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Forming a National Intelligence Community

The most recent review of the intelligence community was the 2017 Independent Intelligence Review. The review — conducted by Mr Michael L'estrange AO, Mr Stephen Merchant PSM and supported by Sir Iain Lobban KCMG CB — published its report in July 2017. The review assessed Australia's intelligence arrangements and structures to determine whether they remained appropriate to meet the nation's future security requirements.

It found the complexity of the geostrategic environment, the pace of technological change and the broadening scope of security and intelligence challenges facing Australia mean its intelligence agencies were increasingly stretched and needed to be better integrated in their efforts to meet those challenges.

The review made 23 recommendations to government. For ONA, the most significant of these was the recommendation to legislatively expanded ONA to form a new agency — the Office of National Intelligence (ONI) — with an enhanced coordination and evaluation remit. The review also recharacterised the intelligence community as a broader National Intelligence Community (NIC), comprising the six AIC agencies — ONI, ASD, AGO, ASIS, ASIO and DIO — as well as the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and the intelligence functions of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and The Department of Home Affairs.

A copy of the report can be found here.

Explore the timeline of the Australian Intelligence Community Timeline

Learn more