On the basis of the limited information provided to the public to date, the business and risk case for privatising visa processing appears highly questionable.
Is the government prepared to be open with the Australian public and Parliament about this high-risk initiative?
Will the Australian public be comfortable with these extraordinary risks being taken on our behalf with such a core government function?
And how long before taxpayers have to bail out the department because one or more of these risks materialises?
It really is a gamble that’s just not worth taking. (Abul Rizvi left the Australian Public Service in 2015 as a deputy secretary and is currently undertaking a PhD on Australia’s immigration policies. He was a senior official in the Department of Immigration from the early 1990s to 2007. )