You are here:

Activity 7: Presentations and outreach

Undertaking presentations to new and existing employees of intelligence agencies to ensure awareness and understanding of their responsibilities and accountability

Introduction

Each year, the office conducts a range of activities aimed at engaging with new and existing employees of intelligence agencies to help ensure awareness and understanding of their responsibilities and accountability. This engagement has included discussions with agency heads as well as presentations delivered to staff in the intelligence agencies, and other related agencies.

Quantitative performance measures

The following metric, identified in the OIGIS Corporate Plan 2015–19, was used to support the quantitative assessment of our performance in relation to this activity:

  • number of outreach activities.

In the reporting period, we delivered a total of 27 presentations. Of these, 13 were to staff in the intelligence agencies, including in regional offices and other sites outside of Canberra; and 14 were to external groups. The number of presentations delivered has increased on previous years. This is indicative of a deliberate strategy to increase our outreach to external groups.

Discussion

Agency engagement

The Inspector-General meets regularly with intelligence agency heads and their senior staff to discuss current issues or concerns, and to highlight issues arising from inspection and inquiry activities. Agencies typically also use these discussions to brief the office on emerging risks or potential concerns and how they plan to respond to these challenges.

These discussions enhance awareness of each intelligence agency's operational environment and also provide a forum to resolve issues informally without the need for extended or time consuming correspondence.

Each agency has also established regular points of contact to facilitate our visits and to coordinate our various requirements, while within our office, designated officers lead interactions with each intelligence agency. The designation of these coordination points does not limit our capacity to speak with anyone else in the organisation when required, and indeed goes a long way to ensuring that our requirements are met in a full and prompt manner. We would like to express appreciation to our regular points of contact within each agency for assisting our work during the 2015–16 reporting period.

Outreach

Presentations delivered to staff in the intelligence agencies, and other related agencies, provide an opportunity to explain the role and functions of the office and to discuss matters relating to compliance, professionalism, accountability and ethical conduct.

The Inspector-General continued the practice of meeting with ASIS heads of station and other officers from intelligence agencies before they are posted to remind them of the functions of the office and explore any particular challenges they anticipate, depending on the particular locations and operations at their post.

In the reporting period, the Inspector-General was invited to address several leadership groups that were external to the intelligence agencies, including the Senior Executive Development Program of the Australian National Security College, the 2016 Conference on Designing Effective and Innovative Public Policy in a Complex Environment, and the Women Leaders in Public Sector Forum.

During February and March 2016, the Inspector-General addressed several legal and judicial groups, including both High Court Judges and Federal Court Judges, and the Law Council of Australia. These forums provide a valuable opportunity to increase awareness and understanding of the role of the office.

The Assistant Inspector-General, Mr Jake Blight, presented at the Australian National University as a guest lecturer.

Further presentations of a similar kind are planned in the coming year.