30 years of intelligence oversight

House of Representatives

The Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee

is marking 30 years of operation with the presentation if its Annual report of Committee activities for 2018-2019.

Committee Chair Andrew Hastie said the importance of the Committee has increased over the years, and that this is set to continue in future.

‘The Committee provides a collaborative, classified space for Members from both sides of politics to come together to examine draft national security legislation in a detailed manner,’ Mr Hastie said.

‘Our oversight of the national intelligence community ensures that intelligence agencies remain accountable to the Australian Parliament and through the parliament, to the Australian public.’

‘Committee work is an important part of the Westminster tradition, and so the Committee regards its independence and oversight as essential to good democratic governance.’

The report reflects on the evolution of the Committee, the achievement of major milestones and looks forward to possible future developments.

The Committee’s role and place within the national security architecture has changed considerably since the first Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation was appointed in 1988 to provide some oversight of ASIO.

Over the years, the Committee’s oversight responsibilities have matured to encompass most of the national intelligence community, including the completion of annual reviews of the administration and expenditure of intelligence agencies.

The Committee has also developed substantial responsibilities in refining national security legislation to build bipartisan consensus in Australia’s national interest.

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