Inspector-General of Biosecurity: 2019–22 review plan
The Inspector-General of Biosecurity (Inspector-General), Mr Rob Delane commenced in the role on 25 July 2019 for a 3-year term and developed (and published) a review program as required under the Biosecurity Act 2015 (the Act). The Act specifies that the Inspector-General 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, Water and the Environment (the department). This review program is over and above the department’s internal audit and verification programs.
The initial review program was informed by consultations with the department’s executives and key stakeholder representatives, who identified key strategic topics for consideration for review during the Inspector-General’s term of appointment.
Initial Review topics 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, including the requests for specific reviews by the Minister and/or the Director of Biosecurity.
The indicative 3-year work program was presented to the then Minister for Agriculture and the Director of Biosecurity in October 2019. In February 2020, the Inspector-General readjusted the scope of one of the reviews, listed for completion during 2020‒21, to include a major review, Adequacy of department’s operational model to effectively mitigate biosecurity risks in evolving risk and business environments.
Due to major changes to the relevant policy, the Inspector-General resolved to not proceed with a review initiated by the former Inspector-General, A review of the Department of Agriculture’s recognition of pre-border certification (including the role of overseas competent authorities) as a biosecurity risk mitigation measure.
Completed reviews (2019–20)
|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.|
|Review topic||Biosecurity risk management of international express airfreight pathway for non-commercial consignments|
|Scope||This review considered how the department:
|Status||A review report was published in July 2020.|
Completed reviews (2020–21)
|Review topic||Adequacy of department’s operational model to effectively mitigate biosecurity risks in evolving risk and business environments|
|Scope||This review examined the appropriateness of the department’s biosecurity operational model to deliver risk mitigation functions and regulatory actions for effective risk-based preventative biosecurity outcomes.|
|Status||A review report was published in February 2021.|
|Review topic||Confidence testing for at-border delivery of critical human biosecurity functions – Ruby Princess cruise ship incident|
|Status||A review report was published in April 2021.|
Completed reviews (2021–22)
|Review topic||Accountable implementation of Inspectors-General recommendations (2015‒2021)|
|Status||A review report was published in November 2021.|
|Review topic||Robustness of biosecurity measures to prevent entry of khapra beetle into Australia|
|Scope||This review considered:
|Status||A review report was published in December 2021.|
Priority Review topics for completion in 2021–22
Subject to available resources, the following reviews will be completed during 2021‒22.
|Review topic||Department’s readiness to effectively mitigate risks of entry into Australia of the serious plant disease Xylella fastidiosa|
|Scope||This review will consider key preventative biosecurity measures, including:
|Review topic||Efficacy and adequacy of department’s X-ray scanning and detector dog screening techniques to prevent entry of biosecurity risk material into Australia|
|Scope||This review will examine:
Additional Review topics for completion in 2021–22
The following reviews have been added to the work program for completion before the end of the Inspector-General’s term on 24 July 2022.
|Review topic||Assurance review for arrangements to import lumpy skin disease live virus and vaccines to CSIRO’s Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness|
|Scope||This assurance review will consider the proposed import processes and compliance controls for the import of lumpy skin disease and vaccine/s.
A report will be provided to the Director of Biosecurity and Minister for Agriculture and published on the Inspector-General’s website.
|Review topic||A review of the department’s internal testing of the effectiveness of biosecurity functions using assurance & verification reviews, and threat & vulnerability assessments.|
|Scope||This review will complete:
The adjusted 2021‒22 Review Program is planned that the additional reviews will be completed before the end of the current Inspector-General’s term on 24 July 2022. If the second review cannot be completed by that date, the draft review will be handed to the incoming Inspector-General for his consideration.
Note: the 2021‒22 Review Program may be readjusted:
- in accordance with the availability of resources needed to complete the listed reviews
- Inspector-General’s agreement to initiate any additional reviews that may be requested by either the Minister for Agriculture or the Director of Biosecurity.