Annex 2 – Executive summary of IGIS Inquiry into ONA's Statutory Independence
- This formal inquiry (conducted pursuant to section 8 of the Inspector–General of Intelligence and Security Act 1986) examined matters relating to the statutory independence of the Office of National Assessments (ONA) in the period January 2008 – December 2009.
- The Inspector–General of Intelligence and Security Act 1986 requires periodic reviews of the statutory independence of the Office of National Assessments (ONA) to be conducted.
- The inquiry included:
- examination of selected assessments and associated records
- analysis of ONA’s internal reviews of assessments
- examination of selected communications between the Director–General and the Prime Minister
- an open invitation to all ONA staff to speak confidentially with me if they wished
- analysis of relevant questions asked in ONA staff surveys
- interviews with selected staff.
- I found no indication or evidence of improper attempts to direct or influence ONA assessments (including by any policy department).
- Analysts have high levels of confidence in the independence and integrity of the assessments, a confidence which has strengthened over a number of years.
- Record keeping on the development of each assessment has improved (as has endnoting (ie. source referencing).
- The Director–General is taking initiatives to enhance ONA’s engagement with experts outside ONA.
- The Director–General is refining the internal process for review of key judgements so that longer term judgements are reviewed at a more appropriate time.
- Given these findings no formal recommendations are necessary.
4 March 2010