Annual Report 2003-2004

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Your location: Performance > Outcome 2 > Output 2.1 > Administered item for Outcome 2

OUTPUT 2.1: Consular and passport services

Administered item for Outcome 2

Travellers' emergency loans

Quality indicator

Quantity indicator

During 2003–04, 454 travellers' emergency loans were granted in accordance with the guidelines laid down in the consular handbook. This figure includes loans made to 23 Australians requiring repatriation to Australia, including medical evacuations, and loans to 28 Australians imprisoned overseas through the Prisoner Loans Scheme. This compares to 610 loans granted in 2002–03 and 739 loans in 2001–02.

Decisions to issue emergency loans are made on a case-by-case basis, and only when it has been established that the concerns for an individual's welfare warrant such assistance and that the individual has no alternative means to access funds, including through family members in Australia.

The department issued $233 150 in travellers' emergency loans ($33 940 of this total are loans issued with funds from loans issued and repaid in the 2003–04 financial year). We issued fewer loans than in previous years. The higher total value of the loans issued was due to the number and expense of repatriations, including medical evacuations, which totalled $129 010.

A total of $76 333 was repaid in 2003–04 compared to $104 051 in 2002–03. We issue emergency loans on the basis of a traveller's need and not on their ability to repay, which can affect the success of debt recovery efforts. Higher repatriation costs also influence debt recovery rates, which is evident this year. We use all means available to encourage repayment of loans, including making a person's eligibility for a new passport subject to repayment of the loan.

Quantity information

Indicator 2003–04 2002–03
Number of Australian travellers assisted by emergency loans 454 610
Success of debt recovery activities $76 333 $104 051

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Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Annual Report 2003–2004
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