Work program

Work program

Inspector-General of Biosecurity: 2019–20 review plan

Background

The Inspector-General of Biosecurity (Inspector-General) commenced in the role on 25 July 2019 for a three-year term and developed a review program as required under the Biosecurity Act 2015. The Act specifies that the IGB may review the performance of functions, or exercise of powers, by biosecurity officials, including the Director of Biosecurity, who is the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (the department). This review program is over and above the department’s internal audit and performance management programs.

Consultations with the department’s executives and key stakeholder organisations identified key strategic topics for review during the three-year term of the Inspector-General’s appointment. These were selected with the assumption that further topics might be identified; that the topics and scope might be modified as further consultation proceeds; and that further reviews might be required as external needs arise.

An indicative three-year work program—drafted in consultation with the Director of Biosecurity—was presented to the then Minister for Agriculture for her noting in October 2019.

In May 2020, the Inspector-General revised the title and readjusted the scope of one of the reviews listed for completion during 2019–20: A review of level of clarity of operational authority, responsibility and technical expertise on regulatory actions for risk mitigation by regulated entities.

A. Completed review

Review topic Adequacy of preventative border measures to mitigate the African swine fever risk entering Australia
Scope This review considered the department's pre-border and at-border measures to prevent entry of ASF-infected material into Australia (for example, pork and pork products, and fomites)
Status A review report was published in March 2020.

Download

Document Release date File size
Adequacy of preventative border measures to mitigate the risk of African swine fever 23 March 2020 Word [1.04 MB, 75 pages]
PDF [1.6 MB, 84 pages]

B. Reviews underway (June 2020)

Review topic Biosecurity risk management of international express airfreight pathway for non-commercial consignments
Scope This review will consider how the department:
  • profiles, assesses, targets, screens and inspects high-risk international express freight,
  • undertakes ‘leakage survey’ to ascertain ‘residual risk’, and
  • applies mitigation measures to reduce evolving biosecurity risks.
Status Report in preparation (anticipated date of publication: July 2020)

 

Review topic Adequacy of the department’s operational model to effectively mitigate biosecurity risks pre-border and at-border in evolving risk and business environments.
Scope This review will examine how the department:
  • communicates and executes its responsibilities for timely and accountable regulatory decisions (supported by sound technical advice) to regulated entities to undertake risk mitigation measures in an operationally dynamic environment
  • works in partnerships with regulated entities to cost-effectively mitigate risks posed by current and new biosecurity threats to Australia
  • balances its actions to address chronic (ongoing) and acute (surge demands) biosecurity risks.
Status In May 2020, the Inspector-General revised the review title and readjusted the scope.
Initial consultation underway.

C. Review deferred to 2020–21

Review topic A review of the department’s recognition of pre-border certification (including the role of overseas competent authorities) as a biosecurity risk mitigation measure.
Scope This review will use case studies on high-risk goods (such as bovine genetic material, horticultural produce and seafood) to consider:
  • the department’s reliance on overseas certifying bodies/authorities and recognition of offshore third-party quality assurance systems,
  • how certification is used by the department in its risk assessment and decision making at the border, and
  • how the level of certification aligns with international trade facilitation and Australian government’s obligations.
Status This review was initiated by the former Inspector-General, and will be finalised by December 2020.
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