Thursday, July 3, 2014

NZIC Report July 2014 - Report on the NZ Intelligence Community

Late last year the NZ State Services Commission reviewed the New Zealand Intelligence Community and their findings have finally been written up in a 'Top Secret' Report.

It reads like a high school report for a student who is struggling:
There are signs,” says the report, that “the leadership of NZIC has ‘grasped the nettle’ and is starting to prioritise the changes needed and to implement change.” But, the report says, urgency is needed as “...there is a huge amount of change to be undertaken. The changes will be progressive but already associated parties are indicating signs of obvious improvement, and this is welcomed.

The public version of the report quite clearly states that the NZIC do not have clear priorities, do not work together well and have a naïve faith in wanting to copy the structure of the NSA and that they rely too much on the Five Eyes network. It seems they are basically working as an external department for the NSA.

The review covers all aspects of the intelligence community, that is – the GCSB, the SIS and both the NAB and ICG of the DPMC. (Or to try and put it more simply, the report looks at the Government Communications Security Bureau, the Security Intelligence Service and two agencies that operate out of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet: the National Assessments Bureau and the Intelligence Coordination Group.)

The full report has been presented to the Head of the State Services Commission – it is not meant for public viewing, but the 19 page review gives a sampling of what the report contains.

Foremost in the Report are 10 key objectives for the agencies to achieve over a 'Four Year Plan'. These objectives include the need to:
  1. clarfiy their role
  2. ensure they work together effectively
  3. only gather intelligence that is needed; as stated so succinctly in the report “All information, including intelligence, is useful only if it is used.”
  4. upgrade their financial and managerial control systems (the current systems have not been maintained to the levels expected of modern government agencies.)
  5. ensure they comply with the law
  6. operate within budget
  7. work on their public image

The report admits that the four year plan will be difficult for the Intelligence Community and will require “strong governance, ruthless prioritisation and experienced change managers”.

John Key has already taken steps towards achieving the objectives. Just days after the report became public he finally announced the appointment of the first-ever deputy Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. Paul Neazor would be happy if he were still in that role.

And an analysis can be found here:

Information about Paul Neazor and his wishes can be read (and listened to) here