The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) assists ministers to oversee and review the activities of intelligence agencies for legality and propriety.
The IGIS performs this function through inspections, inquiries and investigations into complaints. The Inspector-General is also required to assist the government to assure the public and the parliament that Commonwealth intelligence and security matters are open to scrutiny.
The IGIS retains statutory powers akin to those of a standing royal commission.
Meeting our legal obligations and embodying the highest ethical standards is critical to maintaining the trust of the Australian public and our ongoing effectiveness as Australia’s security intelligence organisation.
Every ASIO officer is responsible for complying with our legislated requirements, the Minister’s Guidelines for ASIO, and associated internal policies and procedures. Central to this is acting with integrity and ensuring proportionality in all our work.
During 2019–20 the IGIS regularly inspected activities across our operational functions, and investigated a small number of complaints received by the Office. In the 2019–20 reporting period, the Office of the IGIS finalised and made recommendations on three inquiries, the results of which were reported to the ASIO Audit and Risk Committee for review. ASIO accepted all inquiry recommendations and is at various stages of implementation in consultation with the Office of the IGIS and relevant agencies. We are committed to acting with legality and propriety, and in 2019–20 we acted comprehensively and systematically to address issues the IGIS identified as requiring improvement.
During the reporting period, we continued to support the IGIS’s important work by proactively briefing IGIS staff on a number of operational matters, including new capabilities and initiatives.