Consular officers seeking guidance on a case that is not specifically dealt with in this Handbook should seek advice of senior consular officers at post, or refer the matter for advice to the case officer in Consular Operations or the Consular Emergency Centre (CEC) after hours.Posts are required to report to the Department significant casework that involves Australian citizens in their consular district.
However, officers should avoid referencing unrelated or unlinked third person/consular clients by name. Posts should be aware that some requests for help, such as passport assistance, may also include a consular issue (e.g.
child abduction or welfare) that must be reported to Consular Operations.
Prompt reporting also enables the Department to provide guidance on policy or operations to ensure casework consistency.
It is important that the information contained in CIS entries and cables is consistent, comprehensive and clear.
Heads of Mission are expected to be made aware of cases that meet this threshold and to take a close interest in ongoing case management, often in close consultation with Consular Operations.
In accordance with Departmental policy, consular cable summaries must not exceed 10 lines. 'Summary Only' cables may be used for consular cases.
Consular officers should avoid contact through less formal channels (Facebook, Whats App, text and instant messaging and so on) unless it is deemed necessary. Officers should carefully assess whether the identification of third parties is appropriate and/or necessary in their reporting.
In general, to ensure case records are as comprehensive as possible, consular officers should record details of third persons in CIS where there is an established link to the case.
Cable subject headings must follow the following format: CONSULAR: (category of case): (type of case): FAMILY NAME, given name, middle name For example: Use of this name format is required to ensure accurate details are recorded, particularly when names do not follow the naming convention used in Australia.