29 June 2023
Informing Australia’s next independent intelligence review: learning from the past
By Chris Taylor
The Australian Government commissions a review of its intelligence community every five to seven years. With July 2023 marking six years since release of the last review’s report and, with funding already allocated in this year’s federal budget, the next one is likely to commence shortly.
The best starting place for the forthcoming review is the work that precedes it, so reflection on 2017’s Independent Intelligence Review proves valuable. This report, Informing Australia’s next independent intelligence review, reflects on the experiences of the 2017 review and the implementation of its recommendations, and draws lessons to inform the terms of reference, approach and suggested focus of the next review.
In doing so the report identifies three broad topics upon which the next review can most profitably ground its work: attracting, building and retaining a skilled workforce; adapting to rapid and profound technological change; and leveraging more, and closer, partnerships. It also highlights how the past six years have raised important and challenging questions in relation to each of those broad topics and identifies opportunities to further advance the future performance of the National Intelligence Community. In addition, specific recommendations are made to inform government’s planning and preparation for the new review.