This report reviews the activities the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security undertook during the past year to monitor Australia's six intelligence agencies.
The ongoing challenge for the office is to adapt to changes in the operations and powers of the intelligence agencies while maintaining effectiveness, credibility and transparency in our oversight role. We have had to be flexible and innovative; we have
- taken a risk-based approach to prioritising our work. This necessitated greater engagement with agencies to understand their compliance risks and anticipate future areas of risk. Using this approach we have maintained inspections of ASIO, ASIS and DSD but fewer resources have been allocated to DIGO, DIO and the ONA
- continued to publicly report findings and recommendations of inquiries to the maximum extent consistent with the protection of national security
- commented on the development of policy and legislation, where appropriate, to ensure that any new agency powers have provision for appropriate oversight
- adapted to systems developments in agencies, altering our programs to take advantage of these developments and encouraging agencies to build compliance into new business processes.
During the year the office had a significant inquiry workload. Completed inquiries examined:
- the attendance of legal representatives at ASIO interviews
- the actions of ASIO, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the then Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) in respect of an Egyptian irregular maritime arrival who was placed in immigration detention and was the subject of an Interpol red notice
- the use of weapons and self-defence techniques in ASIS staff.
A major project for the office was the successful implementation of the Australian Government’s Public Interest Disclosure scheme which began in January 2014.