Monday, 1 July 2019
Cheryl Gwyn Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security
Cheryl Gwyn Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security spoke at Rotary Club of Wellington on 1 July 2019 and gave a most interesting talk on the role of the the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security. The organisation has independent oversight of the NZ Security Service and the Government Communications Security Bureau. In this role it reviews the legality of the two organisations' activities and investigates complaints against them. Ms Gwyn pointed out that this oversight is important because the two organisations have very invasive powers and because of the secrecy involved in their work normal public sector standards cannot be applied. In this oversight role, the Inspector's office can only recommend , it can't compel. Ms Gwyn said that situations such as the Christchurch massacre, intelligence agencies usually call for greater powers, or there are calls for relaxation of the laws governing their actions. She believes that before those changes are made, there should be careful scrutiny of the existing powers to assess whether they are really inadequate. Ms Gwyn suggested that there would be value in the agencies publishing annual assessments of the threat landscape and of what actions might be suitable to deal with those threats. This would give the public a better idea about what security risks mean in daily life.