GCSB Changes

April 15th, 2013 at 6:09 pm by David Farrar

has announced changes to the oversight of the GCSB and SIS:

1: The pool of candidates who are able to perform the role of Inspector General will be widened, by removing the requirement that the person be a retired High Court judge. This will broaden the range of experience and capability available to the role. For example, Australia’s equivalent is a former ombudsman.

2: The Inspector General’s office will be made more proactive, taking it a step further from the role it currently has, which is more review-focused. The office would be able to undertake its own inquiries more easily, and it will be expected to specifically note publicly each year its view on whether or not the agencies it oversees are compliant with the law.

The Government will increase the scope of the Inspector General’s active review programme to include a much broader range of the agencies’ activities. This will have the effect of making the Inspector General’s role more proactive.

3: The resourcing and staffing of the Inspector General’s office will be increased, and the new role of Deputy Inspector General will be created.

4: Legislation will explicitly expand the Inspector General’s work programme, including compliance audits and greater reporting responsibilities. ’s own quarterly reporting processes will be tightened up.

5: The Inspector General’s work will become more transparent, through greater availability of its reports and views publicly.

These all look like good changes, in line with what Kitteridge recommended.

I presume these proposed changes be open for submissions, and there may be further changes that can be proposed and considered.

“It is now the responsible thing to do to clarify the legislation, to make it clear the GCSB can provide support to agencies which are undertaking their lawful duties.

“To do anything less would be to leave our national security open to threat, and as Prime Minister I am simply not willing to do that. To do nothing would be an easy course of action politically, but it would be an irresponsible one.”

Mr Key says thetre proposed changes to the GCSB Act will clarify its long-standing practices, so the GCSB can provide assistance to other agencies, subject to conditions and oversight.

I think this is inevitable and desirable. It would be silly to allow what was basically a drafting error in the 2003 law, neuter our capacity to respond to potential security threats.

However it is important that any legislation restricts the GCSB to assistance where an independent warrant has been granted to the other agency. And the changes above must include specific disclosure of such assistance as part of regular reporting so that one can see that any assistance is rare and only in line with warrants issued by the appropriate authorities.

I assume and hope that the legislation will follow the normal legislative path, including committee submissions. Of course it will go to the Intelligence and Security Committee, rather than a select committee.

The ISC comprises (I think) John Key, David Shearer, Peter Dunne, John Banks and Russel Norman

Today, Mr Key also released the terms of reference into the unauthorised disclosure of Ms Kitteridge’s report.

The Commissioners of the report, DPMC Chief Executive Andrew Kibblewhite and GCSB Director Ian Fletcher, have appointed David Henry to conduct the inquiry.

Good. It is outrageous that the draft report was leaked, and there are only a few people who could have had access to it. Hopefully the inquiry will discover the person responsible.

Tags: ,

10 Responses to “GCSB Changes”

  1. Viking2 (11,128 comments) says:

    Like they did Brash’s. Fat chance.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Viking2 (11,128 comments) says:

    “It is now the responsible thing to do to clarify the legislation, to make it clear the GCSB can provide support to agencies which are undertaking their lawful duties.

    We still have a problem with defining what is lawful and legitimate as oppossed to commercialy driven witch hunting.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. MT_Tinman (2,989 comments) says:

    Well no, actually V2 we don’t.

    I do have serious concerns about the make-up of the ISC committee though given recent leaks.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    The nen Inspector General

    As a retired policeman with many entries on his personal file calling into question his judgement and a circle of friends often brought in for questioning I feel have the experience to oversee this new re-branded agency.

    The only problem would be if Shearer was on my interview board, I’d be too old after several hours of listening to , ums, but, hmm, maybe, but, hmmmmmmmmmmmm, ummmmmmmmmm.

    Seriously anything that makes detecting better and uses funds better is a good move. There are nutters and serious malcontents in our society and they are dealt with often nice and quietly by a knock on the door and told to stay home for the day. Thats all it often takes a avoid major scenes

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. pq (728 comments) says:

    good

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Johnboy (14,973 comments) says:

    Nice to see that John is becoming slightly less relaxed than his predecessor was about spooks in the PM’s attic! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. flipper (3,550 comments) says:

    As posted on GD this morning:

    flipper (1,503) Says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 8:43 am
    Whatever anyone may say about J Key, thy cannot say he did not exercise extraordinary patience dealing with that smart arse, arrogant bint, Smalley on TV3 this morning.

    Frankly I want to hear what Key says, and make up my ,mind “unaided”. I do NOT want that bitch talking over the Prime Minister and trying to persuade him to call Ferguson a liar.

    I am inclined to believe Kitteridge. Ferguson is a pissed off labour man who obviously leaked a variety of GCSB matters to selected media. Just an arsehole…and most likely a liar..

    Here endeth the first lesson! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. flipper (3,550 comments) says:

    So, if red-melon Norman is on the HoR’s Security Intel committee, where will his loyalties rest?
    How much info will be withheld because he cannot (obviously, based on past associations and statements) be trusted ?

    The height of stupidity.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Paulus (2,500 comments) says:

    Wussel’s loyalty is to his masters Greenpeace.

    I wonder what part the former Labour head of GCSB has to play with the leak – I would start with him first as he had a pre release draft, and a bitch against not being re-appointed, neither was his friend past the shortlist.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. lastmanstanding (1,204 comments) says:

    Id definitely have Ferguson in for a bit of chat and maybe some waterboarding to find out what Klark and he got up to in her time. Betcha most of the illegal stuff happened on those 2 watches.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.