The ACIC is a Commonwealth statutory agency, established under the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002 with roles and functions underpinned by supporting legislation in each state and territory.
Figure 1.1 sets out the organisational structure of the agency. Section 3 of the report provides more information on the members of our executive, our staffing and the locations of our activities.
Figure 1.1: Organisational structure at 30 June 2020
NCIS = National Criminal Intelligence System
* The ACIC Chief Executive Officer is also Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology.
The ACIC Board is established by section 7B of the ACC Act. It represents Commonwealth, state and territory law enforcement, and key regulatory and national security agencies.
The board is responsible for providing strategic direction to the ACIC and setting strategic priorities. The board is also responsible for determining the ACIC’s special operations and special investigations, which includes approving our use of coercive powers.
As a powerful law enforcement and national security body, the board provides a significant platform to drive the collegial approach necessary to make Australia better connected, informed and capable of responding to crime.
The capabilities that enable us to perform our functions include:
National criminal intelligence data holdings—We collect criminal intelligence and combine it with information and intelligence from partner agencies to create and share a comprehensive national picture of criminality in Australia.
National information and intelligence sharing services and systems—We provide timely and reliable police and law enforcement information services and, through consultation and collaboration, we develop new and innovative capabilities.
Coercive powers—We have coercive powers, similar to those of a royal commission, which may be exercised by an ACIC examiner in the course of a special operation or special investigation authorised by the board.
International collaboration—We work in collaboration with international networks and have deployed ACIC officers to countries of strategic importance in our efforts to counteract serious and organised crime impacting Australia.
Strategic products—Our strategic intelligence products build a comprehensive picture of criminality in Australia to support our partners in decision-making, strategic targeting and policy development.
National target management framework—Our national target management framework guides law enforcement in establishing and sharing organised crime priorities and targets. This framework and our APOT list support nationally coordinated operational strategies for dealing with multijurisdictional and transnational serious and organised crime investigations.
Legislative framework allowing appropriate data sharing—By sharing intelligence, information, resources and expertise with our partners, and with private industry where permitted and appropriate, we maximise the collective impact against crime. We are a conduit between the states and territories and the Commonwealth for the sharing of criminal information and intelligence.
Specialist technology and skills—Our work is underpinned by sophisticated and tailored intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities.
ACIC examiners are independent statutory officers appointed by the Governor-General to exercise the coercive powers set out in the ACC Act for the purpose of Board-approved special operations and special investigations.
An examiner may exercise coercive powers only for the purpose of a special operation or special investigation and when all legislative requirements are met, including that an ACIC examiner is satisfied that it is reasonable in all the circumstances to exercise those special statutory powers.
The ACIC currently has one full-time examiner and two part-time examiners, all of whom have extensive experience in the legal profession.
Relationship with the Australian Institute of Criminology
The ACIC supports and closely collaborates with the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), to ensure that criminological research and evidence remain central to law enforcement’s collective response to crime. Our Chief Executive Officer is also Director of the AIC and the two agencies are co-located. While the AIC operates independently, its high-quality research is important to our work.