Margaret Stone To Monitor Australia’s Intelligence Agencies

By on 17/07/2015
Victoria's Auditor-General has left his post.

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has announced Margaret Stone as the new chief watchdog of the country’s intelligence services.

Stone has been appointed for a five-year term to lead the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) office – the civil service body which monitors Australia’s six intelligence and security agencies.

IGIS staff are appointed by the Governor-General, currently Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC, on recommendation by the prime minister, who is required to consult the leader of the opposition about the appointment.

Stone was a judge of the Federal Court of Australia from 2000 to 2012, and then worked as the Independent Reviewer of Adverse Security Assessments – reviewing one of Australia’s security agencies.

In that role, Stone reviewed adverse security assessments given by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) – Australia’s national security service – to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in relation to people who remain in immigration detention.

The reviewer examines all material consulted by ASIO in making the security assessment, as well as other relevant material, and forms an opinion on whether the assessment is an appropriate outcome. The reviewer’s recommendations go to the director-general of security, who makes the final decision.

Stone will take up her new post on 24 August this year.

Abbott said in a press release published yesterday that “Ms Stone has had a distinguished legal career and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the position.”

Dr Vivienne Thom whose term as inspector-general finishes tomorrow, will be temporarily replaced by Jake Blight until 23 August.

“Dr Thom has carried out the role with diligence and integrity and I wish her well for the future,” Abbott said.

About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World - the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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