The Australian Intelligence Community

The Australian Intelligence Community, or AIC, is an informal term used to describe the six Australian security and intelligence agencies.

The Office of National Assessments (ONA) produces all-source assessments on international political, strategic and economic developments to the Prime Minister, senior ministers in the National Security Committee of Cabinet, and senior officials of government departments. ONA operates under its own legislation. ONA also has responsibility for coordinating and evaluating   Australia's foreign intelligence activities.

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) is Australia's national security service. ASIO's main role is to gather information and produce intelligence that will enable it to warn the government about activities or situations that might endanger Australia's national security.

The Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) is Australia’s overseas secret HUMINT (human intelligence) collection agency. Its mission is to protect and promote Australia’s vital interests through the provision of unique foreign intelligence services as directed by Government.

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) is responsible for collection, analysis and distribution of foreign signals intelligence (known as sigint); and is the national authority on communications and computer security (known as infosec).

The Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) is an intelligence assessment agency that provides services and advice at the national level. Its mandate is to support Defence and Government decision-making and assist with the planning and conduct of Australian Defence Force operations.

The Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO) was established by amalgamating the Australian Imagery Organisation and Directorate of Strategic Military Geographic Information, and the Defence Topographic Agency to provide geospatial intelligence, from imagery and other sources, in support of Australia's defence and national interests.

The Flood report

In 2004 Mr Philip Flood AO conducted a review of the AIC. The Report of the Inquiry into Australian Intelligence Agencies considers the effectiveness of the intelligence community's current oversight and accountability mechanisms and the delivery of high quality and independent intelligence advice to the government, and includes case studies on Iraq, Jemaah Islamiyah and the Solomon Islands.