UPDATEDUPDATED 20 HOURS AGO
BY TOM STAYNER
Labor MP Andrew Giles led a motion in Parliament on Monday, sparking political division over whether the outsourcing really does mean the system is being privatised.
The Morrison government has strongly rejected any suggestions this is taking place as part of an attempt to ‘modernise’ the visa processing system.
“Time is running out to stop the Morrison government from privatising Australia’s visa processing system,” Labor MP Andrew Giles told Parliament on Monday.
“If the Prime Minister gets his way he’ll outsource $1 billion of visa processing to the highest bidder.”
A spokesperson for the Morrison government told SBS News it is “not privatising visa decision making”.
“The Department of Home Affairs is conducting a tender process for a new workflow tool,” the spokesperson said.
“[But] the Government will always remain responsible and accountable … for all decision making.
"We will determine visa rules and how decisions are made."
The opposition is accusing the Morrison government of making the system vulnerable to "profiteering" and manipulation from major companies through its outsourcing plan.
“If you are so worried about profiteering, you would not be privatising Australia’s visa processing system,” Mr Giles said.
“Outsourcing our visa system will lead to significant job losses, increased costs of visas, greater risk of worker exploitation, data security issues, and will make protecting our national security more difficult."
The tender over the plan is expected to be finalised this month.
He is worried any outsourcing of the system through private companies is fraught with risk.
"As I understand it the department will go through a progressive series of tenders, where they will outsource various proportions of the visa system," he told SBS News.
“I think going down that path is very, very dangerous."
“The range of ways in which this can create problems is enormous.”
FOR COMPLETE STORY CLICK THE LINK BELOW: