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PJCIS to review rules for sharing foreign influence scheme information

Parliament of Australia 2 mins read

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has commenced a review of rules made under subsection 53(2) of the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act 2018 (FITS Act), relating to sharing information obtained under the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme (FITS).

Subsection 53(3) of the FITS Act requires the Committee to review rules made prescribing a new purpose for which information obtained under the FITS may be communicated to prescribed persons; and to report its comments and recommendations to each House of the Parliament before the end of the 15 sitting days’ disallowance period for that House.

The new Rules amend the 2018 FITS Rules to authorise the Secretary of the Attorney-General's Department to communicate scheme information to the Minister and Department responsible for the Foreign Arrangements Scheme.

The Foreign Arrangements Scheme is administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). It requires State and Territory entities to notify the Minister for Foreign Affairs of pre-existing and prospective arrangements with foreign entities; and allows the Minister to cancel, vary or prevent an arrangement from proceeding if it is inconsistent with Australia's foreign policy or adversely affects Australia's foreign relations.

A small number of entities may be within the scope of both the FITS and the Foreign Arrangements Scheme. In such cases, sharing information under the Rules would assist DFAT to administer the Foreign Arrangements Scheme and would improve the interoperability of the two schemes.

The rules under review can be found at the following link - Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Amendment Rules 2023.

Submissions to the Committee’s review are invited by Friday 11 August 2023. Further information about making a submission to a parliamentary committee is available here.

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 this Committee’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the page.

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