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Intelligence agencies’ powers under committee scrutiny

Issue date: Friday, 26 November 2021

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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.

Further information about making a submission to a committee inquiry can be found at the following link. Further information on the inquiry can be obtained from the Committee’s website.

Media inquiries

Chair, Senator James Paterson via Deborah Seccombe
0451 255 891
deborah.seccombe@aph.gov.au

For background information

Committee Secretariat, Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security
(02) 6277 2360
pjcis@aph.gov.au

For more information about this Committee, you can visit its website. On the site, you can make a submission to an inquiry, read other submissions, and get details for upcoming public hearings. You can also track the Committee and receive email updates by clicking on the blue ‘Track Committee’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the page.

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