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Tuesday, 2 December 1986
Page: 3153


Senator GARETH EVANS —On 27 November 1986 Senator Archer asked me a question about Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence access to Australian Federal Police intelligence holdings, particularly computerised holdings. As indicated in response to Senator Archer's question of 5 June in respect of the Stewart recommendation on ABCI access to criminal intelligence, the AFP shares intelligence with the ABCI including the provision of extensive access to computer holdings. In view of the AFP's operational responsibilities to investigate organised crime as directed by government, the AFP has a continuing need to maintain a criminal intelligence function with respect to organised crime. The ABCI currently has access to approximately 80 to 85 per cent of AFP computerised intelligence holdings. If the ABCI requests information which is not shared its requirements are met in accordance with the ABCI agreement. Intelligence relating to current sensitive investigations is restricted even within the AFP on a need to know basis. I suggest that a like situation exists with other police forces participating with the ABCI.

All law enforcement agencies give special treatment to current, sensitive, operational intelligence and recognise the need for careful handling of such material both inside an agency and in transmission to other agencies with an operational need to know. The ABCI has quick and ready access to the AFP criminal intelligence computerised database. Any specific inquiries can be referred by the ABCI to the AFP for assistance.