Intelligence agencies’ powers under committee scrutiny

Department of the House of Representatives

alt=”house of reps header” width=”800″ height=”130″>

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has commenced a review into proposed new laws to address critical operational challenges, that national intelligence agencies face, in a rapidly evolving security environment.

The National Security Legislation Amendment (Comprehensive Review and Other Measures No. 1) Bill 2021 implements the Government response to several recommendations of the Comprehensive Review of the Legal Framework of the National Intelligence Community (Comprehensive Review) led by Dennis Richardson AC.

The measures in the Bill improve the legislative framework governing the National Intelligence Community (NIC) by addressing key operational challenges facing the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO), the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) and the Office of National Intelligence (ONI). The Bill also includes amendments recommended by the 2017 Independent Intelligence Review (IIR) and other measures intended to address important and pressing issues facing these agencies.

PJCIS Chair Senator James Paterson said it was clear that Australia’s threat environment had evolved.

‘While we need to ensure that our intelligence agencies have the very best tools at their disposal to keep pace with emerging and evolving threats, we also need to ensure that these tools are proportionate and have robust oversight mechanisms,’ Senator Paterson said.

The Committee requests submissions to the inquiry by Thursday 3 February 2022.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).