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Intelligence and security agencies review - Terms of reference

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Consultation material: Intelligence and security agencies review

The purpose of the review, taking into account that subsequent reviews must occur every 5 – 7 years, is to determine:

  1. whether the legislative frameworks of the intelligence and security agencies (GCSB and NZSIS) are well placed to protect New Zealand’s current and future national security, while protecting individual rights;
  2. whether the current oversight arrangements provide sufficient safeguards at an operational, judicial and political level to ensure the GCSB and NZSIS act lawfully and maintain public confidence.

The review will have particular regard to the following matters:

  1. whether the legislative provisions arising from the Countering Foreign Terrorist Fighters legislation, which expire on 31 March 2017, should be extended or modified;
  2. whether the definition of “private communication” in the legislation governing the GCSB is satisfactory;
  3. any additional matters that arise during the review as agreed by the Acting Attorney General and notified in writing in the NZ Gazette.

When determining how to conduct the review, the reviewers will take into account:

  1. the need to ensure that a wide range of members of the public have the opportunity to express their views on issues relating to the review;
  2. the need for the law to provide clear and easily understandable parameters of operation;
  3. the Law Commission’s work on whether current court processes are sufficient for dealing with classified and security sensitive information;
  4. previous relevant reviews and progress towards implementing their recommendations;
  5. relevant overseas reviews to identify best practice in areas relevant to this review, including oversight arrangements;
  6. that traditionally, signals and human intelligence have been carried out separately and the Government does not intend to consider merging those functions within a single agency.
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