Thursday, November 05, 2015


Yesterday, in her annual report, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security claimed that Ministers provided oversight of intelligence agencies. The reality is a bit different:

Under questioning by the Green Party, the Minister in-charge of the SIS admitted that he was only told of the breach of law in relation to visual surveillance in October. This was four months after the reporting period of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security's annual report which ended in June 2015. The Minister was only told two weeks before the report was released.

“The visual surveillance laws are new powers and it is unsettling that the Minister wasn’t monitoring their implementation very closely,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“These breaches of law happened between January and June, and the Minister was only told in October, which means he was in the dark for at least four months. That is not a Minister who knows what is going on in his department.

Some "oversight".

But its not just the Minister who looks bad (in fact, he looks like a complete fool at best, if not a willing accomplice to wrongdoing who actively turns a blind eye). Because its clear from that timeline that the SIS concealed their unlawful behaviour from him, and didn't tell him until their hand was forced by the Inspector-General's impending publication of her report. And that's fairly and squarely on their Director, Rebecca Kitteridge. Its unacceptable behaviour from a chief executive, and she should be sacked for it.