Australian Federal Police
The Australian Federal Police’s (AFP) budget for federal
policing is projected to (continue to) decrease over the
forward estimates and the average staffing level to fall from 5,507 in 2015–16
to 5,318 in 2016–17. In January 2015, the
Review of Australia’s Counter-Terrorism Machinery recommended the efficiency
dividend be removed from AFP operations from 2015–16. The Government has not taken up that recommendation. The AFP has been blunt
about the impacts of the efficiency dividend, stating: ‘If it continues
indefinitely, it will reduce the AFP’s capacity to respond flexibly to
Government priorities, and erode the AFP’s core operational resources’. It has also indicated the dividend cannot be met from non-staff costs alone,
and that the resulting deferral of upgrades to IT systems increases the
challenges already faced by the agency in keeping up with ‘advanced criminal
enterprises’ that invest heavily in technology to evade detection.
The Budget includes some additional funding for specific
measures, many of which have already been announced throughout April 2016.
However, several measures are to be fully or partially funded from existing
The largest component is $148.5 million over five years
for additional Protective Security Officers, additional physical and personnel
security and a ‘scoping study for enhanced protective technical capabilities’. The funding includes $52.2 million in capital funding and
$28.6 million drawn from existing agency resources. This follows the
raising of the national terrorism threat level for all Australian police from
medium to high in January 2015 (which took account of the stabbing of two
police officers in Melbourne in September 2014 as well as recent overseas
experience) and the murder of a police accountant in Sydney in
Other measures include:
- $14.7 million over three years from the Confiscated Assets
Account (CAA) to support the AFP Fraud and Corruption Centre’s 18 ongoing
foreign bribery investigations and to fund three foreign bribery investigative
- $3.3 million over two years from the CAA to establish a
National Anti-Gang Squad strike team in South Australia (adding to those
already established in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western
- $20.4 million over four years to increase the AFP’s
capability to combat cybercrime, as part of a broader package to implement the
revised Cyber Security Strategy released in April 2016.
Some $32.6 million in existing agency resources will be
used to fund the second phase of the AFP’s new data strategy, specifically to
complete transition of its data centre activities to meet the requirements of
the Government’s Data Centre Policy. This follows the $17.6 million of
existing resources allocated for the first phase in the 2015–16 Budget. A further amount of $15.4 million in existing agency resources will be
used to fund the first phase of the AFP’s Unified Operational Communications
system, which will replace its current radio capabilities.
The AFP received $8.4 million over four years from the CAA
in the 2015–16 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) towards upgraded
Australian Crime Commission
The Australian Crime Commission’s (ACC) funding is projected
to continue to decrease over the forward estimates, though its average staffing
level is expected to increase in 2016–17, partly due to the transfer of
Australian Institute of Criminology staff.
Like the AFP, the ACC will receive additional funding for
upgraded physical and personnel security ($5.1 million over five years)
and to increase its cybercrime capabilities ($16 million over four years).
The ACC also received $18.1 million over four years in the
2015–16 MYEFO from the CAA to deliver the National Criminal Intelligence
System ($9.8 million), strengthen anti-money laundering capabilities
($3.4 million) and undertake international secondments
Australian Border Force
The Government will continue to increase
tobacco excise from 2016–2017 to 2019–2020. There
are no official figures on the size of the illicit tobacco market in Australia,
and different estimates vary significantly. However, the former and
current governments have taken measures to combat illicit tobacco smuggling in
recognition of the potential for excise increases to lead to the illicit trade
becoming more attractive and profitable.
The Tobacco Strike Team was established in
October 2015 to gather intelligence on groups involved in smuggling tobacco to
Australia, work with domestic and overseas law enforcement agencies and to prevent
and disrupt smuggling, with a particular focus on targeting organised criminal
involvement. No new funding was
provided for the establishment of the Strike Team. The Budget includes funding
of $7.7 million over two years to expand the Strike Team.
CrimTrac’s funding is projected to increase slightly overall
over the forward estimates, with staffing remaining stable. Amounts from CrimTrac’s Special Account, its principal funding source, have
been allocated in the Budget to a Biometrics Identification Service (BIS) to
replace the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System
($28.9 million over three years) and update CrimTrac’s network
infrastructure ($6.8 million over two years). The remainder of the
$52 million cost of the BIS ($23.1 million) will come from the
agency’s existing resources.
In the 2015–16 MYEFO, $5.3 million over two years was
allocated from the Special Account to deliver the National Firearms Interface, which
will provide a single database of all legal firearms in Australia.
Victoria Police contribution to Task
Victoria Police will receive $4 million over two years (from 2015–16)
from the Confiscated Assets Account for phase two of Task Force Trident. This
is one of three multi-agency taskforces comprising AFP, ACC, Australian Border
Force, Australian Taxation Office and AUSTRAC officers, and officers from
relevant state police and crime commissions in New South Wales (Polaris),
Victoria and Queensland (Jericho) that were established to combat serious and
organised crime in the maritime sector.
All online articles accessed May 2016.
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