"Exploring New Avenues for AIC Accountability: The Potential Use of Mediation to Resolve Complaints About Australian Intelligence Organisations"

Wells, Ian B. & Field, Rachael M. (2003) "Exploring New Avenues for AIC Accountability: The Potential Use of Mediation to Resolve Complaints About Australian Intelligence Organisations". The journal of the Australian Institute of Professional Intelligence Officers : a national journal, 12(1), p. 27.

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Abstract

Public complaints about the operations of the Australian Intelligence Community (AIC) are increasing. The Inspector-General of Intelligence Services (IGIS) reported in 2002 that "the number of complaints leading to preliminary or full inquiries more than doubled from the previous reporting year". This increase in complaints is ostensibly not reflective of "any lowering of standards by the agencies", but rather results from a number of external factors which have "raised public consciousness of intelligence and security matters." For example, the rise in global terrorism and consequential increase in AIC activity, heightened media publicity about Intelligence issues, and public debate about related controversial federal legislation, including counter-terrorism proposals.

This article considers the way in which complaints about the AIC are currently dealt with through the office of the IGIS and looks at the possibility of incorporating mediation into the IGIS’ complaints resolution practice. The current mode of handling complaints is formal, resource intensive and does not bring the relevant parties face-to-face to discuss the issues in dispute. Whilst this system on the face of it, holds the AIC accountable, it does not necessarily lead to complainant or agency satisfaction with the process or outcome. The contemporary complaints environment offers significant potential for an increase in the use of informal dispute resolution methods such as mediation. This is because informal processes offer greater opportunities for transparency in AIC agency accountability as well as, resource savings, efficiency and flexibility

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ID Code: 6269
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Additional Information: Access to the author-version is currently restricted pending permission from the publisher. For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see link) or contact the author. Author contact details: r.field@qut.edu.au
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ISSN: 1039-1525
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 Australian Institute of Professional Intelligence Officers
Deposited On: 20 Feb 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:37

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