of which $11.127 million was allocated to NCTC activities; and $3.356 million was allocated to ASNET operations. These funds were in addition to the $1.007 million appropriated specifically for drill-style exercises (see below) and the $1.600 million appropriated for ASNET depreciation (see below).

Expenditure was approved by the NCTC and managed in accordance with NCTC financial guidelines and Department Chief Executive Instructions to within 93.3% of allocated budget.
Budget price: $14.483 million Actual price: $12.671 million
Counter-terrorism drill-style exercises Achieved

A number of focused counter-terrorism drill-style exercises were successfully conducted across all Australian States and Territories under the NCTC Program of Activities (see NCTC Administered Fund above). These exercises strengthened Australia’s counter-terrorism capability by involving relevant Australian, State and Territory government departments and agencies with responsibility for preparedness, prevention, response and recovery.
Budget price: $1.007 million Actual price: $1.007 million
ASNET-depreciation Achieved

ASNET is the system that facilitates transmission of information between approved Australian Government, State and Territory departments and agencies involved in counter-terrorism. Allocation of $1.600 million was provided to facilitate replacement of ASNET assets. A revaluation of the ASNET asset resulted in the increased depreciation expense. This additional cost was covered from the NCTC—special fund and operating expenses (see above).
Budget price: $1.600 million Actual price: $2.284 million
Aerial fire fighting Achieved

A revised funding agreement between the Department and the National Aerial Fire Fighting Centre Limited was signed in March 2010. The agreement encourages a cooperative national approach to sharing of specialised resources.
Budget price: $14.007 million Actual price: $14.007 million
National specific purpose payments Results
Disaster Resilience Australia Program1 Achieved

Included in the Disaster Resilience Australia Program
Budget price: $47.316 million Actual price: $37.266 million

Note:

1 Appropriations held and payments made by the Department of the Treasury as National Partnership Payments.


Clint Felmingham and Jason Smith, National Security Resilience Policy Division 

Clint Felmingham and Jason Smith,
National Security Resilience Policy
Division

Our people

Raising awareness of cyber threats

giving participants the unique opportunity to experience simulated attacks

Led by Australia’s new national computer emergency response team, CERT Australia, 35 Australians and New Zealanders received advanced control systems security training during 2010 at the Idaho National Laboratories in the United States.

As Clint Felmingham, CERT Australia, explains: ‘Control systems are networks used to control and manage the industrial processes that underpin the delivery of critical infrastructure, like electricity, gas, transport, banking, telecommunications and water services. They are often connected to the internet so they can be managed remotely.

‘This initiative helps us raise awareness of the cyber threat to control systems among owners and operators. The training facility in Idaho contains real control systems, giving participants the unique opportunity to experience simulated attacks against the types of systems they use in their work.

‘While the training helps build communities of security knowledge and expertise in a field that is relatively small and dispersed, it is also fun,’ Clint added.

‘Playing the role of “red team” attacker so participants could experience and defend against simulated attacks against control systems was a real highlight for me.

‘Critical infrastructure incorporates many different business activities and often delivers services on a regional basis. There are relatively few people working with control systems, and most are tasked with ensuring immediate availability rather than security,’ said Clint.

‘In working to secure the systems that underpin critical infrastructure, this training initiative plays a part in ensuring the services that all Australians rely on are secure and resilient.’

This year’s training was the first led by CERT Australia, which began operations in January 2010. Continuing the success of the program, CERT Australia aims to send another contingent to Idaho in 2011.


Program 2.2: Criminal justice

Summary

In 2009–10, the Department supported the Government in developing and implementing significant legislative reforms, including amendments to more effectively prevent, investigate and prosecute organised crime activity, and target the proceeds of organised crime groups. Key deliverables included:

  • launching and implementing the Australian Government Organised Crime Strategic Framework
  • leading international efforts to improve anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing compliance in our region
  • developing a National Youth Policing Model to reduce, prevent and respond to youth violence and antisocial behaviour
  • contributing to implementation of the National Response to Organised Crime under the auspices of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General
  • introducing reforms to significantly strengthen Australia’s child sexual exploitation laws
  • coordinating the Government’s response to the Federal Audit of Police Capabilities, and
  • promoting closer cooperation between international partner countries in combating organised crime.

The Department advanced Australia’s engagement in international cooperative efforts against crime through a broad range of activities. We 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. We completed several significant and high profile cases involving coordination with domestic and foreign law enforcement agencies. We also worked in partnership with key countries in Asia, Africa and the Pacific to help them respond to transnational organised crime, including people smuggling, terrorism, money laundering and corruption. These responses included measures directed to strengthening legal frameworks, enhancing law enforcement powers and improving international legal cooperation. We coordinated treaty negotiations on international crime cooperation, and prepared key proposals for reform of Australia’s extradition and mutual assistance laws.

Major achievements

Financial Action Task Force

In June 2009, in response to a call from the G20 Leaders for stronger action in response to the global financial crisis, the Financial Action Task Force—the key international standard-setting body for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF)—adopted new procedures for identifying non cooperative and high-risk jurisdictions. A key initiative arising from this process has been targeted reviews of certain jurisdictions’ AML/CTF regimes with a view to identifying actions they need to take to address deficiencies. Four Regional Review Groups were established: Africa/Middle East, Americas, Asia/Pacific, and Europe/Eurasia. As co-chair, with Malaysia, of the Asia/Pacific Regional Review Group, Australia has played a lead role in reviewing the AML/CTF compliance of eight countries in the region and is currently conducting prima facie reviews of another three. This contributes significantly to national and global efforts to combat serious and organised crime.

National Youth Policing Model

At a meeting of Police Ministers on 20 November 2009, the Australian Government and the States and Territories agreed to develop a National Youth Policing Model to reduce, prevent and respond to youth violence and antisocial behaviour.

The Department, in consultation with police and justice representatives from all jurisdictions, led development of the model. Under the model, jurisdictions can choose to adopt policing initiatives that proactively target significant issues for young people, including underage drinking in licensed premises, risky driving behaviour, and carrying of edged weapons.

The model recognises and builds on existing State and Territory programs. The initiatives proposed under the model can be adapted to meet the specific problems each jurisdiction faces.

Police Ministers are expected to endorse the model in July 2010. It supports the Prime Minister’s National Strategy for Young Australians, which identified youth violence and antisocial behaviour as a key issue of concern for young people.

Implementation of Federal Audit of Police Capabilities recommendations

On 30 June 2009, Mr Roger Beale AO handed down the report Federal Audit of Police Capabilities. The audit made 110 findings and 40 recommendations across a range of policing topics.

The Department coordinated the Government’s response to the recommendations, announced by the Minister for Home Affairs, the Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, on 18 December 2009. The major areas of reform include:

  • a new funding structure providing flexibility to meet existing and emerging priorities, and
  • improved arrangements for policing at Australia’s 11 major airports, including moving to a fully sworn Australian Federal Police capability.

National response to organised crime

During 2009–10, the Department, as Chair of the Senior Officers Group on Organised Crime, led development of the resolutions for a National Response to Organised Crime, agreed to by the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General in August 2009. The response covers five key areas:

  • improving institutional arrangements to identify, prioritise and respond to organised crime
  • developing nationally consistent criminal asset confiscation regimes
  • addressing impediments to information and intelligence sharing and interoperability
  • coordinating efforts to prevent organised crime, and
  • enhancing law enforcement capabilities, including police powers and offences.

The Department continues to work closely with Australian Government, State and Territory law enforcement agencies to develop a National Organised Crime Response Plan that will align efforts to respond to identified and emerging organised crime threats. As part of the Senior Officers Group’s commitment to engage industry on organised crime prevention, the Department recently chaired a forum of banking, finance and law enforcement representatives to identify opportunities for greater collaboration to combat organised crime. The Department is chairing a Senior Officers Group on Organised Crime working group to identify and address cross-jurisdictional issues relating to criminal asset confiscation. It is also working with States and Territories and the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency to develop national protocols to facilitate cross-border investigations and improve information sharing and interoperability between jurisdictions.

Child sex offence legislation

On 18 March 2010, Parliament passed the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Offences Against Children) Act 2010, which the Department developed. The Act gives effect to a significant package of reforms to child sex-related offences in areas of Australian Government responsibility, including child sex tourism, internet child pornography and internet child grooming laws.

Passage of the Act represents a significant step forward in the effort to prevent, investigate and prosecute child sexual abuse, including abuse committed by Australians overseas and online. By introducing new offences and increasing penalties for particularly serious forms of abuse, the Act ensures that Australia’s child sexual exploitation laws remain comprehensive and able to deal with contemporary offending.

Secure Schools and Safer Suburbs programs

During 2009–10, we made considerable progress in implementing the Government’s commitment to improve the security of local communities through the Safer Suburbs Plan and to help at-risk religious, ethnic and secular schools meet their particular security needs through the Secure Schools Program.

All funds under the $15 million Safer Suburbs Plan have now been committed. A number of projects have been completed, with highlights being successful installation of closed circuit television cameras to enhance the security of communities as diverse as Darwin in the Northern Territory, Gawler in South Australia, and Gosford in New South Wales. Lighting has also been installed to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour at the Golden Grove Recreation and Arts Centre in South Australia.

Forty-nine schools were awarded funding of more than $15 million under the Secure Schools Program, thus completing the commitment of the $20 million funding available under the program. The schools are a mix of government, religious and independent schools and are implementing security projects that include installing fencing, closed circuit television cameras and lighting.

Permission to import firearm articles

The Department administers controls on the import of firearms. Over the past year, the Department has made substantial changes to improve both the client service standards for import permit processing and the overall integrity of the importation regime. These changes have reduced the average processing time of applications upon receipt of application from 39 days in 2008–09, to 27 days in 2009–10.

The Department has also implemented an increased and improved regime of activities to monitor compliance with permit conditions following importation of firearm articles, which helps ensure imported firearm articles are not diverted for illegal purposes.

Quintet declaration on combating organised crime

The Department took a lead role in developing the Declaration to Cooperate in Combating Organised Crime, which was agreed to by the Attorneys General of the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia on 30 April 2010. The declaration promotes closer cooperation between partner countries in combating organised crime, including greater sharing of policy ideas and criminal intelligence. The Department is also leading Australia’s implementation of the declaration, including ongoing liaison with international counterparts.

Federal offenders management

The Department administers the sentences of federal offenders under Part 1B of the Crimes Act 1914. The Department deals with release of federal offenders 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 on petitions for exercise of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy and applications for referral of federal offenders’ cases to a court of appeal. In 2009–10, the Attorney-General, the Minister for Home Affairs, and the Department made 102 parole decisions.

Working in partnership with other countries

In 2009–10, the Department worked successfully with partner countries in Asia, Africa and the Pacific to strengthen domestic legal frameworks and responses to transnational crime. This work is designed to strengthen the capabilities of countries to take effective action against transnational crime within that country’s borders, and to cooperate with Australia and other countries in investigating and prosecuting transnational crime.

On 15 June 2010, the Attorney-General and Minister for Foreign Affairs released Australia’s Framework for Law and Justice Engagement with the Pacific. The framework provides a high-level statement of principles and priorities that will inform Australia’s future engagement in the Pacific law and justice sector. In 2009–10, the Department progressed legislative assistance work to strengthen policing and criminal legislative frameworks in the Pacific. Successful projects are underway with Tuvalu, Tonga, Nauru, Kiribati and Samoa. The Department also continued providing the interim Secretariat for the Pacific Island Law Officers’ Network, ahead of the 2010–11 transition to a permanent Samoa-based Secretariat.

We continued to deploy departmental officers to Papua New Guinea under the Strongim Gavman Program, with officers working across the Papua New Guinea law and justice sector. We have focused on strengthening the capacity of the sector, including through policy assistance on anti-corruption strategies, assistance in implementing proceeds of crime legislation, and facilitating training and development opportunities for Papua New Guinean Government staff.

The Department worked closely with partner countries in the Asia region to develop robust legal responses to people smuggling, trafficking in persons, terrorism and other criminal activity, in accordance with the rule of law. On 9 November 2009, Australia and Sri Lanka signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance bilateral legal cooperation against people smuggling. We also established the Malaysia–Australia Bilateral Technical Legal Working Group on People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons, with the Government of Malaysia.

The Department worked with partner countries from Asia and the Pacific to strengthen anti-money laundering and criminal confiscation measures, and to use those measures to address regional threats, including environmental crime, people smuggling, drug trafficking and corruption. For example, in February 2010 we delivered a week-long workshop in Wollongong that brought together financial intelligence units, environmental regulators, non-government organisations and academics from across the Asia–Pacific to discuss using anti-money laundering to target illegal logging and illegal fishing and the corruption that facilitates environmental crimes.

In 2009–10, the Department commenced engagement in Africa and in May 2010 conducted a regional workshop on mutual assistance and extradition in criminal matters for eight Commonwealth countries in southern Africa. The workshop examined national legal frameworks, regional and Commonwealth arrangements, casework matters, and assessed the strengths and development opportunities of mutual assistance and extradition regimes.

Australia’s international crime cooperation arrangements

The Department has been active in a number of initiatives to combat transnational crime, working in several multilateral forums including the five-yearly UN Crime Congress. The Department participated in APEC and G20 working groups to strengthen international cooperation against corruption, as well as the 2009 UN Conference of States Parties for the UN Convention Against Corruption. The Department also helped develop the UN Convention Against Corruption implementation review mechanism.

Throughout the past year, the Department has worked closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Defence to support Australia’s role in the Review Conference of the International Criminal Court. This was the first opportunity since the Court became operational in 2002 to consider whether any amendments to the treaty establishing the Court were required.

The Department also took steps to ensure Australia’s domestic legal frameworks for extradition and mutual assistance in criminal matters remain effective and up to date. In July 2009, the Minister for Home Affairs released for public consultation exposure draft legislation to streamline and modernise Australia’s extradition and mutual assistance laws. The Department also continued to progress negotiation of bilateral treaties on mutual assistance and extradition with a number of important partner countries.

In 2009–10, the Department continued developing Australia’s relationships with new extradition partners, which strengthened efforts to ensure people wanted for serious offences are brought to justice. Peru surrendered a person to Australia for the first time for prosecution for drug trafficking and money laundering offences. Portugal also surrendered a person for prosecution for child sex offences, which was the first surrender from Portugal to Australia since the early 1990s. A person was extradited to Australia for the first time in accordance with the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (from Cambodia) for prosecution for child pornography offences. Malaysia extradited three people to Australia in 2009–10 for prosecution for fraud and drugs offences.

The Department continued to reform internal casework management practices, improving the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of mutual assistance and extradition casework. Appendix 12 provides details of extradition and mutual assistance matters. We also began working on initiatives to improve the timeliness of consideration of requests for the international transfer of prisoners.

A number of cases attracted significant public attention, including Croatia’s request to extradite Daniel Snedden (also known as Dragan Vasiljkovic), who is wanted for prosecution for alleged war crimes; and Hungary’s request for the extradition of Charles Zentai, who is also wanted for prosecution for an alleged war crime. Andrew Iskandar was extradited from Singapore to Australia for prosecution for an offence of murder. Robert McNeice was extradited from Indonesia to Australia for prosecution for fraud offences. Australia extradited Jan Tervonen to Finland following his arrest in 2006 and numerous challenges to extradition at various stages of the process.

The Department managed a significant number of extradition matters involving challenges before the Federal Court, Full Federal Court and High Court at various stages of the extradition process, including the following appeals to the Full Federal Court concerning a person’s eligibility for surrender:

  • O’Donoghue v Republic of Ireland [2009] FCAFC 184
  • Zentai v Republic of Hungary [2009] FCAFC 139
  • Snedden v Republic of Croatia [2009] FCAFC 111
  • Ngo v United States of America [2009] FCAFC 87

The High Court refused special leave to appeal in O’Donoghue v Ireland & Anor [2010] HCASL (17 June 2010). It allowed Croatia’s appeal from the decision of the Full Federal Court in Republic of Croatia v Snedden [2010] HCA 14 (19 May 2010). It also refused special leave to appeal in Zhang v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship & Anor [2010] HCA Trans 61 (12 March 2010), which sought to challenge a decision of the Attorney-General’s delegate to cancel a criminal justice certificate.

As at 30 June 2010, the Department is managing two ongoing judicial review applications in the Federal Court that seek to challenge the Minister’s separate determinations to surrender Mr Charles Zentai to the Republic of Hungary and Mr George Brock to the United States.

Outlook as at 30 June 2010

The Department will be responsible for ongoing implementation of the Commonwealth Organised Crime Strategic Framework. This includes developing legislative and policy responses, such as the Commonwealth and National Organised Crime Response Plans, and working with law enforcement agencies responsible for operational responses, to address critical threats.

The Department will continue working with partner agencies within and outside the portfolio to progress Government priorities relating to federal criminal justice issues. We will also continue working with Australian Government, and State and Territory law enforcement and justice agencies to improve interoperability and the capacity to share criminal information and intelligence.

Policy priorities for 2010–11 include organised crime, fraud and corruption, money laundering and terrorism financing, cybercrime, drugs and firearms.

In 2010–11, we will continue working with other countries to strengthen domestic legal frameworks and responses to transnational crime. We will work in partnership with Pacific Island counterparts to implement Australia’s Framework for Law and Justice Engagement with the Pacific. We will also work with partner countries to enhance legislative frameworks and capability in a diverse range of international criminal justice and law enforcement-related areas.

The Department will continue leading Australia’s negotiations on international crime cooperation treaties and related instruments. We will work collaboratively with other Australian Government agencies to represent Australia’s interests in anti-corruption and transnational organised crime-related multilateral forums and institutions, such as the International Criminal Court and the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. The Department will also continue work to ensure Australia’s legislative frameworks for international crime cooperation are robust, accountable and safeguard human rights.


Leanna Loan, Criminal Justice Division 

Leanne Loan, Criminal Justice Division

Our people

Strengthening the fight against organised crime

organised crime does not recognise international borders

The Attorneys-General of Australia, Canada and the United States have agreed that their law enforcement agencies will participate in greater sharing of intelligence and improved coordination of international policies in an effort to strengthen the fight against organised crime.

The Declaration to cooperate in combating organised crime was agreed by the parties in April 2010. The United Kingdom Attorney General is still considering agreeing to the Declaration.

Development of the declaration began in November 2009, led by Leanne Loan, a Director in the Criminal Law and Law Enforcement Branch, with assistance from Legal Officer Adelle Low and Assistant Secretary Sarah Chidgey.

‘The project contributes to implementation of the Commonwealth Organised Crime Strategic Framework, which identifies five capabilities needed to support the response to organised crime, including developing international partnerships,’ Leanne said.

‘Organised crime does not recognise international borders, so the declaration represents an important step forward in our ability to prevent, detect and prosecute organised criminal activity.’

Reaching agreement on a framework between different countries meant dealing with different legal frameworks and approaches to organised crime, and working with people in different time zones. It was both challenging and rewarding.

‘One of the highlights was working with policy counterparts in other countries, sharing ideas about effective policies to counter organised crime and ways we can work more closely together,’ Leanne added.

The project also involved extensive consultation with agencies such as the Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Federal Police and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to identify the areas the declaration could focus on to best enhance existing arrangements.

The next step will be to implement the declaration, including establishing the Quintet Organised Crime Group.


Performance results

Table 16: Performance results, Program 2.2: Criminal justice

Key performance indicators Results
Reduced harm caused by organised crime to individuals, businesses and the community Partially Achieved

The Department’s work is ongoing and includes development and implementation of Commonwealth and National Organised Crime Response Plans to align efforts to combat organised crime. The two Crimes Legislation Amendment (Serious and Organised Crime) Acts were enacted during this reporting period and will further strengthen existing laws to more effectively prevent, investigate and prosecute organised crime activity and target the proceeds of organised criminal groups.
The validity of all Commonwealth criminal law is upheld Achieved
Strengthened cooperation and engagement with relevant portfolio agencies in combating crime Achieved

The Attorney-General and Minister for Home Affairs launched the Commonwealth Organised Crime Strategic Framework in November 2009. The Framework sets out a coordinated and cohesive whole-of-government approach to addressing organised crime. The Commonwealth Organised Crime Response Plan is a key element of the framework and aligns Commonwealth efforts to combat both identified and emerging organised crime threats.
Strengthened legal frameworks within the region to combat criminal activities including terrorism Substantially Achieved

The Department made good progress in working in partnership with regional countries to strengthen legal frameworks and responses to terrorism and transnational organised crime. However, capability gaps remain and there will be an ongoing need for this work, both in terms of passage and implementation of legal frameworks.
Modern and effective Australian international criminal cooperation frameworks Substantially Achieved

The Department’s work continues. In July 2009, the Minister for Home Affairs released for public consultation draft amendments to streamline and modernise Australia’s extradition and mutual assistance laws. The outcomes of the public consultation are under consideration.
Strengthened cooperative engagement with international partners on measures to combat crime Substantially Achieved

The Department continued engaging with international partners on measures to combat crime. It took a lead role in developing the Quintet Declaration and worked successfully with partner countries in Asia, Africa and the Pacific to strengthen domestic legal frameworks and responses to transnational crime. The Department also participated in UN and other multilateral working groups on combating corruption and transnational crime. It continued developing Australia’s relationships with new extradition partners.
Numbers of requests for extradition, mutual legal assistance and international transfer of prisoners Number of requests 2008–09 2009–10
Made by Australia Made to Australia Made by Australia Made to Australia
extradition 25 17 19 30
mutual legal assistance 184 340 182 380
international transfer of prisoners 11 28 27 21
Ministers are satisfied that the program objectives are appropriate, specific and measurable and that there are robust indicators to provide effective scrutiny of trends in progress towards objectives Achieved

Appropriate accountability requirements are in place for the programs the Department administers, and were complied with during 2009–10.

Table 17: 2.2.1 Criminal justice

Administered Items Results
National Community Crime Prevention Program Achieved

The program ended on 30 June 2008 with some projects continuing until 30 June 2011. The Department is continuing to manage approved projects and make payments to individual projects according to milestones specified in funding agreements.
Budget price: $6.152 million Actual price: $5.705 million
Payments for membership of international bodies Achieved

Departmental representatives attended all relevant meetings of the Financial Action Taskforce on Anti-Money Laundering Counter-Terrorism Funding in 2009–10.
Budget price: $0.106 million Actual price: $0.091 million
Payments for grants to Australian organisations Achieved

Funds provided in accordance with approved arrangements.

The Government continues providing funding of $2 million over four years (2007–11) to support Crime Stoppers Australia Ltd’s work.

The Department continues providing funding of $0.161 million to the National Institute of Forensic Science to develop forensic science capabilities as an intelligence tool for law enforcement purposes.

In 2009–10, the Department provided funding of $0.474 million for three Australian Bureau of Statistics Criminal Statistics Units:

  • the National Criminal Court Statistics Unit, which compiles and publishes uniform national criminal courts statistics,
  • the National Crime Statistics Unit, which produces comparable national crime statistics across jurisdictions, compiled according to national standards and classifications, and
  • the National Corrective Services Statistics Unit, which coordinates development and production of uniform national corrective services statistics.
Budget price: $1.202 million Actual price: $1.198 million
Schools Security program Achieved

This program was a 2007 election commitment. All funding has been committed.
Budget price: $7.400 million Actual price: $6.779 million
Safer Suburbs program Achieved

This program was a 2007 election commitment. All funding has been committed.
Budget price: $3.564 million Actual price: $3.471 million
Special appropriations Results
National Handgun Buyback Act 2003 s 9 Substantially Achieved

Most payments to States and Territories have been finalised, and the Department is working with one remaining State to progress outstanding issues.
Budget price: $2.700 million Actual price: $0.150 million
National specific purpose payments Results
Schools Security Program1 Achieved

This program was a 2007 election commitment. All funding has been committed.
Budget price: $2.000 million Actual price: $1.951 million

Note:

1 Appropriation held and payments made by the Department of the Treasury.

Table 18: 2.2.2 International crime cooperation

Administered Items Results
Australia’s contribution to the International Criminal Court Achieved

Australia paid its assessed contribution of $3.793 million to the International Criminal Court in accordance with its obligations under the Rome Statute. Australia also paid the first instalment of its assessed share of the costs of the permanent premises of the Court, totalling $3.849 million. In addition, Australia made voluntary contributions of $0.141 million [EUR 150,000] to the International Criminal Court’s Trust Fund for Victims and $0.070 million [EUR 50,000] to its Trust Fund for the Participation of Least Developed Countries in the Assembly.
Budget price: $8.882 million Actual price: $7.906 million
Pacific Police Development Program Achieved

The Department has established a Pacific Section to provide Forum Island countries with legal policy and legislative assistance on criminal and policing matters under the program. Work has begun on nine projects spread across four different Forum Island countries.
Budget price: $0.168 million Actual price: $0.066 million

Brianna Jennings, Gresham Street and Helen Drew, International Crime Cooperation Division 

Brianna Jennings, Gresham Street and
Helen Drew, International Crime
Cooperation Division

Our people

Ensuring criminals cannot escape prosecution

postings on social networking sites...can be valuable sources of evidence

Australian authorities use mutual assistance principles to ensure criminals cannot escape prosecution simply because evidence might be held in another country. Internet records, in particular, can contain highly valuable information for law enforcement—for example, those involved in organised crime might leave emails containing instructions for drug imports.

Or, in child exploitation cases, users can be detected on sites where child pornography is shared. And postings on social networking sites by victims or suspects can also be valuable sources of evidence in murder prosecutions.

Around half the Department’s mutual assistance requests to the United States are for internet records of popular email and social networking sites that are stored on US servers, such as Hotmail, Facebook and MySpace.

The Mutual Assistance team has developed a solid technical knowledge of the types of records that can be obtained, and worked with the United States Department of Justice to develop standard affidavits to ensure internet records are admissible in Australian courts.

According to Helen Drew, a Principal Legal Officer in the Department’s Mutual Assistance and Extradition Branch, case officers work with Australian law enforcement agencies to ensure their requests meet the ‘probable cause’ threshold for United States authorities to obtain and preserve requested records.

‘We work closely with Australian prosecution agencies, advise police on a daily basis about obtaining internet records for their investigations, and regularly liaise with US authorities on developments,’ Helen said.

‘Some of the information we work with can be challenging and confronting. But, it is always rewarding to be able to help law enforcement agencies and see internet records used in prosecutions.

‘As there is now a high level of internet use in the community, our work in this area is increasing. In a rapidly changing environment it is also important for us to monitor the next areas of growth in internet usage as the need to obtain evidence will soon follow,’ she added.

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