ANDREW GILES MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
MEMBER FOR SCULLIN
The Morrison-Joyce Government should be looking to support the safe reopening of the international border, however serious concerns remain about the Digital Passenger Declaration process.
Keeping track of the vaccination status of people as they're entering and leaving Australia is the next step to opening the border, as is modernising Australia's incoming passenger card.
Labor has serious concerns about the platform and the process, which the Morrison-Joyce Government must address urgently.
This project is already six months late - the contract was supposed to be awarded and successful provider announced in March 2021.
The Digital Passenger Declaration is part of the whole-of-government ICT "Permission Capability" project announced by the Morrison Government in October 2020, after Mr Morrison dumped his first attempt to privatise Australia's visa system at a cost of $92 million to taxpayers.
It's concerning that Minister Stuart Robert has now said that this "overarching digitisation program could include visas", when he said it would include visas back in October 2020 he appears to be unsure about the scope.
Home Affairs Minister, Karen Andrews said nothing about expanding workforce capability after years of cuts, which has resulted in a blowout of visa and citizenship processing times.
There has been no real transparency and accountability with this procurement. Labor notes that the Auditor-General has listed the 'Procurement of the Permissions Capability' as a potential audit for 2021-22.
We know the Morrison-Joyce Government has lowered the tax obligations for large multinational corporations to win this Federal Government contract.
These issues raise significant questions.
Mr Morrison cannot repeat of the COVIDSafeapp failure in early 2020, which failed to deliver a product fit for purpose.
The Morrison-Joyce Government has now wasted almost $170 million attempting to privatise visa processing - twice.
Mr Morrison needs to be clean about what the Federal Government is paying for, how much it is paying, when it will be delivered, and who will own the capability.