Chapter 1

Chapter 1


Duty to examine annual reports

1.1        The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement (the committee) has a statutory duty to examine the annual report of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) under the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement Act 2010 (the Act).

1.2        Subsection 7(1) of the Act includes a specific requirement for the committee to report to Parliament on matters appearing in and arising out of the annual reports of the AFP:

...(f) to examine each annual report on the AFP and report to the Parliament on any matter appearing in, or arising out of, any such annual report...[1]

1.3        The duty of the committee to examine annual reports of the AFP under the Act stems from an expectation that agencies which have been granted strong coercive powers, like the AFP, should be subject to additional oversight. At the time of the introduction of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement Bill 2010, the then Attorney-General noted that the bill would exemplify the 'commitment to improving oversight and accountability in relation to the exercise of the functions of Commonwealth agencies'.[2]

1.4        The AFP's Annual Report 2016–17 was presented to the Minister for Justice, the Hon Michael Keenan MP, on 15 September 2017. It was tabled in the House of Representatives on 26 October 2017[3] and tabled in the Senate on 13 November 2017.[4]

Examination of the report

1.5        In examining the annual report, the committee held a public hearing at Parliament House, Canberra on 22 February 2019. The witnesses who appeared before the committee are listed in Appendix 1.

Structure of the committee report

1.6        In addition to this chapter, the committee's report comprises the following chapters:


1.7        The committee acknowledges the cooperation and assistance of the AFP Commissioner and other AFP officers who assisted the committee in its examination.

Note on references

1.8        References to the Committee Hansard may be references to the proof transcript. Page numbers may differ between proof and official transcripts.

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