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Intelligence Services Bill 2001

Part 4 Committee on ASIO and ASIS


28   Committee on ASIO and ASIS

             (1)  A Committee to be known as the Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIO and ASIS is to be established as soon as practicable after the commencement of this Act and after the commencement of the first session of each Parliament.

             (2)  The Committee is to consist of 7 members, 3 of whom must be Senators and 4 of whom must be members of the House of Representatives.

             (3)  A majority of the Committee’s members must be Government members.

Note:          For more detailed provisions on the appointment of members see Part 3 of Schedule 1.

29   Functions of the Committee

             (1)  The functions of the Committee are:

                     (a)  to review the administration and expenditure of ASIO and ASIS, including the annual financial statements of ASIO and ASIS; and

                     (b)  to review any matter in relation to ASIO or ASIS referred to the Committee by:

                              (i)  the responsible Minister; or

                             (ii)  a resolution of either House of the Parliament; and

                     (c)  to report the Committee’s comments and recommendations to each House of the Parliament and to the responsible Minister.

             (2)  The Committee may, by resolution, request the responsible Minister to refer a particular aspect of the activities of ASIO or ASIS (as the case may be) to the Committee, and the Minister may, under paragraph (1)(b), refer that aspect to the Committee for review.

             (3)  The functions of the Committee do not include:

                     (a)  reviewing the intelligence gathering priorities of ASIO or ASIS; or

                     (b)  reviewing the sources of information, other operational assistance or operational methods available to ASIO or ASIS; or

                     (c)  reviewing particular operations that have been, are being or are proposed to be undertaken by ASIO or ASIS; or

                     (d)  reviewing information provided by, or by an agency of, a foreign government where that government does not consent to the disclosure of the information; or

                     (e)  reviewing an aspect of the activities of ASIO or ASIS that does not affect an Australian person; or

                      (f)  reviewing the rules made under section 15 of this Act; or

                     (g)  conducting inquiries into individual complaints about the activities of ASIO or ASIS.

Note:          For Australian person see section 3.

30   Directors-General and Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security to brief the Committee

                   For the purpose of performing its functions, the Committee may request the following people to brief the Committee:

                     (a)  the Director-General of Security;

                     (b)  the Director-General of ASIS;

                     (c)  the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.

Note:          The Committee cannot require anyone briefing the Committee to disclose operationally sensitive information (see clause 1 of Schedule 1).

31   Annual report

                   As soon as practicable after each year ending on 30 June, the Committee must give to the Parliament a report on the activities of the Committee during the year.

32   Schedule 1

                   Schedule 1 contains further provisions about the Committee.