Independent review into Christmas Island Detention Centre protests and escapes
Friday, 18 March 2011
The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, today announced the terms of reference for the independent review into the recent Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre (CIIDC) incidents.
Mr Bowen said the arms-length inquiry would report on the circumstances around the protests and escapes at Christmas Island IDC and into the preparedness and response of both the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and Serco.
'I can announce today that Ms Helen Williams AO, former Secretary of the Department of Human Services, and Dr Allan Hawke AC, former Secretary of the Department of Defence, will head up this review,' Mr Bowen said.
'As I said earlier this week, following the incidents at Christmas Island, this review will investigate and report on a range of issues associated with the management and security at the detention centre.
'The review will look at a number of things, including how breaches of security were achieved, adequacy of infrastructure and staffing in maintaining security, effectiveness of communication and coordination between agencies and contractors, adequacy of response measures, and the roles and responsibilities of Serco and DIAC in managing security.'
Mr Bowen said the review would commence as soon as possible, with the report to make recommendations on ways to strengthen security and prevent similar incidents in the future.
As indicated previously, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) will also review the incidents of engagement on Christmas Island, in line with its own use of force guidelines.
The Minister for Home Affairs and Justice, Brendan O’Connor MP, said the AFP review would as a matter of course look at the use of force at CIIDC.
'Use of force is a means to defuse a situation and prevent harm and injury. All instances of use of force by AFP officers are governed by guidelines that are issued to ensure all AFP officers understand the expectations that force is only used when absolutely necessary, appropriate and proportionate to the circumstances,' Mr O’Connor said.
'This means any use of force by AFP officers is reviewed by Senior AFP officers and its Operational Safety Training team.'
AFP Professional Standards will review the report to determine whether a code of conduct breach has occurred.
Review of incident at Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre (Terms of Reference)
The Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre (CIIDC) currently accommodates approximately 1850 single adult men who have claimed asylum in Australia and are awaiting the completion and outcome of the processing of their claims.
CIIDC incorporates a main North West Point area purpose built for immigration detention and two additional compounds Aqua and Lilac comprising demountable buildings.
On 11 March 2011, an incident commenced involving a significant breach of security initially in the Aqua and Lilac compounds which subsequently extended into the North West Point area.
Security at the CIIDC is the responsibility of Serco under contract to DIAC.
The review will investigate and report on a range of issues associated with management and security at CIIDC. In particular:
- The clarity of roles and responsibilities between Serco and DIAC in managing security at the centre and in managing the incident
- How breaches of security were achieved , what access occupants of the centre had to tools to assist with such breaches and, if relevant, how such access occurred
- The extent of any prior indicators or intelligence that would have assisted in the prevention and/or management of the incident
- The adequacy of infrastructure, staffing and client management in maintaining appropriate security at the centre
- The adequacy of training and supervision of DIAC and Serco staff
- The effectiveness of the communication and coordination between the relevant government agencies and contractors
- The appropriateness of the response measures taken to the incident.
The review will commence as soon as possible and report to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship in July 2011.
The review should make recommendations on measures to strengthen CIIDC security and prevent recurrence of any similar incident in the future.
Last update: Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 13:57 AEST