Release of Annual Report 2019/20

The Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has released its annual report for 2019-20.

The Inspector-General (IGIS) provides independent oversight of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) and the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB).

“It was another busy and productive year for the office,” says the IGIS, Brendan Horsley.

“We completed a major inquiry into the role of the NZSIS and GCSB in events relating to New Zealand Defence Force Operation Burnham in Afghanistan in 2010. This inquiry also examined the agencies’ response to human rights issues in Afghanistan in 2009-2013, in light of official reports recording widespread mistreatment of detainees by certain Afghan authorities with whom New Zealand’s intelligence agencies directly or indirectly shared information.

“We also completed a review of the way in which both agencies engage with their international partners. We made substantial progress on reviews of open source intelligence collection by both agencies, GCSB’s conduct of certain operations to access information infrastructures, and the Service’s access to a particular network system. We reviewed 90 warrants issued to the agencies and dealt with 13 complaints against them.”

The IGIS is required to certify in the Annual Report the extent to which the NZSIS and GCSB have sound compliance procedures and systems in place.

“This year we have changed how we do this, rating each agency on five main headings rather than stating a single assessment,” Mr Horsley says. “This allows a more fine-grained assessment across several dimensions.”

The report is the first issued by Mr Horsley as IGIS. He took office in June 2020, succeeding Cheryl Gwyn (now Justice Gwyn of the High Court). For the year covered by the report the office was led by former Deputy Inspector-General Madeleine Laracy as Acting IGIS. A new Deputy Inspector-General will be appointed in the coming year.

The annual report is available at  www.igis.govt.nz/publications/annual-reports(external link)

Media contact: Georgina Matheson, 027 405 7751

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