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Telecommunications Interception and Intelligence Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

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2010-2011

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

TELECOMMUNICATIONS INTERCEPTION AND INTELLIGENCE SERVICES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2010

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

New Clauses to be Moved on Behalf of the Government

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Attorney-General,

the Honourable Robert McClelland MP)



 

AMENDMENTS TO THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS INTERCEPTION AND INTELLIGENCE SERVICES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2010

 

OUTLINE

The Telecommunications Interception and Intelligence Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 amends the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (TIA Act), the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 and the Intelligence Services Act 2001 .  The Bill is intended to enhance cooperation, assistance and information sharing among Australia’s law enforcement and national security community, and improve the operation of the TIA Act.     

The proposed government amendment will add an additional Schedule to the Bill, which will amend the Intelligence Services Act 2001 to expand the membership of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (the Committee) from nine to eleven members and make some consequential amendments. 



FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

The amendments will have no fi nancial impact. 



NOTES ON CLAUSES

Amendment (1)

This amendment will insert a new Schedule 8 at the end of the Bill, which will make amendments to the Intelligence Services Act 2001 (IS Act) relating to the membership of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (‘the Committee’).

Item 1 - Subsection 28(2)

 

Item 1 will increase the number of members that constitute the Committee from nine to eleven members.  It will repeal the existing subsection 28(2) and substitute it with a provision that requires the Committee to consist of 11 members, 5 of whom must be Senators and 6 of whom must be members of the House of Representatives.

Item 2 - Paragraph 8(1)(b) of Schedule 1

Item 2 will clarify that the Committee is able to consider any evidence taken by or produced to the Committee during the same or another Parliament, even where the Committee ceases to exist or changes its constitution.  It repeals paragraph 8(1)(b) of Schedule 1 and substitutes it with a provision that is intended to put beyond any doubt that the provision applies to preserve the use of evidence previously obtained by the Committee in the following circumstances:

  • where the committee ceases to exist, such as when Parliament is prorogued; and
  • if the Committee membership changes, for example if an individual member is replaced by a different member, or if the size of the Committee’s membership changes.

Item 3 - Paragraph 18(1)(a) of Schedule 1

 

Item 3 will increase the number of members required to form a quorum of the Committee from 5 to 6 members.  It substitutes the existing requirement in paragraph 18(1)(b) of Schedule 1 to provide that a quorum of the Committee is constituted if at least 6 members are present.  This measure reflects the expansion in membership of the Committee from nine to eleven members and ensures that a quorum continues to require a majority of members.

Item 4 - Transitional - existing appointments not affected

Item 4 is a transitional provision that ensures that the increase in the membership of the Committee made by these amendments does not affect the appointment of members to the Committee before commencement of Schedule 8.  This is intended to ensure that the business of the Committee may continue and it is not necessary to re-appoint those members that are currently appointed to the Committee.