Management and Accountability

Corporate governance

Our governance processes guide us in achieving our mission and meeting public expectations of probity, accountability and transparency.

The Director-General of Security is the accountable authority for ASIO under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).

The Director-General is supported by a number of corporate governance committees, including ASIO’s peak governing body (the Executive Committee); two internal advisory committees (the Security and Compliance Committee, and the Capability and Investment Committee); and an independent advisory committee (the Audit and Risk Committee).

In 2020–21, ASIO refined its enterprise management and governance practices by maturing:

  • ASIO’s enterprise risk framework, supported by a new risk appetite and tolerance statement reflecting contemporary risks; and
  • ASIO’s business continuity framework, to ensure the Organisation is positioned to sustain high-priority operations in the event of a significant disruption.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee advises the Director-General on matters requiring executive decision-making. The Executive Committee’s purpose is to provide oversight of all ASIO activities, including setting the strategic direction for the Organisation, setting priorities for the Organisation’s intelligence mission, and reviewing the Organisation’s performance against those priorities. The Executive Committee also sets and reviews the Organisation’s risk appetite and tolerance, determines whether ASIO’s overall level of risk is acceptable, and considers whether the risk management framework remains effective.

Security and Compliance Committee

The Security and Compliance Committee, chaired by the Deputy Director-General Intelligence Service Delivery, makes recommendations to the Executive Committee on significant security and compliance matters relating to or impacting on ASIO, including the successful delivery of ASIO’s strategic objectives and management of enterprise risk.

Capability and Investment Committee

The Capability and Investment Committee, chaired by the Deputy Director-General Enterprise Service Delivery, makes recommendations to the Executive Committee on significant matters related to organisational capability and investment, and ensures capability is aligned to ASIO’s strategic objectives.

ASIO’s response to COVID-19

ASIO continues to adopt a range of strategies to sustain coverage of high-priority targets related to our counter-terrorism and counter–espionage and foreign interference missions, while ensuring the safety of our staff.

Our response to COVID-19 has been overseen by the ASIO Crisis Management Team (CMT), chaired by the Deputy Director-General Enterprise Service Delivery. The CMT has managed the Organisation’s response to the pandemic, ensuring that the Organisation complied with public health directions, while sustaining high priority operations. The CMT has also overseen the implementation of adaptive working arrangements and COVID-safe measures to minimise the impact to operations as the nature of the pandemic evolves.

ASIO’s response to COVID-19 also prompted the review and maturation of our business continuity framework, ensuring we are well positioned to respond to current and future disruptions to our business.

External scrutiny

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) performs a key role in ASIO’s independent oversight and accountability framework by providing assurance to the Australian community about ASIO’s performance of its functions.

The PJCISʼs remit includes overseeing ASIO’s administration and expenditure, reviewing national security bills, and ensuring national security legislation remains necessary, proportionate and effective.

In 2020–21, ASIO provided a written submission to the PJCIS Review of Administration and Expenditure No. 19 (2019–20). Beyond administration and expenditure, ASIO also contributed, either directly or as part of a Home Affairs portfolio submission, to a number of other PJCIS reviews and inquiries, including:

  • the review of the ASIO Amendment Bill 2020;
  • the review of the amendments made by the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendments (Assistance and Access) Act 2018;
  • the review of the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (High Risk Terrorist Offenders) Bill 2020;
  • the inquiry into the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (International Production Orders) Bill 2020;
  • the review of the Migration and Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening Information Provisions) Bill 2020;
  • the review of the ‘declared area’ provisions;
  • the review of Australian Federal Police powers;
  • the statutory review of part 14 of the Telecommunications Act 1997;
  • reviews of the listing and relisting of terrorist organisations;
  • the inquiry into extremist movements and radicalism in Australia; and
  • the inquiry into national security risks affecting the Australian higher education and research sector.

Other parliamentary committee inquiries

ASIO provides submissions to other parliamentary committees, as appropriate. In 2020–21, ASIO contributed, either directly or as part of a Home Affairs portfolio submission, to:

  • the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee Inquiry into the Issues Facing Diaspora Communities in Australia; and
  • the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters Inquiry on the Future Conduct of Elections Operating during Times of Emergency Situations.

Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee

ASIO appeared before the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee as part of the Senate Estimates process on 20 October 2020, 22 March 2021, 14 April 2021 and 25 May 2021.

ASIO’s evidence to the committee can be found in the estimates Hansard for those days (refer to https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Senate_Estimates and navigate to the relevant hearing).

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) assists ministers to oversee and review the activities of intelligence agencies for legality and propriety.

The IGIS performs this function through inspections, inquiries, and investigations into complaints. The IGIS is also required to assist the government to assure the public and the parliament that Commonwealth intelligence and security matters are open to scrutiny.

The IGIS retains statutory powers akin to those of a standing royal commission.

Meeting our legal obligations and embodying the highest ethical standards is critical to maintaining the trust of the Australian public and our ongoing effectiveness as Australia’s security intelligence organisation.

Every ASIO officer is responsible for complying with our legislated requirements, the Minister’s Guidelines for ASIO, and associated internal policies and procedures. Central to this is acting with integrity and ensuring proportionality in all our work.

During 2020–21 the IGIS regularly inspected activities across our operational functions, and investigated a small number of complaints received by the Office.

During the reporting period, ASIO completed its implementation of recommendations arising from two inquiries undertaken by the IGIS in the 2018–19 reporting period.

ASIO has adopted in full the two recommendations from the IGIS’s preliminary inquiry into the application of national security classifications undertaken this reporting period, and has also addressed other issues as raised by the IGIS.

Independent National Security Legislation Monitor

The Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (INSLM) reviews the operation, effectiveness and implications of Australia’s counter-terrorism and national security legislation, and reports to the Prime Minister and parliament on an ongoing basis.

The INSLM considers whether the laws contain appropriate safeguards to protect individuals’ rights, remain proportionate to threats of terrorism or national security, and remain necessary. The Prime Minister may also refer a counter-terrorism or national security matter to the INSLM, either at the INSLM’s suggestion or on the Prime Minister’s initiative, under the Act.

During 2020–21 ASIO appeared at a public hearing to give evidence to the review of the operation of section 22 of the National Security Information (Criminal and Civil Proceedings) Act 2004 as it applies in the ‘Alan Johns’ matter (a pseudonym).

Independent Reviewer of Adverse Security Assessments

The Independent Reviewer of Adverse Security Assessments (Independent Reviewer) reviews adverse ASIO security assessments that impact individuals who are in immigration detention and who have been found by Home Affairs to be owed protection under international law.

The Independent Reviewer conducts a primary review of each adverse security assessment. For eligible individuals, these assessments are periodically reviewed—every 12 months—for the duration of the adverse assessment.

Appendix I provides the Independent Reviewer’s annual report for the current reporting period.

Compliance

Ethical behaviour and integrity are core values of the Organisation, and are essential to sustaining the confidence and trust of the parliament and the Australian people. We earn this confidence through strict compliance with the law, stringent application of policies and procedures, and active cooperation with external oversight bodies.

Centralised internal audit and compliance functions are key components of ASIO’s approach to corporate governance. These provide assurance to the Director-General that our risk, control and compliance measures ensure our resources are used efficiently, effectively and ethically. This includes taking all reasonable steps to prevent, deter and address fraud. These efforts also serve to ensure ASIO is positioned to meet current and future security challenges.

Internal audit function

ASIO’s internal audit function is designed to add value and improve our operations and service delivery. By applying a systematic and disciplined approach to evaluation and advice, the function supports effective and efficient internal control and governance frameworks.

Subject to security policies and operational considerations, our internal audit function has unrestricted access to all ASIO premises, work areas, documentation and information necessary to meet its responsibilities.

During the reporting period, ASIO undertook a program of compliance audits and performance reviews.

Compliance function

ASIO’s compliance function is focused on ensuring the Organisation continues to demonstrate its commitment to the highest standards of ethics and compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, rules and policies.

During the reporting period, our centralised compliance function and internal assurance frameworks continued to mature.

ASIO Audit and Risk Committee

The ASIO Audit and Risk Committee is an independent advisory body, responsible for providing independent assurance and advice to the Director-General and the Executive Committee on ASIO’s risk oversight and management, financial and performance reporting responsibilities, and systems of internal control.

The committee operates under a charter which sets out its functions and responsibilities in accordance with section 45 of the PGPA Act and section 17 of the Public Governance Performance and Accountability Rule[1].

Under the Audit and Risk Committee’s charter, the committee has four external members, including an external chair, as well as observers from the Australian National Audit Office[2]. The audit committee members have a broad range of appropriate qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience relevant to the operations of ASIO. This includes at least one member with accounting or related financial management experience, and an understanding of accounting and auditing standards in a public sector environment. On appointment, committee members receive an induction briefing on ASIO governance and operations.

During this reporting period, the committee met five times (four quarterly meetings and an extraordinary meeting convened for the financial statements review). Each meeting had a quorum, with all members attending two meetings, and all but one attending the remaining three.

Fraud control and management

ASIO has zero tolerance for fraudulent behaviour. ASIO treats both suspected and actual fraud seriously and takes all reasonable measures to prevent, detect and investigate fraudulent behaviour. The ASIO Fraud Control Plan 2019–21 documents our approach to fraud awareness, prevention, detection, reporting and investigation, and our commitment to ensuring efficient, effective and ethical use of resources—including the information and data we collect, and the resources we receive from government. Our fraud prevention measures are in line with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework 2017.

During the reporting period, we conducted fraud pressure-testing on a sample of countermeasures (also known as controls) identified in our Fraud Risk Assessment. This allowed us to identify fraud vulnerabilities and determine the effectiveness of our countermeasures.

As part of this framework, all staff must complete mandatory eLearning on ethics and accountability, including modules on fraud, during induction and then at least every three years thereafter.

The ASIO Fraud Strategy Statement 2021 provides further information on our fraud control and management arrangements.

Significant legal matters affecting ASIO’s business

In 2020–21 ASIO was involved in legal proceedings in courts and tribunals. Matters included terrorism prosecutions, judicial and merits reviews of security assessments, coronial inquests and civil lawsuits.

Administrative Appeals Tribunals

ASIO was involved in proceedings before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) in the 2020–21 reporting period. Most of these proceedings were reviews of ASIO security assessments. Three matters related to reviews of National Archives access decisions involving ASIO material.

AAT decisions are reported on the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) website, www.austlii.edu.au.

Tribunal reviews—security assessments

Over the 2020–21 reporting period, there were 12 AAT reviews of ASIO adverse security assessments, and two AAT reviews of ASIO qualified security assessments. These ASIO security assessments related to eligibility for passports, visas, security clearances and citizenship.

Of these 14 matters:

  • one decision was handed down, affirming the adverse security assessment that was the subject of the review;
  • one assessment was remitted to ASIO for a new assessment to be prepared. This assessment remains under consideration at the end of the reporting period;
  • three matters were heard, and decisions remain reserved at the end of the reporting period;
  • two matters were withdrawn; and
  • seven matters are pending before the AAT at the end of this reporting period.

Tribunal reviews—archives matters

Over this reporting period, ASIO assisted the AAT in three reviews of National Archives access decisions in which exemptions had been claimed to protect ASIO material from release.

Criminal prosecutions

In collaboration with our law enforcement partners and prosecuting authorities—and with appropriate protections—ASIO provided information for use as evidence to prosecutions, and responded to subpoenas and disclosure requests.

Federal and High Court reviews—security assessments

ASIO was involved in Federal and High Court proceedings, both as a respondent in security assessment reviews and as an interested third party in other proceedings. We worked closely with other stakeholders to manage the collective Commonwealth interest.

Management of human resources

Current workplace agreement

ASIO’s terms and conditions of employment are set out in a determination approved by the Director-General under the ASIO Act. During the reporting period, 67 Senior Executive Service (SES) employees and 2059 non-SES employees were covered by the determination.

A wage increase under the current determination took effect from 29 October 2020 for non-SES employees, following a six-month wage deferral consistent with Australian Government policy. SES employees did not receive a wage increase during the period.

The Executive Vehicle Scheme is available to SES officers and employees at the AEE3 classification. Under the scheme, eligible employees are provided with an executive vehicle unless the employee elects to be paid cash in lieu of the executive vehicle.

The salary ranges available for employees by classification level are shown at Appendix D.

Performance management

All ASIO employees participated in the 2020–21 performance management cycle, consistent with policy requirements.

To further strengthen ASIO’s commitment to high performance, a range of enhancements were made to the 2020–21 Performance Agreement to better capture accountabilities, outcomes and behaviours, and encompass corporate contributions and agreed flexible working arrangements.

Consistent with ASIO’s commitment to support and develop our leaders, ASIO has introduced manager-once-removed feedback for executive and SES officers, as part of the performance framework. This involves managers gathering feedback about their direct reports from team members or internal stakeholders and then using that feedback to help focus ongoing leadership development.

People strategy

ASIO has adopted a five-year Workforce Plan to ensure the Organisation is well positioned to meet future workforce challenges. The three key areas of focus in the plan are capability, efficiency and engagement.

Actions completed in the first year of the plan included:

  • delivering an updated and integrated People Capability Framework;
  • conducting an all-staff survey; and
  • commencing drafting a suite of job role profiles.

These deliverables support professional development, retention and staff engagement.

Diversity and inclusion

ASIO continues to make positive progress towards increasing the diversity of its workforce and ensuring the workplace is inclusive. Guided by our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2021–24, our progress has been supported by ASIO’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and Senior Executive Champions. Key achievements included:

  • the release of ASIO’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2021–24;
  • the achievement of gender balance
    in our SES; and
  • the launch of our first affirmative (Indigenous) measures recruitment round.

The objectives of our strategy focus on embedding diversity and inclusion in everything we do, and ensuring that our people reflect the community we protect. We continue to leverage the diversity of our workforce to achieve mission outcomes and to ensure that our employees feel empowered to bring their whole selves to work.

ASIO has continued to work collaboratively across the National Intelligence Community in diversity and inclusion. ASIO has led several initiatives and days of significance, bringing our National Intelligence Community partners together in recognition of our shared diversity objectives.

Statistics on the diversity of our workforce are provided at Appendix E.

ASIO has seven staff-led networks which play an important role in contributing to its diverse and inclusive culture. The networks provide support and empower staff to initiate organisational change to achieve ASIO’s diversity and inclusion goals.

ASIO’s diversity networks are championed by members of the SES who help to achieve our diversity objectives by:

  • providing guidance and support directly to the networks; and
  • working across the senior levels of the Organisation.
     

Diversity networks

aGENda

ASIO's gender-equity network promotes equal opportunity for ASIO's workforce, regardless of gender. The aGENda network organises events and initiatives to ensure gender considerations continue to shape the corporate agenda.

ASIOpen

ASIO's gender diverse and sexually diverse network promotes an inclusive workplace culture and supports gender diverse and sexually diverse employees to be open and authentic in the workplace.

CapABILITY

ASIO's CapABILITY network represents staff who experience any form of physical or mental health issue, neurodiversity or caring responsibilities.

Introverts

ASIO's introverts network contributes to all staff being heard, recognised and valued for their contributions, regardless of how introverted or extroverted they are.

Mozaik

Mozaik–ASIO's cultural diversity network–fosters collaboration across ASIO's workforce to develop tangible work programs to remove potential barriers to acceptance and opportunity.

Mudyi

The Mudyi Network seeks to raise awareness and appreciation of Indigenous culture and drive corporate initiatives aimed at improving the workplace experience for Indigenous people.

Parents Network

This network is for ASIO staff who are parents, or about to become parents. It helps them while they are on leave and as they return to work to navigate flexible and part-time working arrangements.

ASIO Ombudsman

The ASIO Ombudsman is an external service provider who works to resolve employee issues or concerns impartially and informally through advice, consultation and mediation.

During the reporting year, the ASIO Ombudsman supported employees and line managers through:

  • informal discussions;
  • reviews of policy documents; and
  • information-sharing, such as best-practice policy and research papers.

In addition, the following formal engagements occurred:

  • seven staff requests on topics such as recruitment and career path options;
  • one health review;
  • two discussions with staff networks;
  • three inquiries into staff concerns; and
  • two meetings with inter-agency stakeholders.

In 2020–21 the ASIO Ombudsman did not participate in any work related to public interest disclosures.

Asset management

The Organisation’s governance framework for managing assets so that asset balances in the financial statements are accurately reported includes:

  • asset investment and replacement, through setting an annual budget that reflects both government priorities and ongoing business requirements. The budget is monitored monthly and reviewed regularly during the year to ensure planned expenditure reflects business requirements;
  • undertaking a rolling annual stocktake, impairment review and useful life expectancy review to update and verify the accuracy of asset records;
  • conducting fair-value measurement through two-yearly revaluations of all tangible assets, which is completed by qualified external valuers. Materiality review is undertaken in the years between valuations; and
  • maintaining property, plant and equipment assets through maintenance programs.

Additional information on the value, acquisition and disposal of assets is available in the 2020–21 financial statements of this report.

Purchasing

During 2020–21 ASIO adhered to the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPR) and associated policy and guidelines. ASIO’s compliance was monitored by the Audit and Risk Committee as well as the Security and Compliance Committee. No significant issues were identified, and overall compliance was acceptable.

Consultants

During the 2020–21 reporting period, ASIO entered into 30 new consultancy contracts, involving total actual expenditure of $2 589 896 (GST-inclusive). In addition, four ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the reporting period, involving total actual expenditure of $144 592 (GST-inclusive).

Table 2: Expenditure on reportable consultancy contracts for the current reporting period (2020–21)

  Total
Number of new contracts entered into during the period 30
Total actual expenditure on new contracts during the period (GST-inclusive) $2 589 896
Number of ongoing contracts entered into during a previous period 4
Total actual expenditure on ongoing contracts during the period (GST-inclusive) $144 592

ASIO applied the CPR and Department of Finance guidance when selecting and engaging consultants. We also followed internal policy and associated procedures on identifying and determining the nature of a contract. This ensured that we used appropriate methods for engaging and contracting consultants.

ASIO engaged consultants when we needed professional, independent and expert advice or services that were not available within the Organisation.

In the 2020–21 reporting period we also entered into 474 new non-consultancy contracts involving total actual expenditure of $91 328 873 (GST-inclusive). In addition, 209 ongoing non-consultancy contracts were active during the reporting period, involving total actual expenditure of $59 562 499 (GST-inclusive).

Table 3: Expenditure on reportable non-consultancy contracts for the current reporting period (2020–21)

  Total
Number of new contracts entered into during the period 474
Total actual expenditure on new contracts during the period (GST-inclusive) $91 328 873
Number of ongoing contracts that were entered into during a previous period 209
Total actual expenditure on ongoing contracts during the period (GST-inclusive) $59 562 499

Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies and non-consultancies; information on the value of contracts is available on the AusTender website. However, we are not required to publish information on the AusTender website, in line with authorised exemptions to avoid prejudice to our national security activities. A list of consultancy and non-consultancy contracts to the value of $10 000 or more during this reporting period, and the total value of each of those contracts over the life of each contract, is available to the PJCIS on request, which oversees our administration and expenditure.

Australian National Audit Office access clauses

During this reporting period, ASIO did not enter into any contracts valued at $100 000 or more that did not provide the Auditor-General with access to the contractor’s premises.

Exempt contracts

The Director-General has applied measures necessary to protect national security which exempt ASIO from publishing details of contract arrangements, including standing offers, in accordance with clause 2.6 of the CPR. Details of our arrangements, contracts and standing offers are available to the PJCIS on request.

Procurement initiatives to support small business

Throughout 2020–21 ASIO adhered to the CPR and associated policy and guidelines. ASIO’s compliance was monitored through the Audit and Risk Committee and the Security and Compliance Committee. No significant issues were identified, and overall compliance was acceptable.

ASIO supports small business participation in the Australian Government procurement market. Small and medium enterprises (SME) and small enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website at www.finance.gov.au.

Our procurement practices to support SME include:

  • standardising contracts and approach-to-market templates, using clear and simple language;
  • ensuring information is easily accessible through the electronic advertisement of business opportunities and electronic submission for responses; and
  • using electronic systems to facilitate the Department of Finance’s Procurement On-Time Payment Policy for Small Business, including payment cards.

ASIO recognises the importance of ensuring that small businesses are paid on time. The results of the survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business are available at www.finance.gov.au/government/procurement/statistics-australian-government-procurement-contracts.

Other mandatory information

Advertising and market research

In the financial year 2020–21, ASIO expended $314 183 on marketing and advertising campaigns. Further information on these advertising campaigns is available at www.asio.gov.au and in the reports on Australian Government advertising prepared by the Department of Finance. Those reports are available on the Department of Finance’s website (see also Appendix G).

ASIO does not fall within the definition of agencies covered by the reporting requirements of section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

Disability reporting

The National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 is Australia’s overarching framework for disability reform. It acts to ensure the principles underpinning the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are incorporated into Australia’s policies and programs that affect people with disability, their families and carers.

All levels of government will continue to be held accountable for the implementation of the strategy through biennial progress reporting to the Council of Australian Governments. Progress reports can be found at the Department of Social Services website, www.dss.gov.au.

Appendix E of ASIO’s annual report provides information on the diversity of our workforce, including statistics on people with a disability. The annual report is also available at www.asio.gov.au.

Commonwealth Child Safe Framework—statement of compliance

ASIO has a strong commitment to child safety, and protecting and safeguarding children, while promoting and maintaining a culture that provides a safe environment for children.

ASIO’s purpose is to protect Australia and Australians from threats to their security. In meeting this purpose, ASIO has occasional contact with minors, including direct and indirect contact.

An annual review of organisational child-related risks has been undertaken to ensure that existing and emerging risks to children are identified and that appropriate mitigation strategies are developed. The overall risk rating of the safety of children and young people during operations in 2020–21 is medium. By complying with the requirements of the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework (CCSF) and identifying and controlling these risks, the risk to children is mitigated.

ASIO’s activities are consistent with each of the four requirements of the CCSF.

ASIO’s operational and investigative activity involving children is managed through the application of laws and policies to support children’s physical and psychological safety; the maintenance of a workforce that is appropriately trained, qualified and compliant with mandatory obligations; and the effective identification, reporting and management of child-related incidents. In addition, there are strong safeguards embedded in legislation relating to the compulsory questioning of minors under the ASIO Act.

Staff are aware of the sensitivities that apply when working with children and have access to specialist advice as required.

To further strengthen ASIO’s compliance with the CCSF, ASIO has conducted an audit to understand and manage risks related to activities involving child-related work. This work will be used to inform further initiatives, including the review and refinement of training modules and policy.

All ASIO’s activities are subject to oversight by the IGIS, who is responsible for reviewing the activities of intelligence agencies for legality, propriety and consistency with human rights.

Archives Act 1983

ASIO is an exempt agency under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 but is subject to the release of records under the Archives Act 1983 (Archives Act). This provides for public access to Commonwealth records in the ‘open period’. In accordance with changes to the Archives Act in 2010, the open period has transitioned from 30 to 20 years. The current open period covers all Commonwealth records created before 2001. ASIO works closely with the National Archives of Australia to facilitate access to ASIO records.

During the reporting period, ASIO received 537 requests for access to ASIO records, a significant (60 per cent) increase in requests compared with the previous reporting period.

In 2020–21, ASIO completed a total of 538 requests, equating to 47 913 pages requiring assessment.

Most requests (79 per cent) were completed within the 90-business-day legislative time frame, a significant increase compared with 59 per cent in the previous period.

The increase in completions in the reporting period is due to:

  • the completion of a large number of small requests; and
  • the completion of an increased number of longstanding cases.

Table 4: Access to ASIO records

  2018–19 2019–20 2020–21
Applications for record access 344 334 537
Requests completed 410 399 538
Pages assessed 57 783 72 820 47 913
Percentage of requests completed within 90 days 60% 59% 79%

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979

ASIO is required by section 94 of the ASIO Act to include in its annual report, details on its use of questioning warrants; special intelligence operation authorities; authorisations for access to telecommunications data; technical assistance requests, technical assistance notices and technical capability notices; and special powers under warrant.

The statement on questioning warrants is provided at Appendix J. To ensure compliance with the determination made by the Minister for Finance under section 105D of the PGPA Act, and to avoid prejudice to ASIO’s activities, Appendix L relating to special intelligence operation authorities, Appendix M relating to telecommunications data access authorisations, Appendix N relating to Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (TOLA) authorisations and Appendix O relating to use of special powers under warrant have been removed from the annual report tabled in parliament.

These classified appendices are provided separately to ASIO’s minister and, as required by the ASIO Act, to the Leader of the Opposition. Copies of the classified appendices will also be provided to the Attorney-General, the IGIS, and the INSLM.

Appendix M relating to telecommunications data access authorisations will also be provided to the PJCIS.

Work Health and Safety Act 2011

Schedule 2, part 4 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 requires non-corporate Commonwealth entities to include in their annual reports information on health and safety outcomes and initiatives taken during the reporting period to ensure the health, safety and welfare of workers who carry out work for them.

Our report for 2020–21 is provided at Appendix F.

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918—advertising and market research

Section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918

requires annual reporting by each Commonwealth department on amounts paid by, or on behalf of, the Commonwealth department for advertising and market research.

Our report for 2020–21 is provided at Appendix G.

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 requires Commonwealth entities to report on how the activities of the entity during the period accorded with the principles of ecologically sustainable development.

Our report for 2020–21 is provided at Appendix H.


Footnotes

1. Consistent with the determination issued to ASIO under section 105D of the Public Governance Performance and Accountability Act 2013, the annual report has not provided a direct electronic address for the charter determining the function of the ASIO Audit and Risk Committee. Back to text

2. Consistent with the determination issued to ASIO under section 105D of the Public Governance Performance and Accountability Act 2013, the annual report has not provided membership and remuneration details. Back to text