Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (New Zealand)

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The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is a New Zealand official who is responsible for supervising the country's two main intelligence agencies, the Security Intelligence Service and the Government Communications Security Bureau. The IGIS is responsible for reviewing issues of legality, efficacy and efficiency, and human rights and privacy compliance as set out in the Act establishing the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security 1996. In particular, the IGIS: assists the Minister responsible for the intelligence and security agencies to ensure the activities of each agency comply with the law; and ensures that complaints relating to intelligence and security agencies are independently investigated.[1] The Inspector-General has no jurisdiction over the activities of the National Assessments Bureau.[2]

The Inspector-General is chosen by the Prime Minister, after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. The Inspector-General makes an annual report to the Prime Minister, with a copy going to the Leader of the Opposition. A version with secret information removed is presented to Parliament.

The position of Inspector-General was created in 1996. It replaced an earlier Commissioner for Security Appeals, a position created in 1969. The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) provides independent external oversight and review of the intelligence and security agencies.

Functions of the Inspector-General[edit]

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is a statutory officer appointed under the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996.[3] The Inspector's role is to assist the Minister in charge of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) and Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), usually the Prime Minister, to ensure those bodies act lawfully and with propriety, and to provide an independent determination of complaints about their conduct. The Inspector-General also reviews those bodies' compliance procedures and systems. The Inspector's precise functions are stated in section 11 of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996.[4]

The present Inspector-General is Cheryl Gwyn.[5] The office, which traditionally has been very small, is in the process of expansion to include a Deputy Director, two advisors, and investigation staff. This expansion is to be accompanied by greater resourcing and a more intensive role.

The Inspector-General does not have a management role in the NZSIS or GCSB. The Inspector-General cannot order the NZSIS or GCSB to take action or to cease activity. The Inspector-General's role is limited to reporting concerns and findings to the Minister, who ultimately is responsible for corrective action if seen appropriate. The Inspector-General does not have authority to review actions taken by the Minister.

The Inspector-General conducts inquiries into matters of concern, including individual complaints, report findings and recommendations to the Minister. Those reports, excluding matters of security concern, may be found on the Inspector-General's website.[6]

The Inspector-General makes a report each year after 30 June to the Minister. The information it contains is specified in section 27 of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996. A copy of that report, excluding material of security concern or which may cause danger is presented to Parliament. A copy, without deletions, must be given to the Leader of the Opposition.[7]

Details on how to make a complaint to the Inspector-General can be found under the Complaints section of the website.[8]

List of Inspectors-General[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security website". New Zealand Government. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  2. ^ Section 2(1), Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996.
  3. ^ "Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996". New Zealand Government. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  4. ^ "Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996". New Zealand Government. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  5. ^ "Inspector General Intelligence and Security appointed". Beehive. 2014-04-23. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  6. ^ "Publications". Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  7. ^ "Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996". New Zealand Government. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  8. ^ "Complaints". Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  9. ^ Audrey Young (2013-07-02). "Spy watchdog switch ahead of hearings". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2013-09-27. 
  10. ^ "Inspector General Intelligence and Security appointed". Beehive. 2014-04-23. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 

External links[edit]