The 2017 Independent Intelligence Review and ONA's Transition to the Office of National Intelligence
Regular independent reviews are an established practice in Australia's intelligence community, occurring roughly every five years. The 2017 review assessed Australia's current intelligence arrangements and structures for their continuing ability to meet future security challenges. The review found that the complexity of the geostrategic environment, the pace of technological change, and the broadening scope of security and intelligence challenges facing Australia meant its agencies were increasingly stretched and their efforts to meet these challenges needed to be better integrated.
On 18 July 2017, the Prime Minister announced the government had agreed to the review's recommendation that the Office of National Assessments (ONA) be transformed into an Office of National Intelligence (ONI) to take the lead in forging a truly national intelligence enterprise. ONI will be established in 2018. It will absorb the current roles, functions and staff of ONA and some of PM&C's intelligence policy and coordination work. The Director General of ONI (DGNI) will be the head of the National Intelligence Community (NIC) and the Prime Minister's principal adviser on intelligence.
ONI will have a staff of almost 300 people and will have three main functions: intelligence enterprise management, aiming to bring a more integrated and strategic focus to the NIC and its activities; the production of all-source intelligence assessments; and, through the Open Source Centre, the provision of open source tradecraft, analysis and training for the NIC and whole of government. ONI's intelligence enterprise management will work towards enhanced coordination and ICT connectivity across the intelligence community; better prioritisation and evaluation systems; improved mechanisms for developing joint capabilities; and greater coordination of NIC workforce strategies and planning.
Intrigued? See our jobs page for current opportunities in ONA/ONI