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Release of Inspector General's Follow-up Report

Release of Inspector General's Follow-up Report

-Friday 18 June 2010

Prime Minister the Hon. John Key today released a follow-up report from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, the Hon. D.P. Neazor, about personal files and other records held by the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS).

The two main issues in the report are about the files kept on Members of Parliament, and about collecting, retaining and destroying personal records.

The Inspector-General’s report reveals that the NZSIS has addressed all the recommendations from last year’s report, has good current practices and systems in place, and is working on further protocols for dealing with information. Most of the Inspector-General’s report deals with NZSIS practices around the collection, retention and destruction of records. He is satisfied with current and proposed practices.


Media statement

18 June 2010

Inspector-General’s report reveals good processes at NZSIS

Director of Security Dr Warren Tucker said today that he welcomed the report from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, the Hon. D.P. Neazor, about personal files and records held by the NZSIS.

“The report, released today by Prime Minister the Hon. John Key, Minister in Charge of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, reveals that NZSIS processes are within the law and appropriate,” Dr Tucker said.

“Today’s report shows that the NZSIS has worked constructively with the relevant authorities to address all recommendations, and has considered further protocols for dealing with information,” he said.

“The NZSIS’s new investigation framework - a tool set up to ensure that NZSIS priorities and legislation continue to direct the collection of information - and its information management policy and procedures have together sharpened the focus of collecting information to the statutory criteria and relevant events rather than the activities of particular people,” he said.

These lines of control have been underway for some time, and should avoid any unnecessary collection of information.

The Inspector-General noted that in 50 years, NZSIS and its predecessors had accumulated records relating to about 6700 individuals. Dr Tucker said this represents a very small percentage of the New Zealand population over that time.

“Records have been maintained diligently and fastidiously at the NZSIS - with careful, proportionate, methodical and diligent work and record-keeping,” he said.

“NZSIS methods and information-collection priorities have altered over the years as the nature and perceptions of threats to security have changed, and the nature of gathering and evaluating information has also changed.”

“Since 2005, NZSIS has operated with electronic records in specialised systems designed to allow information access only to those who need it,” Dr Tucker said.

He noted that over the last several years, there had been a significant surge in requests from individuals for access to NZSIS records. This had curtailed the ongoing preparation of records for release to Archives New Zealand but the NZSIS has resumed this process.


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