Inspector-General finds NZSIS compliance procedures and systems are sound

Tuesday 12 December

The New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) welcomes the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security’s (IGIS) Annual Report which finds for the first time the agency’s compliance procedures and systems are sound.

Rebecca Kitteridge, Director General of Security, said the agency exists to help keep New Zealand and New Zealanders safe.

"Achieving sound NZSIS compliance systems and processes has been a top priority for NZSIS and has required significant focus and effort across the entire organisation. The fact that the Inspector-General has found that those processes and systems are sound is, therefore, very welcome. NZSIS regards robust compliance practice as a core part of its activities and respects and values the role of the Inspector-General as the agency’s primary oversight body," Ms Kitteridge says.

"Our work must often be carried out in secret, but I am a big believer in transparency where possible.

"NZSIS staff are committed to protecting the safety of New Zealanders and always strive to work within the law.

"Our legal compliance systems are in a much better place. In 2014, when I started in this role, the NZSIS did not have a compliance team; nor did it have a compliance framework for staff to follow.

"We now have both, and I believe this has played a significant role in encouraging a strong compliance culture."

The NZSIS’s progress is recognised in the 2017 Annual Report of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security which notes on page 32:

The NZSIS has made significant progress this year in completing the implementation of an expanded compliance structure and dedicated compliance staff. Implementation of all of the (self-imposed) requirements of the 2015 Internal Review of Compliance means that the organisation is now able to provide appropriate support for lawful operational activities and has the means to record, audit and review those activities. It is clear that the NZSIS staff now more readily perceive compliance with legislation and policy as an inherent part of their work and a safeguard for them individually and for the organisation.

"In addition, the NZSIS has worked very hard over the last year to ensure that it has systems in place to comply with the new Intelligence and Security Act, which came fully into force in September this year. The new legislation provides much needed clarity and a solid statutory framework for our work," Ms Kitteridge said.

"There is always more that can be done and the NZSIS is committed to continually improving.

"Our goal is to deliver quality security intelligence work, underpinned by a high level of public trust and confidence. Oversight by the Inspector-General is a key part of achieving this goal."

A copy of the 2017 Annual Report of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security can be accessed here: http://www.igis.govt.nz/