Australian Secret Intelligence Service, Australia's overseas secret intelligence collection agency
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ASIS in the NIC

The National Intelligence Community (NIC) was officially formed following the Australian Government's adoption of the 2017 Independent Intelligence Review's (IIR) recommendations.

The NIC comprises of the six agencies that formerly made up the Australian Intelligence Community (AIC) - the Office of National Intelligence (ONI), (formerly the Office of National Assessments, ONA), the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO), the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) - as well as the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), the intelligence functions of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and the Department of Home Affairs.

These agencies and departments form the Australian Government's intelligence enterprise, working to collect, analyse and disseminate intelligence information and advice in accordance with Australia's interest and national security priorities.

Difference between ASIS & ASIO

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) is Australia's national security service. As set out in the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979, ASIO’s main role is to gather information and produce intelligence to warn the government about activities or situations that might endanger Australia’s security. ASIS and ASIO have in common the fact they both collect intelligence from human sources and are both members of the National Intelligence Community (NIC). However, there are substantial differences between the two agencies. ASIS’s work relates to foreign intelligence in the interests of Australia's national security, foreign relations and national economic well-being, whilst ASIO’s work principally relates to security intelligence. ‘Security intelligence’ is not a synonym for ‘domestic intelligence’ - ASIO’s role is limited only by its function of security intelligence as defined in the ASIO Act, not by geography. Another important difference is that while human intelligence constitutes the majority of ASIS’s work, ASIO’s human collection is only one part of its work as an integrated collection, assessment and advisory agency.

chat icon Minister for Foreign Affairs

ASIS is accountable to Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs

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law icon Legislation

Following reforms in recent years, the accountability framework for most intelligence agencies in Australia has been provided by legislation.

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gears icon Accountability

ASIS operates under a stringent accountability framework, as set out in The Intelligence Services Act 2001 ('the Act').

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