Effective immigration and border control are essential to Australia’s national security. The possibility of combining both functions within one entity have been considered on a number of occasions historically. The emergence of threats such as people smuggling and transnational crime led the government to decide in 2014 that integration of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) would more effectively address the emerging threats and deliver efficiencies.
The objective of this audit was to examine the effectiveness of the integration of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the department) and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS).
To form a conclusion against the audit objective, the ANAO adopted the following high-level criteria:
• Did the department establish sound governance arrangements for implementation of the integration and capability reform process?
• Did the department manage the integration and capability reform process in accordance with government decisions and relevant plans?
• Can the department demonstrate that the intended outcomes of integration and the capability reform process are being achieved, including financial outcomes?
The audit found that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection achieved the integration of DIBP and ACBPS and the creation of the Australian Border Force in a structural sense and is also progressing with the implementation of a suite of reform projects. However, it is not achieving commitments made to government in relation to additional revenue, and is not in a position to provide the government with assurance that the claimed benefits of integration have been achieved.