The Australian National Audit Office published a report showing that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection spent $2.2 billion without appropriate authorisations. The department’s deputy secretary Jenet Connell acknowledged the lack of documentary evidence showing approvals, but claimed that the majority of payments were ‘fixed monthly contractual fees which are dependent on the number of residents in the [regional processing centres]’.
A Senate committee is set to investigate the death of Sudanese refugee Faysal Ishak Ahmed. Ahmed died in Brisbane Hospital on Christmas Eve after collapsing at the Manus Island processing centre. The immigration department has stated that it is unaware of any suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.
The United Nations called for an investigation into the arrest and beating of two Iranian asylum seekers on Manus Island on New Year’s Eve. Kedar Poudyal, an advisor at the UN Human Rights Office in Port Moresby, expressed the need for an investigation. However, Manus Province police commander David Yapu has said previously that no such investigation will be conducted due to the likelihood that the men were injured while resisting arrest.