Public Reports

The Inspector-General provides a report to the responsible minister at the end of each inquiry.

A summary of the report will usually be included in the Inspector-General’s next annual report to the Parliament. The responsible minister may also agree to the public release of information about a particular report at an earlier time. When that occurs, the information is placed on this web page.

Reports released to the public on this page are prepared on the basis that they will contain as much information as possible, while satisfying the requirement that they do not prejudice security, the defence of Australia, Australia’s relations with other countries, law enforcement operations or the privacy of individuals.

Inquiry into the management of the case of Mr E and related matters

In June 2013 the then Prime Minister asked me to conduct an inquiry into the management of the case of a particular Egyptian irregular maritime arrival who was the subject of an Interpol red notice and, more generally, into the management by Australian government agencies of persons seeking asylum who present complex security issues.

The inquiry has been completed and the final report was provided to the Prime Minister on 24 January 2014. The report is classified making its distribution strictly limited. However, given the significant public interest in the outcomes of this inquiry, the Prime Minister has agreed to the public release of an abridged version of the report: Inquiry into the management of the case of Mr E and related matters – PDF 400KB | DOC - 1.2MB

Lawyers at interviews Inquiry

In May 2013, following a complaint, I initiated an inquiry into the attendance of legal representatives at ASIO interviews. The inquiry has been completed and the final report has been provided to the Attorney-General. Download the public report - DOCX 1.1MB | PDF 198KB.

ASIS Weapons Inquiry

On 15 April 2013, I initiated an inquiry into the provision of weapons and the training in and use of weapons and self-defence techniques by the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS). The inquiry has been completed and on 29 November 2013 the final report was provided to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. unclassified executive summary - Docx 1MB | PDF 30KB

Habib Inquiry

In January 2011, at the request of the Prime Minister, I initiated an inquiry into the actions of relevant Australian government agencies in relation to the arrest and detention overseas of Mr Mamdouh Habib from 2001 to 2005. The inquiry has been completed and on 19 December 2011 the final report was provided to the Prime Minister. The report is highly classified making its distribution strictly limited. However, given the significant public interest in the outcomes of this inquiry, the Prime Minister has agreed to the public release of an abridged version of the report.

Inquiry into the actions of Australian government agencies in relation to the arrest and detention overseas of Mr Mamdouh Habib from 2001 to 2005 - PDF 775KB | RTF 3.21MB

Vivienne Thom
Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security

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DSA Inquiry

On 1 June 2011 I announced the commencement of an inquiry into allegations of inappropriate vetting practices by the Defence Security Authority. The inquiry has been completed and on 23 December 2011 the final report was provided to the Prime Minister and to the Minister for Defence. Defence Security Authority Inquiry Report – PDF 345KB | RTF 2.85MB

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DSD/Minister for Defence Inquiry

On 26 March 2009 allegations appeared in the media that an individual or individuals employed by the Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) may have improperly accessed information technology used by the Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP as part of a covert investigation into the Minister’s activities and associations.  On 27 March 2009 the Inspector-General initiated, of his own motion, an inquiry into these allegations.  The inquiry report was released publicly on 3 June 2009.  Defence Inquiry Report - PDF 96KB| RTF 609KB

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Ul-Haque Inquiry

During 2008 the Inspector-General conducted an inquiry into the actions taken by ASIO in 2003 in respect of Mr Izhar Ul-Haque following the dismissal of charges against Mr Ul-Haque in the NSW Supreme Court and criticism of two ASIO officers by that court. The Ul-Haque Inquiry - PDF 265KB | RTF 848KB

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DIO Inquiry

In 2008 the Inspector-General initiated an own-motion inquiry into the integrity of DIO assessment activity. During the course of the inquiry concern was expressed about pressure on DIO in relation to its input to the Defence White Paper process. The Inspector-General finalised his report in September 2008 and the executive summary and recommendations are unclassified. Executive Summary and Recommendations – PDF 23KB | RTF 146KB

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ONA Inquiry

During 2007 the Inspector-General conducted a formal inquiry, building on his 2006 inspection work, into the independence and integrity of ONA assessments. A report was provided to the Prime Minister in December 2007 and the key judgements section is unclassified. Key judgements – PDF 17KB | RTF 91KB

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Organisational Suitability Assessment Inquiry

During 2008 the Inspector-General conducted a formal inquiry which examined the existing Organisational Suitability Assessment (OSA) policies, procedures and practices in the three Defence intelligence agencies – DIGO, DIO and DSD.  Executive Summary - PDF 92KB | RTF 59KB

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ONA Review

Legislative amendments to the IGIS Act in 2005 allowed IGIS to review the independence and integrity of ONA’s assessment work.  In 2006 the IGIS conducted an inspection and the report of his findings was sent to the Prime Minister, the Director-General of ONA and the Secretary of PMC on 15 December 2006. Executive Summary - PDF 27KB | RTF 47KB

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Rhuhel Ahmed Inquiry

The Inspector-General received a written complaint on 27 November 2006 from a member of the public who was concerned about the denial of a visa to Mr Rhuhel Ahmed, the effect of which was to deny Mr Ahmed entry into Australia. The decision to deny Mr Ahmed a visa was made on the basis of an adverse security assessment made of Mr Ahmed by ASIO.  Mr Ahmed, who is a United Kingdom national, had planned to visit Australia to promote the cinema release of a new film “The Road to Guantanamo”.  The complainant who wrote to the Inspector-General expressed concern that the ASIO assessment may have been politically driven to avoid embarrassment to the Australian and American governments over issues such as the continuing detention of Mr David Hicks at Guantanamo Bay. The Inspector-General decided to conduct an inquiry into the matter and the report into the Rhuhel Ahmed - PDF 117KB | RTF 100KB case was published in March 2007.

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Parkin Inquiry

In September 2005 the Inspector-General received a number of complaints about the treatment of Mr Scott Parkin, a US citizen in Australia on a temporary visa who had been detained and removed from Australia after ASIO issued an adverse security assessment and his visa was cancelled. The essence of the complaints had been that such action by ASIO was wrong as Mr Parkin was said to be a proponent of non-violent direct action and peaceful civil disobedience against the war in Iraq.  This raised the question of whether ASIO had acted in accordance with section 17A of the ASIO Act, which requires that the functions of ASIO must not be carried out so as to “limit the right of persons to engage in lawful advocacy, protest or dissent and the exercise of that right shall not, by itself, be regarded as prejudicial to security”. The Inspector-General decided to conduct an ‘own motion’ inquiry and the report into the Parkin Inquiry - PDF 176KB | RTF 80KB matter was published in November 2005.

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Second Collins Inquiry

On 20 December 1999 several ADF intelligence officers attached to the INTERFET force in Dili, East Timor, lost access to a particular intelligence database hosted by the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO). In April 2004, following subsequent representations to the then Minister for Defence by one of these officers, Lieutenant Colonel Lance Collins, the Chief of the Defence Force provided the Inspector-General with various papers associated with a redress of grievance by Lt Col Collins. These and other available relevant papers were examined to consider whether the previous inquiry should be re-opened and whether there were any other issues which might be within jurisdiction.  On the advice of the Inspector-General the Defence Minister then requested the Inspector-General, pursuant to section 8(3)(a) of the IGIS Act, to inquire into how and why the loss of access occurred. Subsequently, the Inspector-General published a second, abridged, Collins Report - PDF 189KB | RTF 97KB

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Brereton Inquiry

This inquiry came about as a result of allegations in the Australian media relating to DSD cooperation with an investigation into leaks of intelligence material in 1999-2000.  It had been alleged that ‘the nation’s most powerful spy agency, the Defence Signals Directorate, eavesdropped on Labor’s foreign affairs spokesman, Laurie Brereton, as part of an investigation into material leaked on the East Timor militia rampages in 1999’.  The Inspector-General decided to conduct an inquiry and the report on the so-called Brereton Affair - PDF 188KB | RTF 87KB was published on 30 April 2003.

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Bali Bombing

Shortly after the terrorist bomb attack in Bali on 12 October 2002, and following suggestions in the media that there had been intelligence available prior to the attack, the Prime Minister asked the Inspector-General to review all relevant intelligence available to Australian intelligence and security agencies, and associated following intelligence assessment processes, to establish whether there was any information that warned of the bomb attack in Bali on 12 October 2002.  The AFP was included in this inquiry.  The Inspector-General published his report on the Bali Bombing - PDF 86KB | RTF 64KB in December 2002.

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Tampa Inquiry

On 12 February 2002 various newspapers published allegations that DSD had illegally or improperly intercepted communications between Australian persons and the MV Tampa in August September 2001. On 13 February the Minister for Defence requested that the Inspector-General verify the details of a briefing note he had received from the Director DSD on this subject.   On 2 May 2002 the Inspector-General published an unclassified summary of his report on the so-called Tampa Affair - PDF 20KB | RTF 51KB

Balibo 5 Inquiry

In April 2000 the Minister for Defence asked the Inspector-General to inquire into allegations that intelligence information relevant to the deaths of five newsmen at Balibo on 16 October 1975 had not been acted on.  The report on the so-called Balibo 5 Inquiry - PDF 166KB | RTF 68KB inquiry was published in September 2001.

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Jenkins Inquiry

In October 2000 the Inspector-General commissioned Mr A.S. Blunn AO to inquire into the propriety and proper conduct of the investigation of alleged breaches of security by the late Mr Jenkins.  Mr Blunn was required to encompass the circumstances leading to the conduct of the investigation and whether the investigation was conducted in accordance with Commonwealth procedures.  He was further asked to comment on any other relevant matters that came to his attention in the course of his inquiries, including matters raised by Mr Jenkins’ widow. The Inspector-General published an abridged version of Mr Blunn’s report on the Jenkins Inquiry - PDF 271KB | RTF 375KB case in December 2000.

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First Collins Inquiry

Lieutenant Colonel Collins, of the Australian Defence Force, wrote to the Minister for Defence on 6 December 2000, expressing concerns about the Australian defence intelligence system. On 20 December 2000, the Minister asked the Inspector-General to investigate, report and make recommendations in respect of the issues raised by Lieutenant Colonel Collins. The Inspector-General published a declassified version of the Collins Report - PDF 97KB | RTF 89KB in May 2000.

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