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Airline Liaison Officer (ALO)

ABF staff located at key international airports to operate ahead of the border to identify and manage threats and risks before they reach the Australian border.

APS Values

Articulate the parliament's expectations of public servants in terms of performance and standards of behaviour.

Assisted voluntary return

A service delivered in partnership with the International Organization for Migration to provide immigration advice, counselling and financial support for clients wishing to return home but who require some support to do so, thus avoiding the need to detain and enforce removal.

Asylum seeker

Person claiming protection. As a party to the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, Australia is committed to providing protection consistent with the obligations set out in the convention and other relevant international treaties to which Australia is a party.

Australian Border Operations Centre (ABOC)

A centralised operations centre, providing a single source of situational awareness of ABF operations. The ABOC unifies functional capabilities of the ABF into planning, executing, coordinating and managing national ABF activities and operations across the entire border continuum.


The Australian Government’s tendering system.

Australian Trusted Trader

A voluntary trade facilitation initiative open to all eligible Australian businesses active in the international trade supply chain.


Biosecurity Act 2015

An Act to explain how Australia manages biosecurity threats to plant, animal and human health in Australian and its external territories.

Border continuum

The Department’s approach which views the Australian border as a continuum that includes its overseas, maritime, physical and domestic dimensions.


Child safeguarding framework

Outlines the principles, policies and procedures for the Department’s staff and contracted service providers to safeguard the children who receive its services. The development of this framework was a focus of the independent Child Protection Panel.


The statutory authority that administers the Australian Government’s workers compensation scheme.

Commonwealth Fraud Control Policy

Supports accountable authorities of non-corporate Commonwealth entities to effectively discharge their responsibilities under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and section 10 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014.

Commonwealth Grant Rules and Guidelines

The Australian Government grants policy framework applies to all non-corporate Commonwealth entities subject to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

Community Support Program

From 1 July 2017, the establishment of 1,000 places by which communities and businesses can sponsor humanitarian visa applicants and support new arrivals.

Corporate plan

The corporate plan of an entity is the primary planning document for that entity and must address: introduction; purpose; environment; performance; capability and risk oversight; management of the entity.


A disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus, formerly referred to as ‘2019 novel coronavirus’.

Crisis Coordination Centre (CCC)

The Australian Government’s 24/7 crisis management information and whole-of-government coordination facility.



Examination of cargo by an ABF officer.


Fraud and Corruption Control Plan

The Department’s plan for managing fraud and corruption.



Provides centralised publication of forecast and current Australian Government grant opportunities and grants awarded.

Green lease schedule

A formal commitment to energy efficiency developed by the Department of Environment and Energy to reduce energy consumption by Australia Government operations.


Harmony Day

A celebration of Australia’s cultural diversity, held yearly on 21 March. It coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Humanitarian Program

Australia’s Humanitarian Program comprises offshore resettlement and onshore protection components.


Illegal Maritime Arrival

‘Illegal’ refers to the mode of entry of persons who enter Australia by boat without a valid visa. Asylum seekers and migrants who are smuggled to Australia may breach border controls and domestic laws in entering and seeking protection in Australia. The Migration Act 1958 refers to ‘unauthorised arrivals’ but in this annual report the term used is ‘illegal maritime arrivals’.


Single entry point for individuals, registered migration agents, service delivery partners, business and stakeholders to access the Department’s online services.


May include use of non-intrusive examination through X-ray technology (static or mobile), trace particle detection, detector dogs or physical examination of cargo.

International Capacity Building Program

A scheme to develop and strengthen the skills, abilities, processes and resources of international organisations and communities.


Actions undertaken by ABF officers to prevent and detect the import or export of prohibited items and to control the movement of restricted items. Includes examinations and inspections.


Legacy caseload

The Department’s term to describe the cohort of Illegal Maritime Arrivals


Migration Program

The annual planned permanent intake determined by the Australian Government in a budgetary context which governs the number of visas granted for permanent entry from offshore and for permanent resident status onshore. It does not include New Zealand citizens intending to settle permanently in Australia.



NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) Week is a celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

National Coordination Mechanism (NCM)

Operates through the Department of Home Affairs to coordinate the whole-of-government response with states and territories to issues outside of the direct health management of COVID-19.

National Security Hotline

A portal to report suspicious activity, administered by the Attorney General’s Department.


Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority

An office within the Department of Home Affairs that regulates the migration advice industry to provide appropriate protection and assurance to people using migration advice services.

Onshore and offshore

Unless otherwise indicated, ‘onshore’ and ‘offshore’ refer to the location of a person at the time they apply for a visa or visa grant.

Operation Arête

Operation Arête is an enduring operation that builds upon on our current work to strengthen our integrity framework and embed a positive integrity culture within the Department.

Operation BANDORA

An ABF operation focused on mitigating the risk of travellers transmitting COVID-19 through coordination of border responses to the exclusion orders issued by the Prime Minister on 1 February 2020

Operation PINCER

An ABF operation to support the Department of Health in the repatriation of Australian citizens from mainland China to Australia.

Operation Sovereign Borders

Operation Sovereign Borders is a military-led, whole-of-government border security operation to combat maritime people smuggling.


Portfolio Budget Statements

Documents that inform parliamentarians and the public of the proposed allocation of resources to achieve government outcomes.

Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act)

An Act about the governance, performance and accountability of, and the use and management of public resources by the Commonwealth, Commonwealth entities and Commonwealth companies, and for related purposes.

Public Service Act 1999

The principal Act governing the operation of the Australian Public Service.


Refugee and Humanitarian Assistance Program

A program designed to ensure that Australia can respond effectively to global humanitarian needs and have support services available to meet the specific needs of people entering under the program.


A person recognised as needing protection under the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.

Regional processing country

A country designated by the minister under subsection 198AB(1) of the Migration Act 1958 as a regional processing country.



The Department’s Automated border processing system.

Special Eligibility stream

A subset of the Migration Program that provides for the migration of former residents of Australia.

Supermarkets Taskforce

A taskforce convened by the Department of Home Affairs comprising representatives from government department, supermarkets, the grocery supply chain and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The taskforce was established to resolve issues impacting supermarkets as a result of COVID-19 and to ensure consumers continue to have reliable and fair access to groceries.


Tariff classification

Goods imported into Australia require classification under the Customs Tariff Act 1995.

Temporary visas or temporary entry visas

Visas that provide for the temporary entry of people from overseas for purposes that benefit Australia, such as tourism, study, work or other activities. From 2014–15 this definition was expanded to include Special Category (subclass 444) visas provided to New Zealanders when they enter Australia.

TIS National

Provides interpreting services in more than 160 languages and dialects for people who do not speak English and for organisations that need to communicate with non-English-speaking clients.


An IMA transferred to an offshore processing centre in an offshore regional processing country.