ASIO is the only Australian intelligence agency that publicly releases an annual report. The report serves to inform the Parliament and public of how ASIO performed during the reporting period to protect Australia, its people and its interests from threats to security.
The report to Parliament is an unclassified document based on our classified annual report to the Attorney-General. In addition to the Attorney-General, the classified report is provided to national security ministers and senior officials, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor. The report is also accessible to the Australian National Audit Office.
The 2016-17 annual report to Parliament provides:
- a review by the Director-General of our work environment and performance in 2016-17 (Part 1);
- a description of ASIO’s role and structure (Part 2);
- an overview of Australia’s security environment and outlook (Part 3);
- a report on how ASIO performed against the performance measures and targets set out in our 2016-17 corporate plan (Part 4);
- a report on corporate management, oversight and accountability arrangements and external scrutiny of ASIO (Part 5); and
- our financial statements for 2016-17 (Part 6).
The annual report highlights a number of our key achievements during 2016-17, including:
- work with law enforcement partners to disrupt three planned terrorist attacks targeting people in Australia and other terrorism-related activities; the provision of security assessments that allowed the Minister for Foreign Affairs to prevent travel by extremists to the conflict zone in Syria and Iraq; and support for terrorism prosecutions in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland;
- the continuing identification and investigation of harmful espionage and foreign interference directed against Australia; the issuing of 27 182 personnel security assessments to support decision-making on the granting of security clearances; and the provision of 265 risk assessments to support the Foreign Investment Review Board process;
- our provision of 14 358 visa security assessments and 141 784 access security assessments to support the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and other national security partners’ decision-making in relation to the granting of visas, citizenship or access to security-controlled areas and substances;
- supporting Australian Government policy making and responses in relation to a wide range of terrorism, espionage and foreign interference, and border security issues;
- publishing 1433 intelligence reports, threat assessments and analytical reports on terrorism, espionage and foreign interference and border security issues, to support the work of the Australian Government and our national security partners in responding to security threats; and
- providing highly sought-after protective security advice to government and industry security managers, including through the Business and Government Liaison Units (BGLU) website (with over 2000 government and industry subscribers), BGLU’s tailored industry briefing days and ASIO-T4’s physical security advice.