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Comprehensive review of the legal framework governing the National Intelligence Community

Review

Closing date

A classified report was presented to government December 2019.

On 30 May 2018, the Attorney-General announced that the government had commissioned a comprehensive review of the legal framework governing the National Intelligence Community.

The review comprehensively examined the effectiveness of the legislative framework governing the National Intelligence Community and prepared findings and recommendations for reforms. The review is supported by a Secretariat in the Attorney-General's Department.​

The government appointed Dennis Richardson AC as the Reviewer. Mr Richardson was the Secretary of the Department of Defence from 2012 to 2017, and brought a deep knowledge and experience of the National Intelligence Community and its operations to the review. Mr Richardson was formerly Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 2010 to 2012, the Ambassador of Australia to the United States from 2005 to 2009 and Director General of Security from 1996 to 2005.

The review implemented a recommendation of the 2017 Independent Intelligence Review that:

A comprehensive review of the Acts governing Australia's intelligence community be undertaken to ensure agencies operate under a legislative framework which is clear, coherent and contains consistent protections for Australians.

For more information on the review's remit, please see the following:

Terms of reference for the Comprehensive Review of the Legal Framework of the National Intelligence Community

Terms of reference
The review will comprehensively examine the effectiveness of the legislative framework for the National Intelligence Community (NIC) and prepare findings and recommendations for any reforms.

Outcomes

The review presented a classified report to the government in December 2019, and is required to provide an unclassified version of the report in 2020.