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Closed ATM View - REOI 11/92

Family Violence assessments for visa application purposes

ATM ID REOI 11/92
Agency Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Category 80101504 - Strategic planning consultation services
Close Date & Time 31-Jan-2012 2:00 pm (ACT Local time)
Show close time for other time zones
Publish Date 22-Dec-2011
Location

ACT, NSW, VIC, SA, WA, QLD, NT, TAS

Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart

ATM Type Expression of Interest

Multi Agency Access No

Description

The Family Violence Provisions

DIAC is seeking expressions of interest from organisations who can provide a national network of 'independent experts' in relation to non-judicial family violence.  The independent expert is a suitably qualified person who determines if a non-judicial claim of family violence meets the Family Violence provisions in migration legislation.

Australia's Migration Program enables certain visa applicants who had applied on the basis of a partner relationship to be a granted a visa if their partner relationship breaks down and they suffered family violence prior to the break down.  The family violence provisions were introduced in response to community concerns that some partners might feel compelled to remain in abusive relationships rather than end the relationship and be required to leave Australia.

Claims of family violence are initially considered by DIAC's officers based on either judicial or non judicial evidence.  A judicial finding that a person has been the victim of family violence must be accepted by DIAC and cannot be investigated further. 

Role of the Independent Expert

Where a claim of family violence has been made based on non-judicial evidence, and DIAC's case officer considers that the claim is doubtful; the case is referred to an independent expert for their opinion.  'Independent Expert' is a term prescribed in the Regulations and means a person suitably qualified to make independent assessments of non-judicially determined claims of family violence and working for an agency gazetted to perform this function. 

The independent expert is currently a professional social worker within the Department of Human Services (Centrelink) who has specialist experience in family violence matters.  The independent expert assesses all available information and where appropriate, interviews the applicant in order to determine if, in their opinion, the applicant has been a victim of family violence as set out in the Migration Regulations. The opinion of the independent expert is binding on the DIAC decision maker.

DIAC and the independent expert must also provide the person claiming family violence with 'natural justice', which is the chance to comment on any adverse findings prior to making a decision.

Alternative options considered

The framework outlined above reflects the current process for undertaking family violence assessments.

In addition to organisations that can fulfil the current role of Independent Expert, DIAC will also consider alternative proposals of undertaking family violence assessments. This is consistent with an ongoing review of family violence legislative arrangements being undertaken by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC).

Other Instructions

Scope of this project
This request for Expressions of Interest will inform DIAC about the availability of these services in the marketplace and whether there are alternative methods of undertaking family violence assessments.

The results of this request for Expressions of Interest will inform DIAC's decision whether or not to proceed with a Request for Tender process. This decision will also be informed by the final outcomes of the ALRC Inquiry and future Government policy directions.

Additional information
Expressions of Interest should take into account the following:

The Request for Expression of Interest:
[see attached document]

The ALRC' Inquiry into Family Violence and Commonwealth Laws:
www.alrc.gov.au/inquiries/family-violence-and-commonwealth-laws

DIAC's submission to the ALRC Inquiry:
www.alrc.gov.au/sites/default/files/pdfs/cfv_121_department_of_immigration_and_citizenship.pdf
Fact Sheet 38 – Family Violence Provision:
www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/38domestic.htm

DIAC's current Procedures Advice Manual (PAM) relating to the Family Violence provisions:
[see attached document]

Conditions for Participation

It is expected that an organisation performing family violence assessments will be:

  • Qualified and experienced in the field of family violence;
  • National (able to offer services across Australia); and
  • Compliant with all the requirements outlined in the REOI.

Timeframe for Delivery

If a formal tender process is undertaken, it is likely that such services would be required from the commencement of the 2012-13 financial year.

Address for Lodgement Via AusTender at www.tenders.gov.au

Contact Officer Robert Day
Phone Number 02 6464 2165
Email Address robert.day@immi.gov.au