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Carnell, Ian; Bryan, Neville --- "Watching The Watchers: How The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Helps Safeguard The Rule of Law" [2006] AdminRw 4; (2006) 57 Admin Review 34

Watching the watchers: how the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security helps safeguard the rule of law

Ian Carnell and Neville Bryan[*]


It has been said that discussion of the rule of law in Australian legal and academic circles often has more to say about the role of courts than about the true focus of the doctrine, which is to limit and control the behaviour of governments.[1]

Although it is important not to discount the vital role and the proud history of the courts in ensuring that executive government is subject to the law, not above it, it must also be recognised that other, non-judicial, mechanisms are also important in safeguarding the rule of law.[2] Among these other mechanisms are administrative tribunals and ombudsmen.

The position of Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is also such a mechanism; it has a specific mandate to oversee the six agencies that formally constitute the Australian ‘intelligence community’:

• the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation—ASIO

• the Australian Secret Intelligence Service—ASIS

• the Defence Signals Directorate—DSD

• the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation—DIGO

• the Defence Intelligence Organisation—DIO

• the Office of National Assessments—ONA.

Since 11 September 2001 there has been frequent, and sometimes sharp, debate about the new powers and capabilities that have been given to Australia’s intelligence and security agencies. The more measured proponents in the debate have focused on finding a suitable balance between the intrusiveness of the new powers afforded the agencies on one hand and the rights of the individual on the other.

With each terrorist atrocity that is committed, the debate is rejoined with vigour. Proposals for seemingly ever-increasing powers are balanced by equally passionate arguments that to cede further individual liberties to the state is to hand to the terrorist perpetrators a complete victory.

The challenge for government is to find a path that offers maximum protection for its citizens without giving succour to those who would undermine the foundations on which our society is built.

Adding to the challenge is the secret and secretive nature of much that the intelligence and security agencies do. As a general rule, most Australians will not know if they have become someone of interest to the agencies; nor will they know what is done with any intelligence information that might have been gathered on them. Rights of appeal to courts or tribunals are meaningful only if the individual concerned actually knows what has been done or decided.

Yet it is essential that the intelligence and security agencies have the community’s confidence. To this end, the agencies must act within the law, act with propriety, have regard for human rights, and be held accountable for their actions.

Origins and history

The creation of the Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security can be attributed in large measure to the pioneering work of the late Justice Robert Hope, an eminent jurist and at one time President of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties.

In both 1974 and 1983 the federal government of the day asked Justice Hope to comprehensively review the operations of the Australian intelligence community. These reviews were prompted by concerns that the constituent members of the intelligence community were not working together as effectively as they might and were not sufficiently responsive to ministerial direction and control. In establishing the reviews, the governments asked Justice Hope to consider the appropriateness of existing coordination arrangements and to review the machinery for ministerial and official oversight and control of the various agencies.

This was at a time when a proportion of the Australian population was convinced ASIO targeted socially progressive individuals and groups, regardless of whether they posed a real threat to national security. There was also the Murphy ‘raid’ on ASIO in 1973, motivated by a belief that ASIO was not fully informing the Attorney-General. Another notable event fostering such concerns was the so-called Combe–Ivanov affair. Further, about six months after Justice Hope began his second review an ASIS training exercise at the Sheraton Hotel in Melbourne went badly awry.[3] These incidents fuelled a perception that the intelligence and security agencies were out of control.

After lengthy and careful consideration, Justice Hope recommended that the intelligence community’s accountability would be improved if a specialist overseeing body were created.[4] The recommendation was accepted, and in due course the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1986 (Cth) was passed. The office came into existence on 1 February 1987.

Other influential factors bearing on the creation of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security were the important developments in administrative law that had occurred in the period between Justice Hope’s inquiries. The Commonwealth Parliament had enacted the following statutes:

• the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975;

• the Ombudsman Act 1976

• the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977

• the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

These Acts increased the rights of members of the public in relation to the following:

• appealing against government decisions on their merits—as opposed to the more narrow basis of a point of law

• complaining about the conduct of government agencies

• providing a clearer basis for judicial review of decisions made by government agencies and statutory offices

• obtaining information on which decisions were made and on the conduct of government generally.

The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) subsequently regulated the collection, storage and use of personal information about individuals by Commonwealth government agencies.

For the most part, the six agencies that now make up the Australian intelligence community were, and remain, partially or fully exempt from much of this administrative law regime. There are good reasons for this. The most obvious one is that it is necessary for the agencies to protect their sources, capabilities and methods if they are to function effectively, and this end is not served if matters of this kind are aired publicly. Despite this, however, it is not reasonable that these agencies should be exempt from scrutiny similar to that to which other government agencies are subject.

The passage of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act and the creation of the Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reflect government’s desire to ensure that all aspects of government administration are subject to adequate scrutiny and accountability.

The role of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security

The role of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is probably best encapsulated in comments made by the then Attorney-General, the Hon Lionel Bowen, during the second reading speech for the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Bill 1986:

We believe that the legislation establishes an Office which will … provide an independent oversight of the agencies’ activities, give the public a greater assurance that those activities are proper ones, and clear the agencies, or bring them to task, as the case may be, if allegations of improper conduct are made against them.[5]

The Inspector-General is appointed by the Governor-General and can be removed from office only by reason of misbehaviour, physical or mental incapacity, or in other limited circumstances.[6] To facilitate an apolitical approach, the legislation requires that before a recommendation for appointment is made to the Governor-General ‘the Prime Minister shall consult with the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives’.[7]

In brief, the focus of the Inspector-General is oversight and review of the Australian intelligence community agencies in four main areas:

• compliance with the law

• compliance with ministerial directions and guidelines

• propriety

• respect for human rights.[8]

This is principally achieved in one of two ways—the conduct of inspection activities, or the conduct of inquiries.[9]

The inspection function

An important aspect of the role of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is to conduct a proactive inspection program—rather than simply reacting to complaints or public controversies. This was part of Justice Hope’s vision for the position and was re-emphasised in March 1995, when Justice Gordon Samuels AC QC and Mr Michael Codd AC concluded a commission of inquiry into ASIS.[10]

In their report Justice Samuels and Mr Codd criticised the Inspector-General for devoting too much time to inquiries into staff and other grievances at the expense of the office’s general monitoring and oversight functions. In response, successive inspectors-general have reoriented the work of the office towards monitoring and oversight.

When considering the value of an inspection program it is interesting to compare this feature with judicial review, which tends to be intermittent and fractional. A proactive and thorough inspection program can have a strong normative effect on the behaviour of agencies. The Commonwealth Ombudsman has also noted this in connection with similar activities undertaken by his office in the law enforcement field:

My own experience is that compliance auditing of this kind is a highly effective and low cost mechanism for ensuring strict compliance with statutory procedures that are grounded in the ideals of rule of law and rights protection. Importantly, too, I have seen how the systematic nature of this oversight has induced a culture of compliance within the law enforcement agencies; this is now anchored in the development of internal procedures for rigorous quality assurance and legal compliance, and in active support shown by senior law enforcement managers for the Ombudsman’s oversight role.[11]

The inspection program

Overall, 60 to 70 per cent of the resources of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security are now devoted to proactive inspection activities. Each inspection program is agency specific and is especially tailored with an eye to the mandate and functions of the agency in question.

The Inspector-General has traditionally devoted more resources to monitoring the activities of ASIO than to any of the other agencies. This situation is unlikely to change, simply because ASIO has a domestic focus and so has the greatest potential to impinge on the rights of Australians. The broad categories of ASIO activity the Inspector-General monitors are as follows:

• use of questioning and detention warrants obtained under s 34D of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 (Cth)[12]

• all other instances where warrants have been issued to ASIO under either the ASIO Act or the Telecommunication (Interceptions) Act 1979 (Cth)

• all requests within the organisation for authority to investigate individuals or groups

• access to and use of financial transaction reporting information obtained from AUSTRAC (the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre)

• access to and use of taxation information obtained from the Australian Taxation Office

• provision of information to and liaison with law enforcement agencies

• the official use of alternative documentation to support assumed identities

• compliance with the Archives Act 1983 (Cth).

In relation to ASIO search warrants, the inspection program involves regular visits to inspect the documentation for all warrants. Thorough checking is done on the following aspects:

• whether the intelligence or security case ASIO has made in support of an application meets the legislative requirements

• that the people named in warrants are in fact those of interest to ASIO

• that appropriate internal approvals for the request have been obtained

• the individuals to whom the Director-General has given authority to execute the warrant or to communicate information obtained from a warrant

• the Attorney-General’s approval, when obtained

• that reports to the Attorney-General of the outcome of executed warrants are factual and have been provided in a timely manner

• that the activity concerned did not begin before or continue after the period approved by the Attorney-General.

As an additional safeguard, the Inspector-General and staff also periodically review a sample of operational management files related to particular warrants, so as to monitor the practical effects of the execution of some warrants.

After each inspection the Inspector-General writes to the Director-General of Security, commenting on the results and noting any matters requiring attention. ASIO usually responds to such comments and often changes its guidelines and practices as a result.

Search warrants can also be the subject of complaints to the Inspector-General. A number of such complaints were finalised in 2003–04. The main allegation made in the majority of these complaints was that those present when the warrants were executed had in effect been detained and prevented from going about their normal business. Search warrants do not authorise the detention of people, and if people whose premises are being searched wish to leave they are at liberty to do so.

As noted in the Inspector-General’s 2003–04 annual report[13], investigations of the complaints found no evidence that ASIO tried to prevent, or actually prevented, people leaving the premises in question. In fact, there were instances of residents and visitors entering and leaving the premises during the search process.

There were, however, two instances where the Inspector-General recommended payment of compensation. In one case a computer was seized but not returned in the condition it was in when seized; compensation was paid. In the second case the search took place at premises other than those specified in the warrant; compensation has now been settled.

Questioning and detention warrants

Given the controversial nature of questioning and detention warrants issued under s 34D of the ASIO Act, it is worth touching on the role the Inspector-General plays in this regard.

The Parliament passed the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2003 (Cth) on 26 June 2003. The practical effect of this Act was to insert a new division into Part III of the ASIO Act, permitting the Director-General of Security, with the Attorney-General’s consent, to seek a warrant authorising the questioning or detention of a person where doing so would substantially assist the collection of intelligence in relation to a terrorism offence. These provisions were amended by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment Act 2003 (Cth), which was passed by the Parliament on 5 December 2003. There is a three-year sunset clause in the legislation.

The Inspector-General and his staff examine the warrant documentation for s 34D warrants in a manner similar to that used for other warrants. The Inspector-General or a senior member of the office also attends questioning sessions nominated by the Inspector-General. Among the various safeguards in the legislation are the following:

• Section 34E(1)(e)(i) of the ASIO Act requires the ‘prescribed authority’ (who supervises the questioning and is usually a former judge) to explain to the subject of a s 34D warrant that they have the right to make a complaint to the Inspector-General about ASIO, either orally or in writing.

• Section 34HA provides that, where the Inspector-General has a concern about impropriety or illegality in connection with the exercise of powers under a warrant, he (or she) may raise that concern with the prescribed authority, who must take account of the Inspector-General’s concern.

• Section 34Q details those materials ASIO is required to provide to the Inspector-General in respect of s 34D warrants. These materials include a copy of any draft requests for a warrant given to the Attorney-General, any warrants issued, a copy of any video recording made of the questioning of subjects, and a statement containing details of any seizure, taking into custody, or detention.

• Section 34QA imposes a reporting requirement on the Inspector-General where multiple warrants involving detention are issued in respect of an individual.

Practical experience with these safeguards is detailed in written and oral submissions presented to a review conducted by the then Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD in 2005.[14]

In the experience of this office to date, the subjects of the warrants have all been treated humanely (as required by s 34J). The questioning has been conducted in an appropriate manner and the individuals who have been the subject of questioning have been accorded dignity and respect. The Parliamentary Joint Committee viewed video recordings of some of the questioning sessions and commented that the questioning was ‘very formal and certainly polite and dispassionate, if persistent’.[15]

Although ASIO has acted appropriately to date, the Inspector-General made a number of suggestions to improve protection of the rights of individuals subject to a warrant—for example, automatic access to legal aid and greater capacity for their legal representatives to address the prescribed authority, who supervises the questioning, on procedural and related matters. The suggestions were generally adopted by the Parliamentary Committee.[16]

Having regard to the role detention has played historically in oppression, the Inspector-General also supported retention of a sunset clause but noted that a six- or even nine-year point (with periodic reviews by the Parliamentary Committee in the meantime) would be suitable. In the Inspector-General’s view, current threats are not transitory, it can be very difficult to collect intelligence on terrorist planning by more conventional means, and ASIO has been responsible in its use of the warrants to date. The Committee recommended a five-year sunset clause.[17]

The inquiry function

About 30 to 40 per cent of the Inspector-General’s resources are devoted to inquiry work. In respect of ASIO, ASIS, DSD and DIGO an inquiry can be triggered by a complaint, a ministerial request, or an own-motion review.

Until recently, inquiries into ONA and DIO could be triggered only by a ministerial request. When the Intelligence Services Legislation Amendment Act 2005 (Cth) came into effect on 2 December 2005 this situation changed as a consequence of recommendations made by Mr Philip Flood AO after his Inquiry into Australian Intelligence Agencies.[18] In his public report Mr Flood specifically recommended as follows:

The mandate of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security should be extended to allow IGIS to initiate inquiries at his or her own discretion into matters relating to ONA and DIO without ministerial referral, consistent with the IGIS jurisdiction in respect of ASIO, ASIS and DSD. The Inspector-General should also conduct a periodic review of ONA’s statutory independence.[19]

The primary considerations were as follows:

While it is fully understood that assessment agencies do not have the capacity to infringe the liberties of individuals in the way that collection agencies do, it is still appropriate for the Inspector-General to have authority in relation to ONA and DIO. There is significant public interest in the activities of the assessment agencies, and recent cases have highlighted the questions that can arise about the propriety of the assessment agencies’ activities, particularly from within their own ranks. It would be difficult for these questions to be dealt with by the normal public service processes, in view of the sensitivity and security issues involved … The mandate of the Inspector-General should, however, relate to the propriety and legality of ONA and DIO’s activities; and should not extend to judgments about the accuracy of their assessments.[20]

Mr Flood further commented:

A vital element of the product quality question is independence. ONA argues that its Act represents a strong protection of its independence, and that this is supported by the culture of the organisation and its relationships with ministerial staff. The Inquiry finds this argument persuasive but not sufficient. Given the nature of the assessment business, where individuals’ judgments are a key factor in the final product, and ONA’s direct line of responsibility to the Prime Minister, with the consequent potential for charges of political influence, there is a need for some external process to ensure independence is preserved, and is seen to be so.[21]

Powers and capacity

The manner in which inquiries by the Inspector-General must be conducted is prescribed in ss 1520 of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act. An important feature that is sometimes not recognised is that the Inspector-General can, and does, use royal commission powers when conducting a full inquiry.

These powers mean witnesses can be compelled to appear before the Inspector-General and must answer—and answer truthfully—questions put to them. Similarly, the Inspector-General can compel the production of documents. It is an offence to not comply with these requirements, although ‘use immunity’ exists for the person providing information, producing a document or answering questions. [22] The Inspector-General also has the capacity to enter agency premises.

It is also important to appreciate that, when necessary, the Inspector-General can have access to resources beyond those staff in his office on a continuing basis. For example, in 2004 the Inspector-General inquired into an allegation that there was a deliberate cut in the access of several Defence Force intelligence officers attached to the INTERFET force in Dili, East Timor, to a particular intelligence database hosted by DIO. To ascertain definitively how the access was lost, the Inspector-General used the services of two IT forensic experts from a part of the Defence Department that is not within the Inspector-General’s jurisdiction.

Notable inquiries

The following are examples of notable inquiries under the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act and their primary results:

The Wispelaere espionage case (1999). This led to major improvements in the personnel and other security practices of agencies.[23]

Whether DSD had foreknowledge of the dangers confronted by the Balibo five (2000). The allegations were found to be based on incomplete, and in some cases garbled, information. Although there was intelligence material relating to journalists in Timor, it was not of the nature alleged. All relevant intelligence was provided to government, and there was no evidence of any removal of records.[24]

Allegations about DIO by Lt Col Lance Collins (2000 and 2004). Although there was not an attempt to ‘quash’ Collins’ views and DIO assessments were not ‘pro-Jakarta’, there had been a deliberate cut in the access of Australian intelligence staff attached to the INTERFET force in Dili to a DIO database.[25]

Whether the intelligence community had intelligence warning of the Bali bombings (2002). None of the intelligence available could be construed as possibly providing warning of the attack.[26]

Allegations about DSD’s conduct in respect of the Tampa affair (2002). Although DSD did not deliberately target Australian people, four end-product reports that included incidentally collected material on Australian people were in breach of the then applicable Rules on Sigint and Australian Persons. An apology was sent to the three Australians whose communications were reported.[27]

The Inspector-General does not have determinative or directive powers but can make recommendations as a result of inquiries conducted under the aegis of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act. These recommendations can include the payment of compensation, remedial action, or the offering of formal apologies. Justice Hope saw determinative or directive powers as potentially confusing the executive responsibility and accountability of the agency head. Moreover, if the Inspector-General is the author or part-author of particular arrangements, it potentially affects the Inspector-General’s capacity to be an objective, independent critic of those arrangements or the results they produce.

It must also be noted that the agencies in question and the Ministers responsible for them take the recommendations of the Inspector-General very seriously and have shown a willingness to effect change when this is recommended. For example, compensation was recommended in a case where an asylum seeker was detained for much longer than they otherwise would have been because of a defective security assessment by ASIO. A substantial amount of compensation was subsequently paid. In addition, procedures were improved, additional training was conducted, and other existing adverse assessments were reviewed.[28]

Although it has not been invoked to date, there is provision within the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act for the Inspector-General to raise any concerns about inaction in respect of formal recommendations with the responsible Minister or the Prime Minister.[29] It is also open to the Inspector-General to make those concerns public via his annual report to Parliament.

It is this ability to draw the attention of Parliament and Ministers (and through them the media and the community) to particular matters that means the Inspector-General can help ensure his findings and recommendations result in change. Some might argue that only the capacity to overturn or amend government decisions or actions constitutes effective oversight, but a more sophisticated perspective on how government is kept in check must recognise the importance of the roles played by the Parliament and the media.

Other accountability mechanisms

As noted, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD was established by s 28 of the Intelligence Services Act 2001 (Cth) to provide an additional layer of parliamentary scrutiny of the activities of those agencies. The Committee’s remit was expanded to include ONA, DIO and DIGO with the coming into effect of the Intelligence Services Legislation Amendment Act 2005 (Cth) on 2 December 2005. The Committee is now called the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

Although the functions of the Committee are generally limited to reviewing matters of finance and administration[30], the Committee can range beyond this limitation when asked to do so by a responsible Minister or upon a resolution of either House of Parliament.[31] The Committee’s remit is specified in this way to reduce the risk of unnecessary or inappropriate duplication of effort with the Inspector-General, who is principally concerned with overseeing the operational activities of the Australian intelligence community.

The Inspector-General has met with the Committee regularly to brief it on his activities and to provide a specialist input and perspective to the Committee’s various reviews. This will continue. The functions of the Inspector-General and the Committee are complementary, and the relationship to date has been cordial and constructive.

In addition to Parliamentary scrutiny, the members of the Australian intelligence community, like all government agencies, are subject to review by the Commonwealth Auditor-General. The Auditor-General also complements the review activities of the Inspector-General, as recognised by s 16 of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act:

The Inspector-General shall, before commencing an inquiry into a matter relating to an agency, have regard to the functions of the Auditor-General in relation to that agency and may consult with the Auditor-General in relation to that matter with a view to avoiding inquiries being conducted into that matter by both the Inspector-General and the Auditor-General.

Another integrity and accountability body that must be taken into account is the Commonwealth Ombudsman. Although the activities of the intelligence community do not ordinarily fall within the purview of the Ombudsman, the Ombudsman will necessarily be exposed to the intelligence community in instances where the agencies concerned interact with other Commonwealth agencies. For example, when executing entry and search warrants, ASIO frequently has operational support from the Australian Federal Police. The Commonwealth Ombudsman does not have jurisdiction over ASIO but does have jurisdiction over the AFP.

Although the Inspector-General traditionally has had very strong links and good relations with the Ombudsman[32], the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act has recently been amended so that the Ombudsman is placed on the same footing as the Auditor-General in relation to consultation.[33]

In addition to the Inspector-General and the external accountability review bodies just described, individuals who are aggrieved by certain actions of the Australian intelligence community have recourse to the Security Appeals Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal[34] and ultimately to the Federal Court system.


The salient features of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security mechanism are as follows:

• The position is independent and apolitical.

• There is a thorough and rigorous inspection program that identifies matters of potential concern and has a substantial normative effect.

• When conducting an inquiry the Inspector-General can, and does, use royal commission powers.

• There have been a number of high-profile inspections (for example, ASIO warrants) and inquiries (for example, Tampa) in recent years.

These features confirm that integrity and accountability measures beyond the courts play a vital part in ensuring the rule of law in Australia. And, when account is taken of the Parliamentary Joint Committee, the Commonwealth Auditor-General, the Commonwealth Ombudsman, the Security Appeals Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Federal Court and the High Court, it is clear that ASIO and the wider Australian intelligence community are subject to significant external scrutiny.

[*] Ian Carnell is Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security; Neville Bryan is Principal Investigator, Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. This is a modified version of a paper presented at the Safeguarding Australia 2005 conference, held in Canberra on 12–14 July 2005.

[1] McMillan, J 2005, ‘The ombudsman and the rule of law’ AIAL Forum, vol. 44, pp. 1, 3.

[2] Some commentators, such as the Honourable JJ Spigelman and Professor Ackerman, have even suggested that integrity and accountability agencies constitute a fourth arm of government—equivalent to the legislature, executive and judiciary. See Spigelman, JJ 2004, ‘Jurisdiction and integrity’, (speech delivered for the second lecture in the 2004 National Lecture Series of the Australian Institute of Administrative Law, Adelaide, 5 August). See also Ackerman, B 2000, ‘The new separation of powers’, Harvard Law Review, vol. 113, pp. 633, 694.

[3] Royal Commission on Australia’s Security and Intelligence Agencies 1984, Report on the Sheraton Hotel Incident. See also Grabosky, PN 1989, ‘Caught in the act: the ASIS raid’, in PN Grabosky (ed.), Wayward Governance: illegality and its control in the public sector, p. 129.

[4] Royal Commission on Australia’s Security and Intelligence Agencies 1984, General Report, para 3.26.

[5] Commonwealth of Australia 1986, Parliamentary Debates, House of Representatives, Canberra, 22 May, p. 3703.

[6] Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1986 s 30.

[7] Ibid s 6.

[8] Ibid ss 4, 8.

[9] Ibid ss 8, 9, 9A.

[10] Commission of Inquiry into the Australian Secret Intelligence Service 1995, Report on the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (Public Edition), Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.

[11] McMillan, J 2005, op. cit., pp. 1, 7–8.

[12] The Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD has recently conducted a review of Division 3, Part III, of the Act as a consequence of s 34Y of that Act, which dictates that, unless renewed, this division ceases to have effect three years after it comes into effect.

[13] All annual reports are available at <>.

[14] Written submissions to the review of ASIO’s questioning and detention powers are available at <>. The Committee’s remit was extended to include ONA, DIO and DIGO on 2 December 2005, leading the Committee to be retitled the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

[15] Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD 2005, Review of Division 3 Part III of the ASIO Act 1979—questioning and detention powers, PJCAAD, Canberra, para 1.44.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ibid paras 6.23–6.36.

[18] Flood, P 2005, Report of the Inquiry into Australian Intelligence Agencies, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.

[19] Ibid p. 180.

[20] Ibid p. 59.

[21] Ibid p. 105.

[22] The information, the document produced or the answer to the question is not admissible in evidence against the person in any court or in any proceedings before a person authorised to hear evidence (except in a prosecution for an offence such as refusing to answer a question). See Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1986 (Cth) s 18.

[23] Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security 2001, Annual Report 2000–01, IGIS, Canberra, p. 39.

[24] Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security 2002, Annual Report 2001–02, IGIS, Canberra, Annex 3.

[25] Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security 2005, Annual Report 2004–05, IGIS, Canberra, pp. 38–40, Annex 3, Annex 4.

[26] Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security 2003, Annual Report 2002–03, IGIS, Canberra, Annex 2.

[27] Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security 2002, op. cit., Annex 2.

[28] Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security 2000, Annual Report 1999–2000, IGIS, Canberra; Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security 2004, Annual Report 2003–04, IGIS, Canberra; The Age, 10 November 2004.

[29] Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1986 (Cth) s 24(2).

[30] See Intelligence Services Act 2001 (Cth) s 29.

[31] An example of this is that the Parliamentary Committee conducted an inquiry into intelligence on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction following a Senate resolution dated 18 June 2003.

[32] The third Inspector-General, Mr Ron McLeod AM, was appointed Commonwealth Ombudsman in 1998, following his term as Inspector-General. The fourth Inspector-General, Mr Bill Blick PSM, was previously a Senior Assistant Ombudsman.

[33] See Intelligence Services Legislation Amendment Act 2005 (Cth) ss 18–20 (sch 2).

[34] The Security Appeals Division reviews adverse and qualified security assessments made by ASIO—for example, about individuals who are in Commonwealth employment and require a security clearance in order to perform that work or individuals who have their passport cancelled.

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