Intelligence Services (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2001


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Bills Digest No. 12  2001-02
Intelligence Services (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2001

WARNING:
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

CONTENTS

Passage History
Purpose
Background
Main Provisions
Contact Officer & Copyright Details

Passage History

Intelligence Services (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2001

Date Introduced: 27 June 2001

House: House of Representatives

Portfolio: Foreign Affairs

Commencement: At the same time as the Intelligence Services Bill 2001.

Purpose

To

  • amend the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 to facilitate the establishment of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIO and ASIS (PJC)
  • amend the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1986 to provide for privacy issues to be canvassed in the Annual Report of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security
  • amend the Acts Interpretation Act 1901; Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977; and the Freedom of Information Act 1982 to provide protection for ASIS.

Background

For background on the issues addressed by this Bill, readers are referred to the Bills Digest on the Intelligence Services Bill 2001.

Main Provisions

The key provisions are those contained in Schedule 3. These relate to amendments to the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (AIA); Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (AD(JR) Act); and the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

Item 1 adds ASIS to the list of organisations (ASIO and ONA) that are exempt from timeframes for preparation and tabling of periodic reports imposed by the AIA.

Item 2 adds ASIS to the list of organisations (including ASIO and IGIS) which are essentially exempt from the provisions of the AD(JR) Act.

Item 3 amends the FOI Act to provide that any document containing information relating to the identity of ASIS staff members or agents is an exempt document for the purposes of the FOI Act. Thus, while national security documents are generally exempt from release under the FOI Act, documents relating to identity are expressly exempt.

Significantly, the exemption in the FOI Act does not prevent a person gaining access to a document 'so far as it contains personal information about the person' (subsection 38(2)).

Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Nathan Hancock
1 August 2001
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services

This paper has been prepared for general distribution to Senators and Members of the Australian Parliament. While great care is taken to ensure that the paper is accurate and balanced, the paper is written using information publicly available at the time of production. The views expressed are those of the author and should not be attributed to the Information and Research Services (IRS). Advice on legislation or legal policy issues contained in this paper is provided for use in parliamentary debate and for related parliamentary purposes. This paper is not professional legal opinion. Readers are reminded that the paper is not an official parliamentary or Australian government document.

IRS staff are available to discuss the paper's contents with Senators and Members
and their staff but not with members of the public.

ISSN 1328-8091
© Commonwealth of Australia 2000

Except to the extent of the uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without the prior written consent of the Parliamentary Library, other than by Members of the Australian Parliament in the course of their official duties.

Published by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, 2001.

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