PJCIS backs expansion of intelligence oversight powers for IGIS and itself

Australia’s parliamentary body that scrutinises Australia’s security agencies has backed the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) taking on more intelligence oversight responsibilities.

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) in an advisory report this week said it supports the passing of new intelligence oversight laws that would extend the IGIS’s oversight role to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC).

The IGIS already has existing oversight arrangements with six agencies within Australia’s national intelligence community (NIC), including the Office of National Intelligence, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, Australian Secret Intelligence Service, Australian Signals Directorate, Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation, and Defence Intelligence Organisation.

The intelligence oversight Bill’s passage would also see the PJCIS’ own back be scratched as it would see the committee’s powers be expanded to have oversight functions with ACIC too. The PJCIS believes the Bill should provide even more oversight powers to itself, however, as the committee recommended it should also have oversight responsibilities over AUSTRAC and the Australian Federal Police.

“The committee further considers that it is necessary to extend oversight to the specialised intelligence functions of the AFP. Accordingly, the committee considers legislation governing both the PJCIS and the

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