Interim Inspector-General of Biosecurity
As part of its preliminary response to the Beale Review (2008), the Australian Government agreed to establish a statutory office of the Inspector-General of Biosecurity (IGB). In advance of the enabling legislation, interim arrangements are in place.
On 1 July 2009 the government appointed Dr Kevin Dunn as the Interim Inspector-General of Biosecurity (IIGB). Dr Dunn’s stewardship of the role ended on 30 June 2013.
On 1 July 2013 the government appointed Dr Michael Bond as the IIGB for a period of two years.
The IIGB reports directly to the Minister for Agriculture to provide independent assurance of the ongoing integrity of Australia’s biosecurity systems through the independent evaluation and verification of the performance of programs across the biosecurity continuum.
The scope of the role covers those systems and their risk management measures that are the responsibility of biosecurity divisions within the Department of Agriculture (the department), primarily focusing on the Quarantine Act 1908. The scope of the role also includes the biosecurity measures related to human health and environmental responsibilities that are undertaken by the department on behalf of the Department of Health and the Department of the Environment.
The IIGB, in consultation with the Minister and key departmental stakeholders, develops an annual work program. The Minister may also request the IIGB to undertake specific reviews. The annual work program may be adjusted depending on the number of requests made by the Minister and/or changes in priorities to address emerging issues.
2013-14 proposed work program
The following activities are expected to be undertaken as part of the IIGB annual work program for 2013–14.
Annual work program activities
- Incident review – an examination of factors that led to the clearance of untanned animal hides imported from Colombia since May 2012
- Pre-border operations – to assess the performance of biosecurity risk management measures for the importation of animal breeding material
- Quarantine operations risk management (pathways) – to assess the performance of biosecurity risk management measures for international mail and air cargo with a focus on international online buying
- Pre-border and border operations – to examine the effectiveness of the department’s biosecurity controls for the importation of plant-based stock feed
- Pre-border and border operations – to examine the effectiveness of the department’s biosecurity controls for the importation of cut flowers and foliage
- Offshore horse PEQ inspections – ongoing assessment to determine necessity of IIGB desktop audits and/or overseas inspection audits
- Post-arrival quarantine inspections – post-arrival quarantine procedures for horses at the Werribee Quarantine Centre prior to the Spring Racing Carnival.
2013-14 completed reviews and audits
|February 2014||This incident review was undertaken to examine the factors that led to the clearance and release of animal hides from Colombia in 2012–13. The IIGB also examined the biosecurity risks associated with this incident.|
2012-13 completed reviews and audits
|June 2013||An overview of key IIGB achievements and audit activities for 2012–13.|
|June 2013||The objective of this review was to examine the effectiveness of Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry controls (offshore and border) in place to manage identified biosecurity risks for imported uncooked, cooked and cured pig meat.|
||The objective of this review was to undertake desktop audits to assess the approval processes for all current Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry approved offshore pre–export quarantine facilities used for importing horses to Australia.|
This incident review was undertaken to examine biosecurity risks associated with the importation of undeclared/unlawful food products from the Republic of Korea.
The objective of this review was to undertake desktop audits to assess the approval processes for all current Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry approved offshore pre–export quarantine facilities used for importing horses to Australia.
The objective of this audit was to examine the effectiveness of Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry controls (pre–border and border) that are in place to manage identified biosecurity risks for imported freshwater and marine ornamental fish.
This incident review was undertaken to examine biosecurity/sanitary controls associated with the export from Australia of live abalone to China and Hong Kong.
2011-12 completed reviews and audits
This incident review was undertaken to examine:
|Annual Report 2011-12||An overview of key IIGB achievements and audit activities for 2011-12.|
2010-11 completed reviews and audits
|June 2011||The desktop review examined the outcomes of reports and other records prepared by DAFF in relation to horse pre-export operations and procedures in Japan to provide feedback in relation to any issues. It also included a review of the relevant import certification from a consignment following the resumption of imports from Japan.|
|July 2011||This audit examined the performance of the systems that DAFF has in place to detect and mitigate biosecurity risks before they get to Australia's border. This audit looked specifically at risk management measures for pests and diseases of plants that could be introduced into Australia via imported nursery stock.|
|July 2011||This audit examined the performance of the systems that DAFF has in place to manage biosecurity risks along certain identified entry pathways for citrus canker.|
|August 2011||Summary report to the Minister of the IIGB visit to the United States of America and Canada||This report provides a summary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, of the IIGB visit to the United States of America and Canada|
|Annual Report 2010–11||An overview of key IIGB achievements and audit activities for 2010–11.|
Prawn consignment incident review
On 28 September 2010 the IIGB commenced a review of what caused a consignment of imported raw peeled prawns that tested positive for the prawn disease White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) to be erroneously released.
The IIGB's review was in two parts: the first was an examination of the inspection, testing and release from quarantine processes which resulted in the release; and the second assessed the likelihood of the consignment entering higher risk pathways and then causing WSSV to be established in Australia.
The IIGB has provided his full report to the minister.
In summary, his review finds that:
- human error and/or oversight was the most likely cause that led to prawns being released
- under existing clearance arrangements, a similar error could occur again
- there is an extremely low likelihood of the raw peeled prawns entering high risk pathways and a negligible likelihood of them causing WSSV to establish in Australia.
A range of measures to reduce the risk of this happening again have been recommended in this review.
The IIGB's transmission letter and incident review, as well as the Department's of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry's response to the review can be found below.
- Interim IGB's transmission letter to the minister on the prawn consignment incident review part one
- Interim IGB's transmission letter to the minister on the prawn consignment incident review part two
- Interim IGB's prawn consignment incident review part one
- Interim IGB's prawn consignment incident review part two
- Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry's response to the prawn consignment incident review
2009-10 completed reviews and audits
|November 2009||Horse health certifications||The objective of this audit was to assess and check compliance of import health certification with the requirements for importing horses to Australia. It focused on certification for a number of consignments of stallions.|
|May 2010||The objective of the audit was to observe regional office compliance with quarantine surveillance requirements for horses imported to Australia and, if necessary make recommendations to address any identified control weaknesses.|
|June 2010||This audit examined the discharge of obligations by the department (DAFF) in relation to maintenance and update of the Australian Veterinary Emergency Plan.|
|June 2010||Sandown audit review||To independently assess the outcomes of the internal audit undertaken by the AQIS of the Sandown PAQ facility.|
|June 2010||This audit examined the biosecurity management of quarantine waste from international vessels at Australian seaports.|
||This audit focused on the compliance of the Singapore Turf Club (STC), an AQIS approved PEQ facility and also examined the procedures for transporting the horse consignments from the STC to the airport and loading onto the aircraft.|
|Annual Report 2009–10||An overview of key IIGB achievements and audit activities for 2009–10.|
|April 2009||Report of the Interim Inspector General of Horse Importation||This report details the key activities and findings of the Interim Inspector General of Horse Importation.|
25 Feb 2014