Back to All News

Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (project assessment)

Lee probes the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on project assessments undertaken by the department and whether Australia's funding for multilateral agencies is linked to these assessments.

Senator RHIANNON: ...Has Australia undertaken a multilateral assessment since 2012?

Mr McDonald: The department undertakes multilateral assessments with our multilateral partners as the replenishments come forward. So, as they are due for renewal, we undertake a multilateral assessment.

Senator RHIANNON: When is the next one planned, please?

Mr McDonald: They come up progressively. We have one coming up shortly in relation to the Asian Development Bank. There is a replenishment coming up in May, for example, so that is an assessment we will do then. It is a progressive thing through the year as they come forward. We also have one coming up with the International Committee of the Red Cross later this year. That is another multilateral assessment. We can give you, on notice, when they are due.

Senator RHIANNON: That would be good. I was trying to understand: how is Australia's funding for multilateral agencies linked to these assessments?

Mr McDonald: Where we move into a multiyear agreement with multilaterals, we look at whether they are effective in accordance with the government's priorities, and whether they are delivering and performing according to our expectations. We undertake that assessment. That is then fed into the consideration by the foreign minister of what sort of support we will provide, going forward.

Senator RHIANNON: Okay. Going back to Ebola issues, is DFAT planning to undertake an independent evaluation of its Ebola response in order to draw lessons from that to inform future responses to infectious diseases?

Mr McDonald: I might need to check that with Mr Exell. But, certainly, we did a progressive assessment throughout the Ebola response around Australia's response, and Mr Exell might be able to elaborate on that.

Mr Exell: At this stage, there is not an intention to take on an independent review or evaluation of our Ebola response. There was an internal DFAT review and, indeed, there was a whole-of-government review of our overall Ebola response. We were also part of a WHO major review of their response and their global reactions, or global response, to Ebola. So there were pretty significant review exercises going on around the work there.

Senator RHIANNON: Have they been released publicly?

Mr Exell: I will have to take that on notice.

Senator RHIANNON: Thank you-that is for all the ones that you mentioned. I think there were three....

Back to All News