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Intelligence Services Bill 2001

Part 3 Establishment of ASIS and role of Director-General

Division 1 Establishment and control of ASIS

16   Establishment of ASIS on a statutory basis

                   The organisation known as the Australian Secret Intelligence Service is continued in existence in accordance with this Act.

17   Appointment of Director-General

             (1)  There is to be a Director-General of ASIS.

             (2)  The Director-General is to be appointed by the Governor-General.

             (3)  Before a recommendation is made to the Governor-General for the appointment of a person as Director-General, the Prime Minister must consult with the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives.

             (4)  The person who, immediately before the commencement of this Act, held office as the Director-General of ASIS continues, subject to this Act, to hold the office for the remainder of the term for which he or she was appointed.

18   Control of ASIS

             (1)  ASIS is under the control of the Director-General.

             (2)  The Director-General, under the Minister, is responsible for managing ASIS and must advise the Minister in matters relating to ASIS.

19   Briefing the Leader of the Opposition about ASIS

                   The Director-General must consult regularly with the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives for the purpose of keeping him or her informed on matters relating to ASIS.


Division 2 Administrative provisions relating to the Director-General

20   Period of appointment

             (1)  The Director-General holds office for the period specified in the instrument of appointment, but is eligible for re-appointment.

             (2)  The period must not be longer than 5 years.

21   Remuneration etc.

             (1)  The remuneration and other conditions of appointment of the Director-General are as determined in writing by the responsible Minister.

             (2)  For each determination, the responsible Minister must seek the advice of the Remuneration Tribunal and take that advice into account.

             (3)  Each determination must be published in the Gazette within 14 days after the determination is made.

22   Resignation

                   The Director-General may resign by giving a signed notice of resignation to the Governor-General.

23   Termination of appointment

             (1)  The Governor-General may terminate the appointment of the Director-General for misbehaviour or physical or mental incapacity.

             (2)  The Governor-General must terminate the appointment of the Director-General if:

                     (a)  the Director-General:

                              (i)  becomes bankrupt; or

                             (ii)  applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors; or

                            (iii)  compounds with his or her creditors; or

                            (iv)  makes an assignment of his or her remuneration for the benefit of his or her creditors; or

                     (b)  the Director-General is absent, except on leave of absence, for 14 consecutive days or for 28 days in any 12 months; or

                     (c)  the Director-General engages, except with the Minister’s approval, in paid employment outside the duties of his or her office; or

                     (d)  the Director-General fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with section 26 (disclosure of interests).

             (3)  The Governor-General may, with the Director-General’s consent, retire the Director-General from office on the ground of incapacity if the Director-General is:

                     (a)  an eligible employee for the purposes of the Superannuation Act 1976 ; or

                     (b)  a member of the superannuation scheme established by deed under the Superannuation Act 1990 .

24   Acting Director-General

             (1)  The Minister may appoint a person to act as the Director-General if there is a vacancy in the office of the Director-General.

             (2)  The Minister may appoint a person to act as the Director-General during any period, or during all periods, when the Director-General is absent from duty or from Australia or is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of the office.

             (3)  Anything done by or in relation to a person purporting to act under this section is not invalid merely because:

                     (a)  the occasion of the appointment had not arisen; or

                     (b)  there was a defect or irregularity in connection with the appointment; or

                     (c)  the appointment had ceased to have effect; or

                     (d)  the occasion to act had not arisen or had ceased.

Note:          See section 33A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 on acting appointments.

25   Outside employment

                   The Director-General must not engage in paid employment that, in the Minister’s opinion, conflicts or may conflict with the proper performance of the Director-General’s duties.

26   Disclosure of interests by Director-General

                   The Director-General must give written notice to the Minister of all interests, pecuniary or otherwise, that the Director-General has or acquires and that could conflict with the proper performance of the Director-General’s functions.

27   Delegation

             (1)  The Director-General may delegate to a staff member (other than a consultant) all or any of the powers of the Director-General that relate to the management of the staff of ASIS or the financial management of ASIS.

Note:          See sections 34AA, 34AB and 34A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 on delegations.

             (2)  The delegation must be in writing.