This audit would assess the effectiveness of the establishment and administration of the Australian Federal Police’s (AFP’s) framework to ensure the lawful exercise of powers. Proposed audit criteria align with those of Auditor-General Report No. 39 of 2016–17, The Australian Border Force’s Use of Statutory Powers:

  • Is there an effective accountability and reporting framework for the AFP’s lawful exercise of powers?
  • Do AFP officers have adequate knowledge of their powers and how to use them?

In 2017, the AFP was investigated by the Commonwealth Ombudsman following a breach of legislation by AFP staff (relating to access to a journalist’s telecommunications data without a warrant). The investigation found contributing factors included insufficient awareness of warrant requirements and heavy reliance on manual checks and corporate knowledge (no strong system controls).