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Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Bill 1999

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1998/1999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

TELECOMMUNICATIONS (INTERCEPTION) AMENDMENT BILL 1999

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Attorney-General,

 the Honourable Daryl Williams AM QC MP)

 

 



 

TELECOMMUNICATIONS (INTERCEPTION) AMENDMENT BILL 1999

 

 

OUTLINE

 

This Bill amends the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979 (the Interception Act) and the Telecommunications (Interception) and Listening Device Amendment Act 1997 (Amendment Act) .

 

The proposed amendments to the Interception Act deal with:

 

·        the Anti-Corruption Commission of Western Australia  (ACC): and

 

·        the Queensland Crime Commission (QCC).

The ACC is established by the Anti-Corruption Commission Act 1988 (WA).   It deals with corruption, crime and serious improper conduct of ‘public officers’. 

The QCC was established under the Crime Commission Act 1997 (QLD) It has a responsibility to investigate criminal paedophilia and organised crime. 

 

The amendments will permit the ACC and the QCC:

 

·                to receive intercepted information that was originally obtained by another agency where that information appears to relate to conduct that the ACC or the QCC may investigate;

·                to use intercepted information for an investigation it is undertaking in accordance with its functions; and

·                provided the Attorney-General first issues a declaration under section 34 of the Interception Act, to obtain warrants to intercept telecommunications. 

 

 

The proposed amendments to the Amendment Act deal with the power to issue warrants.  Section 103A of the Interception Act requires a review to be undertaken on the power of nominated members of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to issue warrants under the Interception Act.  The Telecommunications Interception Policy Review is finalised and recommends the continuation of the current regime for issuing warrants by members of the AAT.  The proposed amendment will permit the Minister to continue to nominate specified members of the AAT to issue interception warrants for law enforcement purposes. 

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

The cost of the amendments is expected to be insignificant.

 

 

 



 

Notes on Clauses

 

 

Clause 1:                              Short Title

 

Clause 1 is a formal provision specifying the short title of the Bill.

 

 

Clause 2:                              Commencement

 

Clause 2 provides that the Act is to commence on Royal Assent.

 

 

Clause 3:                              Schedules

 

Clause 3 provides that each Act specified in a schedule is amended or repealed as set out in the schedule concerned.

 

 

Schedule 1 - Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Queensland Crime Commission (QCC) - Amendment of the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979 (the Interception Act)

 

 

Item 1

 

This item defines the Anti-Corruption Commission for the purposes of the Interception Act.

 

 

Item 2

 

This item defines the Anti-Corruption Commissions Act for the purposes of the Interception Act.

 

 

Item 3

 

Item 3 amends subsection 5(1) to provide that each person specified is a certifying officer in relation to the Anti-Corruption Commission or the Queensland Crime Commission.

 

 

Item 4

 

Item 4 amends the definition of ‘chief officer’ to include the chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Queensland Crime Commissioner.

 



 

Item 5

 

This item defines commission member for the purposes of the Interception Act.

 

 

Item 6

 

Item 6 provides that the Queensland Crime Commission will be an ‘eligible authority of a State’ within the meaning of the Interception Act.  The effect is that the QCC will have the powers and obligations of an ‘agency’ for the purposes of Part VII of the Interception Act.  In part, this will permit, in prescribed circumstances, another agency to communicate lawfully obtained information to the QCC and will allow the QCC to use that information for the QCC’s permitted purpose.

 

 

Item 7

 

Item 7 provides that the Anti-Corruption Commission will be an ‘eligible authority of a State’ within the meaning of the Interception Act.  The effect is that the ACC will have the powers and obligations of an ‘agency’ for the purposes of Part VII of the Interception Act.  In part, this will permit, in prescribed circumstances, another agency to communicate lawfully obtained information to the ACC and will allow the ACC to use that information for the ACC’s permitted purpose.

 

 

Item 8

 

This item defines member of the Anti-Corruption Commission for the purposes of the Interception Act.

 

Item 9

 

This item defines member of the staff of the Anti-Corruption Commission for the purposes of the Interception Act.

 

 

Item 10

 

This item defines member of the staff of the Queensland Crime Commission for the purposes of the Interception Act.

 

 

Item 11

 

Item 11 amends the definition of ‘officer’ by adding, in the case of the ACC and the QCC, the specified persons.  The effect is to apply to the ACC and the QCC the provisions of the Act that refer to acts by an officer of an eligible authority of a State.

 



 

Item 12

 

This item amends the definition of ‘prescribed investigation’ to include an investigation the Anti-Corruption Commission is conducting in accordance with its functions and an investigation the Queensland Crime Commission is undertaking in accordance with its functions.

 

These amendments are connected with items 18 and 19.  The effect of these amendments is to include in the category of ‘relevant proceedings’ a prosecution for a prescribed offence against a law of Queensland, in the case of the QCC, or a law of Western Australia, in the case of the ACC, and which relates to a prescribed investigation of either the ACC or the QCC.  This will enable the ACC and the QCC to use intercepted information for a permitted purpose connected with such proceedings.

 

 

Item 13

 

This item defines the Queensland Crime Commission for the purposes of the Interception Act.

 

 

Item 14

 

This item defines the Crime Commission Act for the purposes of the Interception Act.

 

 

Item 15

 

This item defines the Queensland crime commissioner for the purposes of the Interception Act.

 

 

Item 16

 

Item 16 amends the definition of ‘relevant offence’ to include prescribed offences connected with prescribed investigations of both the ACC and the QCC.  The purpose is to permit another agency to communicate lawfully obtained information obtained by that agency to either the ACC or the QCC.

 

 

Item 17

 

This item amends the meaning of an ‘investigation of an offence’ in the Interception Act to include prescribed investigations of the ACC or the QCC, in so far as they relate to that offence.

 

 

Item 18

 

This item amends paragraph 6L(2)(c) by adding to the definition of ‘relevant proceedings’ a proceeding by way of a prosecution for a prescribed offence against the law of Queensland and to which a prescribed investigation by the QCC relates.  This will ensure that a communication by an officer of the QCC in these circumstances is for a permitted purpose of the QCC within the meaning of section 67 of the Interception Act.

 

 



Item 19

 

This item, like item 19, amends paragraph 6L(2) by adding to the definition of ‘relevant proceeding’ a proceeding by way of a prosecution for a prescribed offence against a law of Western Australia and to which a prescribed investigation by the ACC relates.   This will ensure that a communication by an officer of the ACC in these circumstances is for a permitted purpose of the ACC within the meaning of section 67 of the Interception Act.

 

 

Item 20

 

Item 20 amends subsection 39(2) to include a member and a member of the staff of the ACC and a commission member and a member of the staff of the QCC as persons who may apply for warrants on behalf of the respective Commissions.

 

This provision has no effect without a declaration under section 34 of the Interception Act in relation to either the ACC or the QCC.

 

 

Item 21

 

This item amends section 68 to include both the ACC and the QCC.  Section 68 provides that where an agency has obtained interception information which appears to relate to the functions of another agency, the agency may communicate the information to that agency in certain circumstances.

 

The amendment  will permit an agency to communicate intercepted information to either the ACC or the QCC where the information relates to a matter which may give rise to an investigation by either Commission.

 

 

Schedule 2 - Amendment of Telecommunications (Interception) and Listening Device Amendment Act 1997

 

Item 1 repeals section 3 to enable the power of nominated members of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to issue warrants to continue.