Past Inspectors General

Dr V. (Vivienne) Thom

(19 July 2010 - 18 July 2015)

Dr Thom was appointed as Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security for a five year term on 19 July 2010.

Dr Thom was appointed as Deputy Ombudsman in March 2006 with responsibility for the oversight of law enforcement, immigration, taxation and defence agencies. Prior to this appointment she was the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Australian Mint from 2002 to 2006, and the Commissioner of Patents at IP Australia from 1999 to 2002.

Mr I. (Ian) Carnell

(23 March 2004 - 9 April 2010)

Mr Carnell has a keen interest in administrative law and its values of lawfulness, fairness, rationality, openness (or transparency) and efficiency.  He was a member of the Administrative Review Council from 2005 to 31 December 2009.

In 2005/06 Mr Carnell was a member of the Security Legislation Review Committee (referred to as the Sheller Committee) which conducted an inquiry into key aspects of Australia’s counter-terrorism laws.

Mr Carnell’s broad-ranging experience in public administration in various senior positions included oversight of fraud investigation units and fraud control frameworks, policy development, and program administration.

At the time of his appointment as Inspector-General, Mr Carnell had been Deputy Secretary, Attorney General’s Department, responsible for national security and criminal justice issues.  In addition he chaired the CrimTrac Board of Management and the Critical Infrastructure Advisory Council, and was on the Australian Institute of Criminology Board and the Criminology Research Council.

Mr W.J. (Bill) Blick AM, PSM

(19 February 1998 to 22 March 2004)

Mr Blick commenced as the fourth Inspector-General in February 1998 immediately upon Mr McLeod’s appointment as Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Prior to his appointment, Mr Blick spent the majority of his career at various levels within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, ultimately heading up that department’s Government Division, before being promoted to the Deputy Secretary level (1996-1998).

While in the later position, Mr Blick took a leading role in organising the Federal constitutional convention of February 1998 at which delegates were asked whether or not Australia should become a republic, and following a majority vote to this effect, which model for a republic they preferred.

In the midst of his career within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Mr Blick served as the Deputy Commonwealth Ombudsman (1984-1986).

Mr R.N. (Ron) McLeod AM

(6 April 1995 to 18 February 1998)

Mr McLeod took up as Inspector-General following a long and distinguished career at the then Public Service Board and the Department of Defence.

In his time at the Public Service Board, Mr McLeod held positions at the Branch and Division head level (1971-1984), before being promoted to become the Deputy Secretary Budget and Management, in the Department of Defence (1984-1995).

In 1994, Mr McLeod was seconded to head a major review of the Public Service Act 1922, and made a series of recommendations which ultimately lead to the Act being wholly rewritten in the form of the Public Service Act 1999.

Towards the completion of his first term as Inspector-General, the government appointed Mr McLeod as the Commonwealth Ombudsman (1998-2003).

Mr J.R. (Roger) Holdich AM

(28 September 1989 to 5 April 1995)

Like the inaugural Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Mr Holdich was a foreign affairs specialist.  After commencing his career in the South Australian Department of Trade, Mr Holdich gave many years of distinguished service to the Department of Foreign Affairs (1959-1976), during which time he rose to Ambassador rank (to the Republic of Korea 1975-1976).

Following his return to Australia, Mr Holdich headed up the International Division of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (1976-1983), before appointments at the Deputy Secretary level in the then Departments of Special Minister of State (1983-1987), and Administrative Services (1987-1989).

Mr N.D. (Neil) McInnes AM

(1 February 1987 to 27 September 1989)

The inaugural Inspector-General opened the office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security in late 1986, following a lengthy career observing and commenting on international relations and several subsequent senior level appointments within government.

In the course of a lengthy stint as a journalist based in Paris (1955-1978), Mr McInnes wrote four respected books which provided an in-depth analysis on the development and theoretical underpinnings of the Communist parties of western Europe.

Following his return to Australia, Mr McInnes filled the position of the Deputy Director-General of ONA (1978-1982), before being promoted as a Division head within the Department of Defence (1982-1983), and then as a Deputy Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (1983-1986).