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Agreements for policing, search warrants, and NZSIS

[Full report: FullreporttextNZSIS.pdf]

Question of privilege concerning the agreements for policing, execution of search warrants, and collection and retention of information by the NZSIS

Report of the Privileges Committee
Fiftieth Parliament

(Hon Christopher Finlayson QC,
Chairperson)

July 2014

Presented to the House of Representatives

Summary of recommendations

We recommend to the House that it take note of the committee’s suggested amendments to the agreements for policing, execution of search warrants, and collection and retention of information by the NZSIS (page 7).

We recommend that the House note our suggestion that agreements of this kind be made available publicly, for example through the parliamentary website (page 7).

We recommend that the agreement on policing functions within the parliamentary precincts be reviewed by the parties to it to update terminology and legislative references, and to provide for a dispute resolution process between the Speaker of the House and the Commissioner of Police for disagreements about the interpretation or application of the agreement (page 9).

We recommend that the agreement on the execution of search warrants provide for a system of “chaperoning” the examination of electronic evidence, and the attendance of an information technology specialist to assist with the execution of search warrants in relation to documents stored electronically (page 11).

We recommend that the agreement on the execution of search warrants contain a single procedure to be followed when material is subject to a claim of parliamentary privilege, based on “Procedure A” in the draft agreement (page 11).

We recommend that the agreement on the execution of search warrants assert that the Speaker determines when a document or information is subject to parliamentary privilege (page 12).

We recommend that clause 6.1(e) of the agreement on the execution of search warrants provide for a default period of 24 hours for the member, the Speaker, and the Clerk of the House to seek legal advice in relation to the execution of the search warrant, but that it allow this period to be lessened or extended by agreement (page 12).

We recommend that the agreement on the execution of search warrants refer to the definition of “proceedings in Parliament”, as set out in the Parliamentary Privilege Bill, and set out practical examples of material likely to be privileged (page 13).

We recommend that the agreement on the execution of search warrants provide for a dispute resolution process for disagreements about the interpretation or application of the agreement (page 13).

We recommend that the agreement with the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service be amended to include a statement of principles and purpose (page 15).

We recommend that the agreement with the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service be amended to require that the Speaker be consulted in relation to any interception or seizure warrant to be executed on the parliamentary precincts or in a member’s constituency office; and in advance of such a warrant being issued, the Director of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service should provide a written memorandum to the Speaker of the House setting out the actions done or information held by a member which in their opinion constitute an issue of security concern (page 17).

We recommend that the agreement with the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service specify that the Inspector-General has a role in overseeing the actions of the NZSIS in relation to the agreement (page 18).

We recommend that consideration be given to whether it is necessary for the Speaker of the House to enter into a separate agreement with the Government Communications Security Bureau, in the light of the organisation’s potential role in assisting others in exercising their lawful authorities (page 20).

[Full report: FullreporttextNZSIS.pdf]

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