The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has today tabled its annual review of six Australian intelligence agencies. The review, covering the 2020-2021 period, found that amidst a changing strategic environment and facing the significant impact of COVID-19, Australia’s intelligence agencies largely worked in an effective, and increasingly collaborative, manner.
‘The Committee found that, on the whole, agencies performed their roles well, particularly considering the challenging operational environment faced over the reporting period’, said Committee Chair, Mr Peter Khalil MP.
The Committee made four recommendations. Noting the increasing phenomenon of harmful disinformation during 2020 and 2021, the Committee recommended that the Director-General of Security consider opportunities to report to Australians on the prevalence of disinformation, misinformation and harmful propaganda that threaten Australia’s national security.
Two further recommendations focused on improving the sharing of information with the Committee by intelligence agencies as well as the Auditor-General. The remaining recommendation addressed staffing within the National Intelligence Community (NIC), and recommended that the Office of National Intelligence work with the NIC to develop consistent data collection on staff movements, with a focus on attraction and retention of staff to the NIC.
Mr Khalil said, ‘The people who work in Australia’s intelligence agencies are our greatest asset. By developing a whole-of-NIC recruitment and retention strategy, Australia will be better positioned to deliver on its intelligence priorities.’
‘This includes securing a recruitment pipeline through effective security clearance processes as well as maintaining the ‘value-proposition’ agencies offer, to remain market competitive,’ added Mr Khalil.
The Committee’s report can be found at the following link.