Committee tables report on the Office of National Intelligence bills

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The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has tabled its advisory report on the Office of National Intelligence Bill 2018 and the Office of National Intelligence (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2018.

The bills implement the key recommendation from the 2017 Independent Intelligence Review—that an Office of National Intelligence be established in the Prime Minister’s portfolio.

The Chair of the Committee, Mr Andrew Hastie MP, said the Committee examined how the proposed legislation reflected the recommendations from the Independent Intelligence Review; looked at the powers and functions conferred on ONI; and questioned whether the bills impacted on the existing roles and statutory functions of the other Australian intelligence agencies.

“Overall, the Committee considers the bills achieve the recommendations set out in the Independent Intelligence Review,” Mr Hastie said.

“The creation of ONI will lead to a better coordinated and more integrated national intelligence community.”

The Committee made six recommendations in relation to the bills. These recommendations improve transparency and accountability of ONI through:

  • ensuring ONI’s privacy rules are made public,
  • requiring the Prime Minister to consult with the Privacy Commissioner when making privacy rules for ONI, and
  • preventing the Director-General of National Intelligence from delegating his or her powers to authorise ONI to engage with foreign partners.

Evidence to the Committee’s inquiry, and a copy of the Committee’s report can be found at the PJCIS website.

Media enquiries: Chair, Mr Andrew Hastie MP (Canning, WA) on 08 9534 8044 (Electorate Office) or 02 6277 4223 (Parliament House)

Further information about the Committee’s review and submissions received to date can be obtained from the Committee’s website. Interested members of the public may wish to track the committee via the website. Click on the blue ‘Track Committee’ button in the bottom right hand corner and use the forms to login to My Parliament or to register for a My Parliament account.

The Secretariat can be contacted on 02 6277 2360 or by emailing pjcis@aph.gov.au.

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