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Australia Inspector General Intelligence Inquiry

Inquiry By Australia Inspector General Intelligence And Security

In April this year the Government publicly released a report completed in 2003 by the then Inspector General of Intelligence and Security Mr Bill Blick into claims made by LTCOL Lance Collins. Subsequently the current Inspector General of Intelligence and Security Mr Ian Carnell reviewed all files relating to this report.

Following this review, Mr Carnell wrote to Defence Minister Robert Hill in May this year outlining his overall findings which were consistent with those of Mr Blick.

Mr Carnell did however suggest that while Mr Blick’s investigation into one of LTCOL Collins’ claims was comprehensive it was not exhaustive, as evidence was not obtained from three people with some involvement in the events.

Mr Carnell suggested that given their immediate involvement it would be desirable to attempt to obtain evidence from them pursuant to Section 8(3)(a)(ii) of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act. Senator Hill requested Mr Carnell to undertake such an inquiry.

Mr Carnell reported to Senator Hill on 30 November. He found that access to the intelligence database had been deliberately turned off and that it wasn’t as a result of an instruction from the Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) Frank Lewincamp.

He further found that there were at the time security concerns, including the need to protect certain categories of intelligence and establish reasonable limitation in the database on what particular groups of users could access, and that the short term loss of access does not seem to have been a critical deficiency in operational terms.

Mr Carnell suggested Senator Hill seek further advice from the Secretary of the Department of Defence in relation to certain matters. That advice was sought and has since been provided. Whilst the May letter can now be released, for reasons of natural justice it is not appropriate to release the November report at this time. The Secretary is pursuing legal and administrative issues arising from the report.

Note: A copy of the May 2004 letter from the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security is available at: Correspondence_IGIS_to_MINDEF.pdf

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