This amendment would have required certain additional information to be reported in the annual report of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation ('ASIO'). This information would have included:
- the total number of requests made during the year for co-operation and assistance;
- the name of each body which made a request; and
- a summary of the purpose or purposes for which each request was made.(Read the exact wording of Senator Ludlam's amendment here.
Background to the bill
The bill was introduced "to facilitate increased cooperation, assistance and information sharing in areas of key national security by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), the Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) and the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (DIGO)".(Read more about the purpose of the bill in its bills digest.)
According to the explanatory memorandum, this bill addresses the concerns highlighted in the inaugural National Security Statement in 2008. That statement identified the need for national security agencies to form a closer relationship through information sharing in order to address contemporary security issues. This need was further highlighted by the failed terrorist attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on 25 December 2009.