2024 Independent Intelligence Review Terms of Reference

Terms of reference for the 2024 Independent Intelligence Review

The 2024 independent review of Australia’s National Intelligence Community (NIC) will prepare findings and recommendations on the NIC and related issues below in a classified report for the Government, along with an unclassified version of that report.

The review will be completed in the first half of 2024 and will focus on the ten agencies of the NIC (Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Australian Federal Police, Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation, Australian Secret Intelligence Service, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, Australian Signals Directorate, Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, Defence Intelligence Organisation, Department of Home Affairs and the Office of National Intelligence).

The work of the NIC underpins Australia’s national security objectives, including safeguarding Australia’s sovereignty in an increasingly uncertain security environment. The NIC is required to respond, in complex and changing circumstances, to protect Australia’s security, prosperity and values.

The NIC has undergone significant structural changes since the last Independent Intelligence Review in 2017. Further transformative changes to the NIC are also mid-implementation following the 2019 Comprehensive Review of the Legal Framework of the National Intelligence Community (2019 Comprehensive Review). 

The 2024 Independent Intelligence Review will consider:

  • The impact of the implementation of the recommendations of the 2017 Independent Intelligence Review and the 2019 Comprehensive Review, including the benefits of the establishment of the Office of National Intelligence, the expansion to create the NIC, and the effectiveness and outcomes of the Joint Capability Fund;
  • How effectively the NIC serves, and is positioned to serve, national interests and the needs of Government, including in response to the recommendations of recent reviews relevant to defence and security, and the evolving security environment;
  • The status, risks and potential mitigations of major investments in the NIC since 2017;
  • Topics identified by the 2019 Comprehensive Review for consideration by future reviews, and whether further legislative changes are needed;
  • Whether workforce decisions by the NIC at both the agency and community levels reflect a sufficiently strategic response to current and future workforce challenges, anticipate future capabilities of other states so we are best positioned to counter threats, are in line with the Australian Public Service commitments to diversity and inclusion and offer options if recruitment targets cannot be met;
  • NIC preparedness in the event of regional crisis and conflict;
  • Whether the use of the classification system by the NIC achieves the right balance between protecting sensitive information and providing decision making advantages to policy makers and operators; and
  • Whether current oversight and evaluation mechanisms are effective and consistent across the NIC.

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet will establish a secretariat for the review and provide logistics support to the review as required.

The review team will have full access to all material applicable to its examination. Relevant departments and agencies are to cooperate fully with the review and provide assistance as requested. Ministers will also be asked to meet and assist the review team. The review team is to consult widely, including seeking submissions publicly.