The audit would examine the effectiveness of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation’s (ASIO’s) workforce policies and practices to support its functions as set out in the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979. ASIO intelligence assessments inform government decision-making in relation to its counter-terrorism, counter-espionage and broader domestic security objectives.

The Government’s 2017 Independent Intelligence Review highlighted continuing challenges in maintaining intelligence capabilities in light of the specialised nature of the function and the limited pool from which personnel can be drawn. The review recommended reforms to human resource strategies and practices, including the implementation of more effective models of recruiting, managing, developing and deploying professional staff and skills. The audit would assess ASIO’s strategies for managing increasing demand for skilled and security-vetted staff, and provide assurance on the extent of its progress in implementing recommendations of the 2017 review.