Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 401. Updated Tuesday, 18 March 2014

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AFP airport staffing concern mars audit

An audit of policing services at Australian international airports has found the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to be managing the complex task adequately.

The report Policing at Australian International Airports was prepared by the Auditor-General, Ian McPhee and covered all 10 designated airports which cater for more than 125 million domestic and international passengers annually.

"The AFP is effectively managing the delivery of policing services at Australia's international airports," Mr McPhee said.

"The organisational arrangements in place at airports are sound with a clear command structure at each airport.

"There is a clear alignment between the AFP's strategic and functional plans and individual airport action plans."

Mr McPhee said as at November 2013, 618 AFP officers were employed across the airports.

He said the transition process from the previous 'hybrid' model to the 'All In' model had been well managed and met its objective.

Numbers not linked to threat levels

Mr McPhee, however, took issue with the AFP's planning processes.

"There is no clear linkage between the AFP's planning for its Aviation function and external assessments of the threat and risk environments across Australia's aviation sector," he said.

Mr McPhee said although the AFP advised that a number of factors had been taken into account in determining the Agency's resourcing levels at individual airports, increases or decreases in staffing levels had been largely historical and based on the funds available to the Aviation function.

He said an explicit assessment of the inherent security risks presented by each airport and the nature and level of criminality had not formed part of that determination.

Mr McPhee said the ANAO had made one recommendation aimed at securing greater consistency, both in terms of content and duration, of the training in State and Territory legislation provided to AFP officers by the respective State and Territory police forces.

The full audit report can be accessed at this PS New link.

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