PM appoints new intelligence watchdog

Former Federal Court of Australia Judge Margaret Stone has been appointed Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.

The IGIS provides oversight of ASIO, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO), the Defence Intelligence organisation (DIO) and the Office of National Assessments (ONA).

As part of the role the IGIS has oversight over aspects of the government's data retention legislation (along with the Commonwealth Ombudsman).

Stone was a Federal Court judge from 2000-2012. Since December 2012, she has been the Independent Reviewer of Adverse Security Assessments, a statement issued by Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.

"Australia’s intelligence agencies make a vital contribution to our national security, particularly at a time when we face a serious threat from terrorism," Abbott's statement said.

"The Australian intelligence community operates within a robust oversight and accountability framework, and the Inspector-General plays an important role in reviewing the activities of the intelligence agencies."

The current IGIS, Vivienne Thom, finished on 18 July. Stone will take up her new role in late August, with Jake Blight acting IGIS until then.

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