News on Australian Citizenship: Ombudsman report

As noted by the MIA:

Commonwealth Ombudsman Michael Manthorpe PSM today released a report into the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s processing of applications for Australian citizenship by conferral.

The report looks at delays in the Department’s handling of citizenship applications that require enhanced identity and integrity clearance checks.

Last year, the Ombudsman’s Office received an increase in complaints from people who had lodged applications for citizenship by conferral and had waited, in some cases, over 18 months for an outcome.

The Ombudsman made four recommendations for the Department to:

1. Continue its efforts to ensure the Australian Citizenship Instructions provide adequate guidance to delegates on how to be satisfied of an applicant’s identity; the thresholds to be met to enable consistent decision-making and to give delegates confidence to make a decision.

2. Continue to develop the Australian Citizenship Instructions to include more information about how to assess and be satisfied that an applicant is of good character, as well as the development of an internal instruction (not for public release) when considering protected intelligence information and allegations, as opposed to criminal convictions. The department should provide us with a copy of both instructions once complete.

3. Continue to develop the Australian Citizenship Instructions to include information about determinations made under section 26(3) of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007, and lawful decision-making, and that it provides us with a copy of the revised instructions once complete.

4. Continue its efforts to implement the capability developments it has envisaged in its Identity Strategy, as this may assist the citizenship program to manage its backlogs.

http://www.ombudsman.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0032/78980/Citizenship-own-motion-investigation-report.pdf

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