Annual Report 2010–11

Program 6.1 Multicultural and citizenship services

Program 6.1 consists of three departmental items:

  • Decisions on citizenship status
  • Promoting the value of Australian citizenship
  • Promoting the benefits of a united and diverse society

There are six administered items under Program 6.1:

  • Citizenship test preparation
  • Diversity and social cohesion program
  • Grants for multicultural affairs
  • Mirrabooka Multicultural Centre—contribution
  • Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme
  • Parliament of the World's Religions 2009—contribution

Objectives

  • Address issues of cultural, racial and religious intolerance by promoting mutual respect, fairness, inclusion and a sense of belonging
  • Efficient and effective delivery of the Australian Citizenship Program in line with Australia's citizenship law and government policies
  • Promote the value of Australian citizenship.

The following tables report against the deliverables and key performance indicators as published in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2010–11 and Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2010–11.

Multicultural and citizenship services—deliverables

Deliverable: Provide research, evidence-based policy advice and support services to the minister and parliamentary secretary.

 

Result: The department provided more than 60 evidence-based submissions to the minister on a range of matters relating to citizenship legislation and policy.

Deliverable: Administer the grants for community relations and for multicultural affairs.

 

Result: The Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia (FECCA) met the objectives and milestones in its 2010–11 work plan. The objectives and milestones included:

  • promoting the benefits of Australia's cultural diversity, through a range of means, including FECCA's website, electronic bulletin and magazine
  • advocating on behalf of migrants and refugees, through, for example, formal submissions to government
  • contributing to the implementation of the government's access and equity strategy, through, for example, comprehensive community consultations and reporting to government
  • supporting capacity building for new and emerging communities, through, for example, leadership and governance training.

In 2010–11, approximately 90 per cent of the total number of diversity and social cohesion projects expected to be finalised by the end of 2010–11 reached the required milestones.

Deliverable: Implement the Diversity and Social Cohesion Program.

 

Result: In 2010–11, Diversity and Social Cohesion Program funding was awarded to 46 community organisations to build social cohesion through stronger community relations.

Deliverable: Provide support services to the Australian Multicultural Advisory Council.

 

Result: On 22 June 2010, the Australian Government reappointed the council for a second term from 1 July 2010. The department supported the council's meetings in August 2010, October 2010, December 2010, February 2011 and April 2011.

 

The council's term expired on 30 June 2011 and its successor, the Australian Multicultural Council, is being established.

Deliverable: Encourage Australian Government agency responsiveness to cultural and linguistic diversity through implementing the access and equity strategy.

 

Result: The department manages the Australian Government's access and equity strategy, which encourages and supports all Australian Government agencies to respond to the cultural diversity of Australians in the design and delivery of policies and programs.

 

The Access and Equity in Government Services Report 2008–10 was tabled on 15 June 2011 and features examples of good practice in government agencies' responses to the needs of Australia's multicultural society.

Deliverable: Deliver lawful citizenship decisions under Australian citizenship legislation.

 

Result: In 2010–11, 114 212 decisions on citizenship status (for conferral, descent and resumption client applications) were made. To ensure the delivery of lawful citizenship decisions which accord with citizenship legislation, the department provided training to 46 decision-makers through the citizenship training program, as well as advice to 145 decision-makers through a program of visits to state and territory offices by policy experts. In addition, policy advice was provided in response to queries lodged through the citizenship helpdesk, and the Australian Citizenship Instructions were amended periodically to provide further guidance on decision-making.

Deliverable: Implement a communication strategy that promotes the value of Australian citizenship and encourages eligible non-citizens to become Australian citizens.

 

Result: In 2010–11, the department continued the implementation of its communication strategy to promote the value of Australian citizenship. The communication strategy resulted in about 13 000 people from 143 different countries becoming Australian citizens in about 325 citizenship ceremonies across Australia held as part of Australia Day celebrations.


Multicultural and citizenship services—key performance indicators

Indicator: Milestones and timelines specified in funding agreements for grants met.

 

Result: During 2010–11, the department managed more than 100 projects from previous funding rounds, with approximately 90 percent of milestones being met by the end of this period.

 

Relevant grant programs were:

  • Diversity and Social Cohesion Program
  • Diverse Australia Program (residual grants only)
  • National Action Plan (residual grants only).

The Diverse Australia Program and National Action Plan ceased on 30 June 2010. The department continued to administer existing projects for these programs through to completion.

Indicator: Government agencies report increased client satisfaction with the delivery of government services.

 

Result: FECCA conducted extensive community consultations to report on the level of satisfaction with the delivery of government services to culturally and linguistically diverse clients. Findings from the consultations were reported to government in May 2011.

Indicator: Government services available and accessible nationwide

 

Result: The Access and Equity Strategy promotes the equitable availability and accessibility of government services to culturally and linguistically diverse clients nationwide. The Access and Equity in Government Services Report 2008–10 provides examples of services and programs delivered by all levels of government across Australia.

Indicator: Percentage of refusal decisions for Australian citizenship overturned through an appeal process.

 

Result: Less than one per cent of refusal decisions (for conferral, descent and resumption client applications) were overturned at review.

Indicator: Percentage of client conferral applications decided within service delivery standards.

 

Result: The service delivery standard is for a decision in 80 per cent of conferral applications within 60 calendar days of lodgement. The national average of applications decided within the service standard for 2010–11 was 78.9 per cent, with the service standard being exceeded for the last seven consecutive months.

Indicator: Increased awareness of, and interest in, Australian citizenship.

 

Result: In 2010–11, there were 309 634 visits to the department's online Citizenship Wizard, and 295 946 phone calls to the citizenship information line.


Table 70: Multicultural and citizenship services—performance information

Key performance indicators 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 target 2010–11 actual
Visits to the Citizenship Wizard 153 168 (since 12 December 2008) 428 242 80 000 309 634
Percentage of citizenship decisions overturned <1% <1% <1% <1%
Percentage of conferral client applications decided within the service standard 86% were decided within 90 days 89.2% within 90 days to 9 November and 80.3% within 60 days from 9 November 80% 78.9% were decided within 60 days