The year 2005-2006 in prospect

The following is a summary of the main activities planned for 2005–06.

Inspection Activity

ASIO

All requests for warrants and associated documentation will be examined. In selected cases we will follow up by seeking full details of investigations carried out under warrant, including examining the relevant files and, if necessary, discussing operations with the responsible ASIO officers. Special checks on telephone numbers which are being intercepted will also be carried out.

I and a senior member of my staff will continue to attend the questioning of persons who are the subject of warrants issued under section 34D of the ASIO Act. The timing and duration of attendance at these questioning sessions will be determined on a case by case basis, having regard to a variety of factors, including whether the subject has legal representation.

In relation to ASIO’s execution of warrants for overt searches, I will continue to pursue the development of agreed procedural guidelines involving ASIO, the Commonwealth Ombudsman, the AFP and state/territory police services.

All requests for authorities to investigate (ATIs) generated in ASIO’s central office and as many ATIs as possible on visits to ASIO’s regional offices will be examined. The files on which actions resulting from the ATIs are recorded will also be examined.

We will continue monitoring ASIO’s access to, and use of, AUSTRAC and taxation records, to ensure compliance with the legislation and the MOUs under which this access is provided.

ASIO’s procedures for controlling the use of alternative documentation associated with assumed identities will be reviewed.

We will also continue to monitor ASIO’s performance with regard to its obligations under the Archives Act 1983.

I will make presentations to ASIO training courses on ethics and accountability. I also intend observing other ASIO training activities.

ASIO’s internal audit program will be monitored and I will obtain reports on reviews that are of interest to this office.

ASIS

Each ASIS submission to the Minister for Foreign Affairs seeking a ministerial authorisation under the ISA will be reviewed.

We will continue to inspect operational files having regard to the legality and propriety of the conduct of ASIS officers.

Records relevant to ASIS’s compliance with the privacy rules will be inspected, and I will meet with relevant ASIS staffregularly to discuss related issues.

The application of the guidelines and protocols associated with the provision of, training in, and use of weapons and self defence techniques by ASIS staffwill be closely monitored.

ASIS’s procedures for controlling the use of alternative documentation associated with assumed identities will be reviewed.

I will continue to address ASIS training courses and other forums on accountability. I will also continue to meet with ASIS officers before they proceed on postings to reinforce that they are subject to internal and external scrutiny and are accountable for their conduct.

DSD

Each DSD submission to the Minister for Defence seeking a ministerial authorisation under the ISA will be reviewed.

We will continue to monitor DSD’s compliance with its obligations under the DSD privacy rules.

We will meet key DSD staffon a monthly basis to discuss issues arising out of our monitoring activities, and policy issues affecting compliance, as they arise. I expect DSD to continue to consult me on a range of operational matters and my office will provide prompt advice on issues related to legality and propriety.

I will continue to address DSD training courses and other forums on accountability.

DIGO

My staff and I intend to assist DIGO’s incorporation into the ISA framework in whatever way we appropriately can.

Should the ISLA Bill 2005 be passed, we will review all ministerial authorisations which are sought by DIGO, for compliance with the requirements of the ISA.

We plan to assist DIGO in the development and implementation of new privacy rules, to replace the existing Rules Governing DIGO’s Activities in respect of Australia and Australians, consistent with the requirements of the ISA.

All tasking requests which are levied on or by DIGO in respect of Australian territory or Australian interests, will be reviewed.

The frequency of our scheduled visits to DIGO Headquarters will increase from quarterly to at least bi-monthly, in respect of the above activities, and to discuss matters of common interest with relevant DIGO senior managers.

ONA

We will assist ONA in the development of privacy rules, with a view to ensuring that the rules are consistent with those in use elsewhere in the AIC.

Subject to the ISLA Bill being passed, I will periodically review ONA’s statutory independence.

DIO

We will assist DIO in the development of privacy rules, with a view to ensuring that the rules are consistent with those in use elsewhere in the AIC.

Subject to the ISLA Bill being passed, activities consistent with the objective of testing the independence of DIO’s assessments will be conducted.

Inquiries and Complaints

Five inquiries under the IGIS Act were in progress at the close of the reporting year. I expect to conclude investigations into each of these cases during the first half of the new reporting year.

It is not possible to predict future inquiry workload but there is no reason to expect any significant departure from previous years’ patterns.

Legislative Review

Section 4(3)(b) of the Security Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2002 (SLAT Act) requires the establishment of a committee, which includes the Inspector-General as an ex-officio member, to review the operation, effectiveness and implications of amendments made by the SLAT Act.

The proposed Counter-Terrorism Legislative Review Committee was still to be established at the end of the 2004–05 but will be active in 2005–06.

 


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