The Intelligence and Security Group provides intelligence collection and analysis to support the planning and conduct of ADF operations, defence policy making and planning, capability development and wider Government decision making. It also provides, on a whole-of-government basis, a range of information security capabilities and services.
The Group continued to work with capability planners to develop a program of substantial and sustained investment in enhanced intelligence capabilities, including:
- the ability to comprehensively monitor and report on several crises concurrently and to provide effective operational support to deployed forces;
- improved signals intelligence and imagery collection capabilities;
- improved intelligence processing and dissemination systems; and
- enhanced levels of cooperation with allies with a greater focus on counter-terrorism issues.
The Group produced a range of quality intelligence products to support ADF operations, to assist decision-makers and advisers and to provide integrated support for the development of ADF capabilities, while maintaining a high state of readiness. Intelligence operations and capabilities provided real-time and near real-time intelligence analysis and products on a continuous basis, with services and products tailored to specific customer requirements. The provision of intelligence support to the Government and the ADF was integral to Australia's contribution to the coalition operation in Iraq.
Significant progress was made in meeting the requirements of the ADF for timely intelligence support to deployed forces, particularly during Operation Falconer, and in developing new techniques and systems to comprehend and counter the terrorist threat. The efforts against terrorism, in particular, led to even closer cooperation with the United States and other key intelligence partners.
Mitigation Of Key Risks
The Intelligence Group faces a number of key risks such as: significant security failure; erosion of capability; and catastrophic system failure. Considerable work was carried out during the year to fully identify our risk profile, to understand the associated consequences and to take steps to mitigate them. Particular effort has been devoted to further improving agency security levels and to countering large-scale system failure. In a period where speedy support to deployed forces is a routine part of the Group's activities, and where information related to terrorist threats must be passed rapidly through our systems, effective risk mitigation has become critically important.
Much of the work in this area continues to be related to maintaining, into the future, our core capabilities. In the long run, of course, the most effective risk mitigation lies in the continued recruitment and development of quality staff, in focusing closely on customer requirements and through continued investment in new technology.