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Home News Nameless ASIO powers not accountable, inspector-general warns
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DEPARTMENTSAustralian Security Intelligence Organisation
TAGS Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security
Can new powers for the nation’s spooks be accountable if they’re not tied to a statutory officer? The person charged with oversight, Dr Vivienne Thom, has her doubts.
Doubts have been raised over the accountability and oversight implications for Australian Security Intelligence Organisation officials exercising their new powers under counter-terrorism legislation introduced last week.
Briefing the MPs and senators early this morning, inspector-general of intelligence and security, Dr Vivienne Thom, said the language giving the new powers to the agency, rather than an individual statutory office holder, was “unprecedented”.
Dr Vivienne Thom
“My concern is not just the convenience of oversight, but the accountability of the individual,” Thom said. “In my view it’s better practice to have decisions by nominated individuals.”
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The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.
Harley Dennett is editor at The Mandarin based in Canberra. He's held communications roles in the New South Wales public sector and Defence, and reported for titles including Crikey and the Star Observer.
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