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Tuesday, 3 May 1994
Page: 15

Senator GARETH EVANS —In response to a question from Senator Gibson in Estimates Committee A on 18 March, when he asked whether I had issued a directive to ASIS on the principles for the conduct of internal investigations, as recommended by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security in his 1992-93 annual report, I said there had been a directive although I could not recall all the details.

  Having reviewed, over the break, the transcript of that exchange I find that my recollection was a little astray. I take this first available opportunity to correct the Hansard record. Between August 1992 and March 1993 the inspector-general, IGIS, made a number of recommendations directly to ASIS some months ahead of the publication of his annual report in November 1993. They related to the appointment of an ombudsman; revised grievance procedures; new procedures for briefing and training of spouses going overseas; new procedures for monitoring the performance of officers on posting overseas; and revised recruitment procedures.

  ASIS responded by taking specific steps to implement the various measures recommended by IGIS. In March 1993 I was advised in a detailed submission of all the steps that had been taken by ASIS to implement the IGIS recommendations. I recorded my agreement to that action on the submission. It was in fact that agreement I was thinking of when I responded to Senator Gibson in the committee. Thus, there was no actual directive issued by me following the release of the IGIS annual report—ASIS having already taken the necessary action to which I had recorded my agreement. All these administrative arrangements will be the subject of a detailed review by the current commission of inquiry into ASIS. It would not, therefore, be appropriate for me to canvass further these matters pending the outcome of that inquiry.