ASIO sits within the Attorney-General’s portfolio, and we report directly to the Attorney-General on our operations, use of special powers and emerging security issues. ASIO also regularly briefs the National Security Committee of Cabinet, other ministers and key members of the Opposition on matters related to national security.
We are required by legislation to report annually on our performance and demonstrate the value returned to the Commonwealth from its investment in our programs, which we do each October through our unclassified Annual Report. We make this report publicly available and provide a highly classified report to inform select senior Government officials on some of the more sensitive aspects of our work. We also produce an annual Corporate Plan.
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) was formed in 2005, to review the administration and expenditure of the Australian Intelligence Community. The committee can also decide to review matters referred to it by ministers or parliament, and has recently considered issues like terrorism-related legislation and the retention of metadata for security intelligence investigations. It is currently reviewing ASIO’s questioning and detention powers.
The Director-General of Security also appears before the Commonwealth Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee and answers questions about ASIO’s functions and powers, how we partner and share information with other agencies here and overseas, and developments in the global security environment.