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Parliamentary committee to conduct public hearings on the NCA's involvement in controlled operations



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P A R L IA M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA, A.C.T. 2600

MEDIA RELEASE Telephone: (02) 6277 3565 Facsimile: (02) 6277 5866

PARLIAM ENTARY COM MITTEE TO CONDUCT PUBLIC HEARINGS ON THE NCA's INVOLVEM ENT IN CONTROLLED OPERATIONS

SYDNEY M onday, 16 August and BRISBANE Tuesday 17 August 1999

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority, the NCA's parliamentary "watchdog", will be conducting public hearings in Sydney and Brisbane next week as part of its inquiry into the involvement of the NCA in controlled operations. The Committee will examine:

(a) the extent and manner in which the NCA engages in controlled operations; (b) the appropriateness of the approvals process for the NCA's involvement in controlled operations; (c) the civil liberties implications; and

(d) the adequacy of relevant national and state legislation in relation to the conduct of controlled operations by the NCA.

Details of the two days o f hearings are shown in the attached schedules. As well as hearing from the NCA itself, the Committee will also be taking evidence from several law enforcement agencies, civil liberty groups and police associations.

Controlled operations are investigations in which a law enforcement agency becomes involved in illegal activity and involves the use of informants, agents or under-cover officers. Across Australia, there are varying degrees of legislative control over such operations. In general terms, legislative schemes governing controlled operations -

have a twofold purpose. First, they confer immunity on law enforcement officers participating in covert operations from criminal prosecution for certain of their actions. Secondly, they ensure that evidence obtained during a controlled operation cannot be excluded from any subsequent prosecutions brought against the criminals

apprehended as a result of the operation. .

Members of the public and the media are invited to observe the proceedings. Unless otherwise determined, the Committee permits the recording and rebroadcasting of its public proceedings, subject to the normal rules on reporting of parliamentary

proceedings. It should be noted, however, that matters of a sensitive or confidential nature will not be discussed in public. An in camera session to which the public and the media will be excluded may be scheduled at any time.

Individuals wishing to make contact with the hearing room should call 0417 695340.

For further comment: Senator Jeannie Ferris, Sub-committee chair, (08) 8237 6840 Mr Michael McLean, Committee Secretary, (02) 6277 3565

PUBLIC HEARING MONDAY 16 AUGUST 1999

The Involvement of the National Crime Authority in Controlled Operations

PARLIAMENTARY JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE NATIONAL CRIME AUTHORITY

The Conference Room Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices 11th Floor Charterbridge House, 70 Phillip Street Sydney NSW

AGENDA

9.00am National Crime Authority

Mr John Broome, Chairperson Mr Peter Lamb, General Manager, Operations

10.00am NSW Council for Civil Liberties Mr Tim Anderson, President

10.45am M orning Tea >

11.00am NSW Crime Commission

Mr Phillip Bradley, Commissioner

11.45am Police Federation of Australia Mr Peter Alexander, President Mr Terry Collins, Chief Executive Officer

12.30pm Lunch

1.30pm AUSTRAC

Ms Elizabeth Montano, Director Mr Graham Charles Pinner, Deputy Director, Money Laundering Targeting

2.00pm NSW Law Society

Mr Trevor Nyman, Criminal Law Committee representative

PUBLIC HEARING TUESDAY 17 AUGUST 1999

The Involvement of the National Crime Authority in Controlled Operations

PARLIAMENTARY JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE NATIONAL CRIME AUTHORITY

Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices Level 3 6 ,1 Eagle Street Brisbane QLD

9.30am

AGENDA

Queensland Crime Commission Mr Tim Carmody, Crime Commissioner

10.15am Criminal Justice Commission

Mr Brendan Butler SC, Chairperson

11.00am M orning Tea

j 11.15am

1 - ■

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Australian Council for Civil Liberties Mr Terry O’Gorman, President

[ 12.00pm Lunch

1.00pm Queensland Police Service:

Mr Ronald Pickering, Assistant Commissioner

Mr Colin McCallum, Detective Chief Superintendent State Crime Operations Branch

Ms Anne McDonald, Detective Inspector State Crime Operations Branch

2.00pm Queensland Police Union

Mr Merv Bainbridge, General Secretary