GCSB Debate interrupted

by Desk Editor on Thursday, August 8, 2013 — 5:56 PM

Debate on the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill was interrupted when the House rose just before six pm for a week long adjournment.

MPs were debating the third part of the three part bill after completing Part One after 4pm. This part of the bill included the amendments of Peter Dunne which were accepted by a voice vote.

Earlier in the day, Attorney General Chris Finlayson explained Part Two proposes changes around the roles and appointment of the Inspector-General of security intelligence services, giving it a broader role and functions.

Most significant was the removal for the need for the minister responsible to agree to reviews and audits of the Office’s own volition, he said.

The annual report would also have to include more information and be more accessible.

Labour’s Grant Robertson said the second part of the bill was better than the gross expansion of powers included in part one.

The changes to oversight were useful, but did not go far enough to give the public confidence about the security intelligence services. The main problem was the oversight was too reactive and too beholden to the prime minister of the day.

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