Annual Report 2007-2008
 

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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

IIn 2007–08, the department granted emergency loans to 384 Australian travellers to the value of $707 825, compared to loans issued in the previous year to 301 Australian travellers to the value of $307 548. The higher expenditure reflects the increasing complexity of consular cases—in particular a number of difficult medical evacuations of Australian citizens who did not have travel insurance.

In accordance with guidelines in our Consular Handbook, the department provided loans on a case-by-case basis, rigorously assessing client needs and their ability to access alternative financial sources (including from family members in Australia). All loan recipients were required to sign legally enforceable deeds of undertaking to repay.

Loans issued during 2007–08 included loans made under the Prisoner Loans Scheme to 46 Australians imprisoned overseas. The loans provided Australian prisoners in approved countries the means to access adequate food and other essentials not provided by prison authorities.

In 2007–08, the department recovered $283 168 from Australians who had been issued loans, compared with $156 549 in 2006–07. As the department issued loans according to travellers needs and not their capacity to repay, this continued pattern of recovery reflected the success of the department’s debt management and recovery efforts. The efforts included rapid follow-up contact with debtors offering a number of different repayment options, linking debtors’ eligibility for a new passport to the repayment of an outstanding loan, and allowing debtors to repay loans by instalment.

Quantity information
Indicator
2007–08
2006–07
Number of Australian travellers assisted by emergency loans
384
301
Success of debt recovery activities
$283 168
$156 549

Consular emergency services

Quality indicator

Quantity indicator

A new consular emergency services financial support mechanism was introduced in 2007–08. The support mechanism allows payment for in-kind services to destitute Australians and minors, and covers Australian paupers’ funeral costs where it is not practical or legally possible for an undertaking to repay to be signed.

In 2007–08, there was no expenditure against the emergency services appropriation of $200 000.

The emergency loans and emergency services programs had a combined appropriation of $500 000 in 2007–08. The two programs are able to use the funds flexibly, drawing on the total combined appropriation as required up to the level of the joint cap.

 

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