Australian Border Force’s military – style uniforms made overseas

The military-style uniforms worn by Australian Border Force officials tasked with securing our borders were made almost entirely in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and China. The $6.3 million spent by the department on uniforms, name badges and helmets was a fraction of the $10 million spent creating the Australian Border Force, including sings and insignia at airports and detention centres.

“This is one area where you have to look at whole of life costing. We have seen this in previous military procurements where they go for the cheapest option rather than quality. 

A spokeswoman for the department said the procurement sought to achieve “value for money” and complied with Australian regulations. 

The department of Immigration and Border Protection has also confirmed it spent $15,950 on hand-woven flags carrying the Australian Border Force logo, with officials insisting these were Australian made. 

The rebranding has led some to accuse the department of militarising its workforce; a claim that secretary Michael Pezzullo has denied on several occasions.

Close to 20 per cent of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s senior executive ranks are now uniformed, with the majority working within the Australian Border Force. 

Labor Senator Kim Carr, who asked about the uniforms at a senate estimates hearing earlier this year, said further questions need to be asked about the procurement process.

“I find it difficult to believe that the Australian textile industry does not have the capability to make uniforms for the Australian Border Force,” he said.

“This is one area where you have to look at whole of life costing. We have seen this in previous military procurements where they go for the cheapest option rather than quality.”

A spokeswoman for the department said the procurement sought to achieve “value for money” and complied with Australian regulations. 

 “All Australian Border Force uniforms are sourced through Australian suppliers, with the majority of components manufactured in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and China,” she said

“The majority of the new DIBP uniform components are made overseas but are sourced through Australian companies.”

When asked if the uniforms were Australian-made during senate estimates, Border Force commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg​ said “I think I saw a label, actually. They may have been, but I will take that on notice”

Out of the 154 senior executives within the department, 30 are now designated as uniformed officers including commissioner Quaedvlieg.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/australian-border-forces-militarystyle-uniforms-made-overseas-20160413-go5yo4.html 

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