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Committee satisfied with ASIO’s taking over Australia’s highest security clearances

Parliament of Australia 2 mins read

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) today tabled its advisory report on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Amendment Bill 2023.

The Committee noted that the security clearance process is designed to ensure that only individuals who are deemed suitable and trustworthy are granted access to sensitive national security information.

At the same time, the Committee recognises that the security clearance process must be fair and, to the extent possible, transparent. Individuals who are subject to the process have the right to procedural fairness, including the right to challenge adverse findings and to have their case reviewed by an independent body. The Committee is satisfied with the merits and other review processes proposed by the Bill and the involvement of the IGIS in oversight of the powers and functions exercised under the Bill.

The Committee also supported, the inclusion of the new Quality Assurance Office within the Office of National Intelligence and agrees with ONI that this should ‘drive the uplift of the mandatory insider threat capability across government agencies that sponsor TOP SECRET-Privileged Access security clearances.

The Committee made one recommendation that the Explanatory Memorandum for the Bill be amended, or a supplementary Explanatory Memorandum presented, specifying that, notwithstanding the Bill’s authority to delegate functions and powers to ASIO affiliates, human sources or agents will not be used to undertake security vetting.

Chair of the Committee Mr Peter Khalil MP said “the Committee reviewed this Bill with a view to ensuring that the security clearance process is robust, fair, and effective. The Committee is satisfied that the Bill protects Australia's national security interests, while also upholding the rights and privacy of individuals.”

Further information on the inquiry as well as a copy of the report can be obtained from the Committee’s website.

Further information on the inquiry can be obtained from the Committee’s website.

Media inquiries

Chair Mr Peter Khalil MP, via Lachlan Hinds
0455 999 677

For background information

Committee Secretariat, Parliamentary Joint Committee on intelligence and Security
(02) 6277 2360

For more information about this Committee, you can visit its website. On the site, you can make a submission to an inquiry, read other submissions, and get details for upcoming public hearings. You can also track the Committee and receive email updates by clicking on the blue ‘Track Committee’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the page.

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