As per an audit, the electronic watch list managed by Australia’s Department of Border Protection (DIBP) is lacking an efficient direction, and has also has made the task of measuring its contribution to the border security more difficult.
Ian McPhee, Auditor-General, has said it is necessary for DIBP to examine how it will be managing CMAL (Central Movement Alert List) in the coming years for the purposes of immigration.
He said possible defaulters (of immigration law, rules, etc.) are now being identified less on the basis of intelligence gathering and bi- data, due to advances in technology such as Biometrics.
The border security has an essential list of individuals who are of major concern either to national security or immigration. Additionally, it has the information of stolen, lost or false travel documents.
The immigration department manages the list that has more than 2 million records and which list shows up match cases exceeding 300,000 in a month.
The audit has assessed how well planned the list is and how effectively the department is managing the system and implementing the advice that was suggested in a 2008 audit.
Mr. McPhee has said that DIBP’s arrangements, further development, etc. for CMAL still need development.
He said no proper plan is being followed that will guide the future plans of CMAL nor has a clear strategic objective been stated for CMAL.
Responsibility or ownership of watch list data and its integrity and quality maintenance were still (or, are still being) considered to be unresolved issues.
Mr. McPhee stated that until the time that DIBP is developing cost efficient plans to measure the outcomes of CMAL and its effect on citizenship and visa decisions, the department will not be able to report on the outcomes of the system. In which case, it would not also be able to contribute to nation’s security arrangements for its borders.
He significantly stated that there had been very slow implementation of the recommendations made in the report of 2008 audit. Only 2 out of 5 recommendations have been implemented.
So, it been suggested that the department has to develop a proper plan to hold the responsibility of the watch list and implement cost effective means periodically and report on how and where the watch list data has been useful in making citizenship and visa decisions.