At the request of the Minister for Home Affairs, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has commenced a review of the National Security Legislation Amendment (Comprehensive Review and Other Measures No.3) Bill 2023.
The Bill would amend several pieces of national security legislation to address twelve recommendations of the 2020 Comprehensive Review of the Legal Framework of the National Intelligence Community (known as the Richardson Review), and to make other amendments identified as necessary by the intelligence community.
Key amendments proposed by the Bill seek to:
- strengthen protections around the identity of employees of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS)
- improve the ability of ASIO to communicate information, and provide additional protections for individuals communicating certain information
- increase operational flexibility through updated approval processes for certain intelligence activities
- clarify provisions relating to the authorisation of certain intelligence activities
- provide for quicker processing of non-prejudicial security clearance suitability assessments
- require ASIO to notify the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security when certain security assessments, security clearance decisions, and security clearance suitability assessments have not been made or furnished within 12 months
- clarify that only the Attorney-General, and not junior ministers, can exercise certain powers relating to ASIO and to telecommunications.
Mr Peter Khalil MP, Chair of the PJCIS, said: “The Committee looks forward to receiving the views of interested parties on the reforms proposed by the Bill, which aim to further refine and enhance the legal framework governing Australia’s intelligence agencies.”
Submissions to the inquiry are invited by Friday 2 February 2024.
Further information on the inquiry can be obtained from the Committee’s website.
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.