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Intelligence Services Bill 2001

Part 4 Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD


28   Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD

             (1)  A Committee to be known as the Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD 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, ASIS and DSD, including the annual financial statements ASIO, ASIS and DSD; and

                     (b)  to review any matter in relation to ASIO, ASIS or DSD 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 matter in relation to the activities of ASIO, ASIS or DSD (as the case may be) to the Committee, and the Minister may, under paragraph (1)(b), refer that matter to the Committee for review.

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

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

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

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

Note:          For Australian person see section 3.

30   Agency heads 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;

                   (ba)  the Director of DSD;

                     (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.