Parliamentary Oversight

The Intelligence Services Act 2001 established the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS).  The functions of this committee are primarily:

  • to review the administration and expenditure of ASIO, ASIS, AGO, DIO, ASD and ONA, including the annual financial statements of ASIO, ASIS, AGO, DIO, ASD and ONA;
  • to review any matter in relation to ASIO, ASIS, AGO, DIO, ASD or ONA referred to the Committee by the responsible Minister; or  a resolution of either House of the Parliament; and
  • to report the Committee’s comments and recommendations to each House of the Parliament and to the responsible Minister.

Further information on the PJCIS including the full functions of the Committee is available on the PJCIS website.

The IGIS and the intelligence agencies are also subject to scrutiny by Senate Estimates committees on their budget allocations and issues relevant to their functions.

ASIO and IGIS produce annual reports which are tabled in the Parliament.  The activities of ASD, DIO and AGO are referred to in the Department of Defence annual report, while ONA and ASIS do not produce public annual reports.

The IGIS annual reports record among other things the number and nature of complaints to the IGIS and the monitoring activities undertaken by the IGIS.  Where possible the IGIS annual reports include as annexes major inquiry results released publicly.

Diagram depicting Australian Intelligence Community accountability relationships - DOCX 43KB | PDF 15KB