The Inspector General of Intelligence and Security has published two reports, both interesting.
The first report is into the incorrect data in the GCSB annual report. It had previously been disclosed and corrected. This was a pretty serious error, and to be honest if it occurred again you’d expect the responsible staff to resign.
Frustratingly we are not told how the error occurred. The IG says “any worthwhile account of the processes involved carries severe security risks”.
The second report is about the SIS and their interactions with a resident whose house they had a warrant to search. The resident is not named, but it has been widely reported to be Rajesh Singh – a former Fiji Minister who was suspected of being involved in a plot to kill Commodore Frank Bainimarama. It is somewhat ironic that the official policy of the NZ Government is that the Commodore is an illegitimate traitor, yet they also help protect him from assassination plots (which is the correct thing to do).
Anyway Singh has multiple complaints about the SIS behaviour during the raid. The Inspector-General dismisses all but one of them, noting that the evidence of Mr Singh is less credible than those of the two SIS agents and two police officers.
The one thing the IG does ping the SIS for is Agent A saying:
“would not tolerate [redacted] whether in New Zealand or not. Anyone involved in planning would be dealt with by the NZ police … A told [the complainant] he should be careful who he spoke to about the topics which had been discussed.”
The IG says that the role of the SIS is to gather intelligence only, not enforce security.
Basically the SIS agent should have got the Police officer to tell Mr Singh not to get involved in assassination plots, rather than tell him directly. It’s not a huge issue, but it is important to have the roles clearly defined.Tags: GCSB, inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, SIS