On 13 October 2016, the public version of ASIO's Annual Report 2015-2016 was tabled in parliament.
ASIO is the only Australian intelligence agency that publicly releases an annual report. The report serves to inform the parliament, stakeholders, media and the public of how ASIO has performed in protecting the nation and its interests from threats to security.
The classified version of the report is provided to the Attorney-General, other national security ministers, senior officials, and the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. The report is also accessible to the Australian National Audit Office.
Highlights from this year’s report are:
- ASIO’s intelligence and cooperation with partners contributed to the disruption of three terrorist plots during the period relating to attack planning in Australia.
- Over the past two years ASIO handled a 250 per cent increase in the number of terrorism–related leads.
- ASIO was integral to the design and development of the National Terrorism Threat Advisory System.
- On ASIO’s advice there were over 50 passport cancellations during the period to prevent travel of individuals intending to join the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.
- ASIO is aware of up to 70 children of Australians have been exposed to extremist groups in Syria and Iraq.
- ASIO detected and degraded significant espionage and foreign interference activities, including via cyber means, and identified continued efforts to access sensitive and/or classified Australian Government information.
- ASIO contributed to protecting Australia’s border and furnished 11 962 visa security assessments. ASIO also met the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s annual targets for permanent visa and refugee/humanitarian caseloads.
- ASIO enhanced its capacity to provide advice on the national security implications of foreign investment and examined 285 Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) referrals from Treasury.
- ASIO’s Business Liaison Unit increased its engagement with critical infrastructure sectors, focusing on sectors more likely to be targeted by foreign intelligence services.
- ASIO has been the subject of terrorist intent and has built additional security and safety measures for its officers and premises.
ASIO welcomes feedback on the report from any of our readers. Please contact us.