Annual Report 2005-2006

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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

During 2005–06, the department granted 393 travellers emergency loans including loans made through the Prisoner Loans Scheme to 42 Australians imprisoned overseas. This compared to 387 loans granted in 2004–05 and 454 loans granted in 2003–04. The total value of the loans we issued was $310 576.

Decisions to issue travellers emergency loans are made on a case-by-case basis and only when it has been established that concern for a person's welfare warrants such assistance and that the person has no alternative means to access funds, including through family members in Australia. Our rigorous analysis of client needs and ability to access their own or family resources contributed to limiting the total amount loaned.

In 2005–06, Australians issued with travellers emergency loans repaid a total of $91 261, compared to $59 082 in 2004–05. The higher recovery reflects in part more intensive debt management. However, as we issue emergency loans according to travellers' needs and not their ability to repay, this also affects the success of debt recovery efforts. Loans for repatriation, which are by nature more expensive than straightforward travellers emergency loans, also affected the sum of money we were able to recover. We used many means to encourage the repayment of loans, including quicker follow up of debtors, continuing to make a person's eligibility for a new passport subject to repayment of any outstanding loan and allowing debtors to repay loans in excess of $500 by instalment.

Quantity information

Indicator 2005–06 2004–05
Number of Australian travellers assisted by emergency loans 393 387
Success of debt recovery activities $91 261 $59 082

Hurricane Katrina financial assistance

Quality indicator

Quantity indicator

Quantity information

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, financial assistance was provided on a needs basis to Australians, who were evacuated from hurricane-affected areas, to cover their immediate expenses including medical treatment, accommodation and sustenance needs. Payments totalling $14 795 were provided to 25 Australians on an ex gratia basis through the embassy in Washington DC and consulates-general in Atlanta and Los Angeles. Funding for these payments was provided to the department in Administered Appropriations under Outcome 2 in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2005–06.

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