IGIS inquiry into release of NZSIS information

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced today that she would be instituting an inquiry concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official information to Mr Cameron Slater, regarding briefings provided to the then Leader of the Opposition, for political purposes.

The Inspector-General has decided to institute the inquiry under her own motion powers pursuant to sections 11(1)(a) and (ca) of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996 rather than in response to a specific complaint.

“I am satisfied there is a sufficient public interest justifying the commencement of an own-motion inquiry into the substance of the issues raised with my Office,” said Ms Gwyn.

The inquiry will consider whether:

• the NZSIS acted properly and within the law (including its statutory obligation of political neutrality) when it considered and responded to an Official Information Act request from Mr Slater in July and August 2011;

• the documents released to Mr Slater were properly declassified; and

• other requests for similar information were treated in a manner consistent with the treatment of Mr Slater’s request.

Once completed, a copy of the inquiry will be made available on the IGIS website.

The IGIS will not be making any further comment until completion of the inquiry.