Thursday the 21st August 2014
Volume 329

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Migration Agents of Concern List


We have received word that one of the MARA agents on that list, Ms. Anne O'Donoghue should never even been on it.

We believe the Blog response on the Migration Alliance web site from Ms Odonahue outlines her position that she should have never been on this list;

"I want to thank everyone for the support I've had, in particular Angela Chan of the MIA and Erskine Rodan of the MLA of the LCA. I have been working with Natalie O'Brien since October 2013 in trying to achieve natural justice for all those on the list. I set out below the email response/apology I received from Garry Fleming in November 2013 as to why I was put on the list "systems error"!!!:

From: Garry FLEMING []
Sent: Wednesday, 13 November 2013 5:23 PM
To: Anne O'Donoghue
Subject: RE: Confidential Enquiry [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]



Apologies for the delay in getting back to you with a substantive response on this matter.

First of all, please let me assure you that the list of agents had no impact on case assessments nor on case officers' views of an agent's reputation. The risk scoring instrument was a tool used by administrative teams only to assist in allocating cases to case officers of particular classification levels and experience and it appears to have been used only in Partner processing.

Nevertheless, it is of concern to me that the list was being used without appropriate oversight and control to ensure accuracy and currency. Indeed, you should never have been on such a list... while you were 'flagged' on our processing system at one point, this was only as a mechanism to alert officers to a system error whereby the system was not recognising you as a registered migration agent. There was never any suggestion that you lacked integrity and I apologise on behalf of the department for any perception otherwise.

The list has been removed.

If the department uses an assessment of migration agents to risk tier cases, we will ensure that lists or ratings are accurate and appropriately maintained. Indeed, there may be an opportunity here for the notion we discussed of having 'Platinum Card' agents, whose cases are tiered towards low risk / lightest touch processing. I look forward to the department further developing that concept together with the migration advice industry and its peak bodies.

Garry Fleming
First Assistant Secretary
Migration and Citizenship Policy Division
Department of Immigration and Border Protection

It is clear from the mail the DIBP has sent Ms.O'Donoghue that the list cannot be relied upon as being accurate and also brings then into question what is the purpose of having it at all.

The letter from the DIBP also clarifies an important issue. It has no bearing upon to agents clients in relation to any processing of their applications and is according to them, no longer in use.

As we said in our Volume 229 we are uncertain of the implications of this list and we appreciate Ms. O'Donoghue informing us of the DIBP's position on this list.

It would seem obvious that the DIBP has stuffed things up again and demonstrating incompetence for keeping such a list for their own purposes that is not even accurate, nor seems have any purpose other than to harm those are on it.

We are happy to set the record straight for Ms O'Donoghue and would stress to all of her clients not to hold her accountable for the actions of a government department that seems unaccountable and out of control. If any of her clients were judge her by this list, then that alone would be an injustice in itself.

It goes without saying that all the agents on this list deserve the same courtesy for if the DIBP can stuff such in Anne's case, then the list means nothing.


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