Records Authority 2012/00324244

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

Foreign Intelligence collection; Protection of Agency Personnel and Personnel Records; Security Intelligence Assessment and Advice; Security Intelligence Collection

September 2016

This is an accurate reproduction of the authorised records authority content, created for accessibility purposes

Change History

Each entry in this table has been authorised under the Archives Act 1983.

Introduction, application notes and authorizations are not part of this document and can be viewed in the respective records authority (as issued). Please contact the National Archives' Agency Service Centre for further information.

DateChanges
26 Oct 2016Class 62230 has been issued under RA 2016/00597104 and inserted in SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENT AND ADVICE.

Introduction

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and the National Archives of Australia have developed this Records Authority to set out the requirements for keeping or destroying records for the core business areas of Security Intelligence Collection, Security Intelligence Assessment and Advice, Foreign Intelligence Collection and Protection of Agency Personnel and Personnel Records. It represents a significant commitment on behalf of ASIO to the ongoing management of their records.

This authority is based on the identification and analysis of the business of ASIO. It takes into account the agency's legal and organisational records management requirements, and the interests of stakeholders, the agency and the National Archives of Australia.

The records authority sets out those records that need to be retained as national archives and specifies the minimum length of time that temporary records need to be kept. This authority gives ASIO permission under the Archives Act 1983, for the destruction of the temporary records described after the minimum retention period has expired. Retention periods for these temporary records are based on: an assessment of business needs; broader organisational accountability requirements; and community expectations, and are approved by the National Archives of Australia on the basis of information provided by the agency.

As changes in circumstances may affect future records management requirements, the periodic review of this authority is recommended. All amendments must be approved by the National Archives.

Application of this authority

  1. This authority is to be used to determine how long records must be kept. Records are matched to the relevant core business and records class in the Authority.
    • Where the minimum retention period has expired and the records are not needed for agency business they should be destroyed as authorised in this Authority.
    • Records that have not reached the minimum retention period must be kept until they do and
    • Records that are identified as retain as national archives’ are to be transferred to the National Archives of Australia for preservation.
  2. This authority should be used in conjunction with general records authorities such as:
    • the Administrative Functions Disposal Authority (AFDA) and/or AFDA Express issued by the National Archives to cover business processes and records common to Australian Government agencies;
    • General Records Authority (31) for source (including original) records that have been copied, converted or migrated.
  3. The normal administrative practice (NAP) provision of the Archives Act 1983 gives agencies permission to destroy certain records without formal authorisation. This usually occurs where records are duplicated, facilitative or for short-term use only. NAP does not replace arrangements agreed to in this authority but can be used as a tool to assist in identifying records for destruction together with an agency's records authority or authorities, and with AFDA and AFDA Express. The National Archives recommends that agencies develop and implement a NAP policy. Advice and guidance on destroying records as a normal administrative practice and on how to develop an agency NAP policy is available from the National Archives' website at www.naa.gov.au
  4. Records that are reasonably likely to be needed as evidence in a current or future judicial proceeding or are subject to a request for access under the Archives Act 1983, the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or any other relevant act must not be destroyed until the action has been completed.
  5. Records subject to a disposal freeze must not be destroyed until the freeze has been lifted. Further information about disposal freezes and whether they affect the application of this authority is available from the National Archives website at www.naa.gov.au
  6. Where the method of recording information changes (for example from a manual system to an electronic system, or when information is migrated from one system to a new system) this authority can still be applied, providing the records document the same core business. The information must be accessible for the period of time prescribed in this authority. ASIO will need to maintain continuing access to the information, including digital information, for the periods prescribed in this records authority or until the information is transferred into the custody of the National Archives.
  7. In general, retention requirements indicate a minimum period for retention. ASIO may extend minimum retention periods if it considers that there is an administrative need to do so, without further reference to the National Archives. Where ASIO believes that its accountability will be substantially compromised because a retention period or periods are not adequate, it should contact the National Archives for review of the retention period.
  8. Records in the care of agencies should be appropriately stored, managed and preserved. Agencies need to meet this obligation to ensure that the records remain authentic and accessible over time. Under Section 31 of the Archives Act 1983, access arrangements are required for records that become available for public access including those records that remain in agency custody.
  9. Advice on how to use this authority is available from the ASIO records manager. If there are problems with the application of the authority that cannot be resolved, please contact the National Archives.

Contact information

For assistance with this authority or for advice on other recordkeeping matters, please contact National Archives' Agency Service Centre.

Queen Victoria Terrace
Parkes ACT 2600

PO Box 7425
Canberra Mail Centre ACT 2610

Email: recordkeeping@naa.gov.au
Website: www.naa.gov.au

Classes

Foreign Intelligence Collection

ASIO has the statutory authority to collect, under warrant, foreign intelligence in Australia in matters in relation to the defence of the Commonwealth or to the conduct of the Commonwealth’s international affairs.

ASIO exercises its foreign intelligence collection powers at the request of the Minister for Foreign Affairs or the Minister for Defence and in collaboration with Australia’s primary foreign intelligence collection agencies.

Includes:

  • Collection requests under Ministerial warrant to collect intelligence within Australia;
  • Provision of information and reports to the Minister following the exercise of the warrant; and
  • Internal policies, guidelines, procedures relating to the exercise of warrants.

For national security intelligence collection including specific investigations and operations, use SECURITY INTELLIGENCE COLLECTION.

Class no Description of records Disposal action
61108

Records documenting the collection under warrant of foreign intelligence within Australia including:

  • Ministerial warrants;
  • Ministerial arrangements, guidelines, determinations and directions;
  • negotiation, development and monitoring of agreements, cooperative arrangements, conventions, and alliances developed or agreed to by the agency;
  • related policy and procedures; and
  • logs and registers supporting collection activity.
Retain as national archives
61109

Warrants, excluding warrants covered in class 61108, and records documenting the administration and authorisation of foreign intelligence collection warrants including:

  • copies of foreign intelligence information (including supporting data, references and resources);
  • warrant requests;
  • internal approvals;
  • legal reviews;
  • internal liaison for compliance and accuracy;
  • liaison and review with Attorney-General's Department;
  • authorisation details;
  • liaison with external agencies;
  • facilitation of inspections by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security;
  • maintenance of the warrants register; and
  • warrant policy and procedures and related advice.
Destroy 150 years after last action
61110

Records documenting

  • routine operational administrative tasks supporting the business; and
  • foreign intelligence collection activities other than those covered in classes 61108 and 61109.
Destroy 5 years after last action

Protection of Agency Personnel and Personnel Records

The activities associated with managing agency personnel records and specialist support and protection services. Includes investigation and mitigation of harassment of agency personnel.

For the administration of assumed identities, use SECURITY INTELLIGENCE COLLECTION

For any personnel administrative records not covered in this core business use AFDA/AFDA EXPRESS – PERSONNEL

Class no Description of records Disposal action
61111 Records documenting the activities associated with agency personnel, including personnel, recruitment and vetting records. Destroy 150 years after last action
61112 Records documenting specialist personnel support and security services. Destroy 20 years after last action
61113

Records documenting:

  • routine operational administrative tasks supporting the business; and
  • Protection of Agency Personnel and Personnel Records activities, other than those covered in classes 61111 and 61112, including routine recruitment and vetting records of unsuccessful employment applicants.
Destroy 5 years after last action

Security Intelligence Assessment and Advice

The activities associated with correlation, analysis and evaluation of security intelligence and the provision of advice provided to Ministers, government agencies, businesses and community groups on matters relating to the security of Australia, its people and its interests.

Includes analysis of intelligence and the provision of strategic and operational assessments and advice, eg security and threat assessments, visa security assessments, counter terrorism security assessments critical infrastructure assessments. Also includes advice relating to security for special events, cyber security, border integrity, counter-proliferation and counter-espionage.

Also includes security policy contributions, assessments of facilities, systems and people and the provision of mechanisms for government security-related decision-making in areas such as the granting of access to sensitive government information, restricted sites and sensitive goods.

Advice may relate to terrorism, politically motivated violence, espionage and foreign interference and include:

  • advice in support of strategic security requirements, national security and policy development and implementation;
  • risk reviews of nationally-vital, critical infrastructure;
  • security certifications for government facilities;
  • security equipment evaluations;
  • visa assessments;
  • training of security personnel;
  • protection of information through the use of electronic monitoring and security equipment and techniques;
  • security reviews;
  • liaison and sharing of national security intelligence information with partners;
  • advice relating to security access assessments for external agencies; and
  • support for security related prosecutions and appeals.
Class no Description of records Disposal action
61104

Records documenting intelligence and security advice and coordination activities including:

  • those that establish precedents or lead to changes to legislation and policy in relation to the security of Australians and Australian interests;
  • Ministerial arrangements, guidelines, determinations and directions issued to the agency;
  • advice, briefings, policy contributions, instructions, security and threat assessments and other security intelligence information products and reports (including supporting data, references and resources) provided to Ministers, Leader of the Opposition, parliamentary committees, customer and partner agencies, community groups and foreign governments;
  • strategic security plans and formal reports documenting related developments, decisions and actions;
  • cooperation and liaison activities with partner agencies high-level conferences, conventions or consultations dealing with intelligence and security analysis and advice, where the conference is hosted by the agency or where the agency is the Australian representative;
  • internal and external reviews of security intelligence analysis and advice programs;
  • negotiation, development and monitoring of agreements, cooperative arrangements, conventions, and alliances developed or agreed to by the agency;
  • evaluation of the performance of government agencies against their assigned counter-terrorism priorities, objectives and requirements;
  • evaluation, certification, endorsement and provision of facilities, equipment, systems and technology;
  • evaluation, certification, and endorsement of critical infrastructure, government agencies, private companies and special events with high security threat exposure;
  • identification and application of risk review and vulnerability assessment standards and methodologies
  • agency committees and task forces developing and implementing policies, standards and systems for national critical infrastructure committees and forums where the agency has overall responsibility for making major decisions or provides significant advice or is the Commonwealth’s main representative or plays a major role;
  • evidence provided to support prosecutions and other forms of review, including appeals, relating to security assessment decisions;
  • information provision and liaison relating to significant Australian business assets overseas;
  • internal policy relating to security assessments and information and advice to industry.
Retain as national archives
61105

Records documenting the preparation and/or provision of security related information and security advice to government and industry sectors including:

  • internally retained advice, briefings, policy contributions, instructions, security assessments and other security intelligence information products and reports (including supporting data, references and resources);
  • complex security assessments relating to access to sensitive government information;
  • liaison with governments and industry to ensure information and advice meets their security needs; and
  • training programs and related materials developed internally and delivered to agency and partner agency staff.
Destroy 150 years after last action
62230

Records documenting the preparation and/or provision of security related information and security advice to government and industry sectors (covering supporting data, references and resources) including, but not limited to:

  • Security assessments relating to access to sensitive government information;
  • Security assessments relating to visa or citizenship applications; and
  • Security assessments relating to access to security controlled places or substances.

Excludes assessments covered in classes 61104-61107

Destroy 80 years after last action
61106

Records documenting activities associated with the provision of intelligence and security advice including:

  • security and threat assessments;
  • assessments and other reports on threats to critical infrastructure;
  • publication of guidelines, newsletters and technical notes;
  • liaison with government departments, private industry and community groups;
  • development and testing of security protection evaluation processes;
  • internal advice, guidelines, procedures and instructions;
  • operational/business plans, routine reports documenting internal developments, decisions and actions;
  • negotiation, development and monitoring of agreements;
  • internal conferences, forums, conventions or consultations;
  • activities supporting assessment and advice related committees and task forces;
  • internal reviews of security intelligence analysis and advice programs, services and operations; and
  • training programs and related materials developed internally and delivered to government and private industry personnel in the selection and use of endorsed security products.
Destroy 15 years after last action
61107

Records documenting:

  • routine operational administrative tasks supporting the business; and
  • security intelligence assessment and advice activities, other than those covered in the classes 61104 to 61106 and 62230, including visa applications advice and routine vetting assessments.
Destroy 5 years after last action

Security Intelligence Collection

The activities associated with the collection of intelligence relating to security threats to protect Australia, its people and its interests. This includes the capabilities required to effectively identify, monitor and investigate such threats in areas including border protection, counter-terrorism, counter-intelligence, counter-espionage, foreign interference, defections, cyber terrorism and espionage activity, special events, violent protests and counter-proliferation.

Includes all-source security intelligence collection, complex tactical investigations, research and development of technical equipment and engagement with national and international partners in compliance with legislation and government policy.

Including:

  • collection of intelligence through a wide range of means, including human sources, surveillance and technical and telecommunications operations;
  • investigations and operations based on collected intelligence, leads and possible threats to security;
  • development of networks and engagement with partner agencies, individuals, groups and organisations in Australia and overseas;
  • field work, surveillance, technical collection and interceptions;
  • development of supporting techniques, technologies and equipment;
  • visa investigations;
  • monitoring of cyber activity;
  • securing of warrants and other authorisations;
  • development of specialised staff skills;
  • specialised agency facilities, techniques and technologies, guidelines and procedures;
  • security and protection of investigatory evidence, including evidence collected under warrant; and
  • provision of information for use as evidence in support of litigation by the Commonwealth, including evidentiary certificates and related appeals.

For intelligence and security advice and assessments use SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENT AND ADVICE.

For the collection of foreign intelligence under warrant use FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE COLLECTION.

Class no Description of records Disposal action
61098

Records documenting security intelligence collection activities including:

  • those that establish precedents or lead to changes to legislation and policy in relation to the security of Australians and Australian interests;
  • collection in compliance with national intelligence priorities and objectives;
  • Ministerial arrangements, guidelines, determinations and directions issued to the agency;
  • threat intelligence collection requests, collection tasking, data collecting, monitoring where there is a likelihood of significant harm or related controversy;
  • agency committee and task force meetings that consider matters relating to security intelligence collection;
  • committees where the agency has overall responsibility for making major decisions in relation to collection activities or is the Commonwealth's main representative or plays a major role;
  • addresses and briefing sessions including agenda, briefing information, proceedings, talking points;
  • negotiation, development and monitoring of agreements, cooperative arrangements, conventions, and alliances developed or agreed to by the agency;
  • cooperation and liaison activities with partner agencies;
  • related policy and procedures;
  • development and application of security intelligence equipment, facilities, systems and technology;
  • field inquiries, investigations, telecommunications interception and operations activities including reports, certifications and authorisations and other evidence of the action taken;
  • investigations of individuals, groups and organisations no longer of security interest;
  • authorisations including Ministerial Authorisations and Director-General Authorisations;
  • liaison with legal advisors and provision of evidence to support litigation and appeals;
  • interactions with individuals, groups and organisations of interest;
  • management of defections;
  • logs and registers supporting collection activity; and
  • response to recommendations of external reviews.
Retain as national archives
61099

Warrants, excluding warrants covered in class 61098, and records documenting the administration and authorisation of warrants including:

  • warrant requests;
  • internal approvals;
  • legal reviews;
  • internal liaison for compliance and accuracy;
  • liaison and review with Attorney-General's Department;
  • authorisation details;
  • liaison with external agencies;
  • facilitation of inspections by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security;
  • maintenance of the warrants register; and
  • warrant policy and procedures and related advice.
Destroy 150 years after last action
61100

Records documenting the administration of assumed identities. Including:

  • all supporting documentation;
  • liaison with external agencies;
  • authorisation requests;
  • signed authorisations;
  • cancellation of authorisations;
  • variations to authorisations; and
  • agency policies and procedures.
Destroy 80 years after last action
61101

Records documenting routine security intelligence collection activities including:

  • requests, collection and monitoring;
  • evidence and data collected including under warrant;
  • management of sources and contacts;
  • development and management of specialised agency facilities, techniques, technology and equipment;
  • liaison and information sharing with government agencies, industry, foreign governments and the community necessary to conduct security-related inquiries and facilitate operational requests;
  • internal committee and task force meetings relating to security intelligence collection;
  • informal and internal conferences, conventions or consultations;
  • internal reviews of security intelligence collection programs, services and operations;
  • contact reporting; and
  • evidence of the action taken.
Destroy 20 years after last action
61102

Records documenting administrative activities relating to intelligence collection including:

  • resourcing, interception requests, reports, certifications and authorisations;
  • policies and procedures for securing of evidence required to support litigation action;
  • operational/business plans, policies and procedures, routine and reports documenting internal developments, decisions and actions;
  • informal and internal collection advice, guidelines, distribution and instructions;
  • training programs and related materials developed and delivered to agency staff;
  • Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security compliance reports and related action; and
  • negotiation, development and monitoring of agreements.
Destroy 10 years after last action
61103

Records documenting

  • routine operational administrative tasks supporting the business; and
  • security intelligence collection activities, other than those covered in classes 61098 to 61102, including,
    • investigations of individuals, groups and organisations identified as not of security interest, and
    • media and data surrendered, acquired or seized as part of agency action and identified as not of security interest for ongoing investigations, internal reference or litigation purposes.
Destroy 5 years after last action
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