Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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Limits on agencies' functions

             (1)  The functions of the agencies are to be performed only in the interests of Australia's national security, Australia's foreign relations or Australia's national economic well-being and only to the extent that those matters are affected by the capabilities, intentions or activities of people or organisations outside Australia.

             (2)  The agencies' functions do not include:

                     (a)  the carrying out of police functions; or

                     (b)  any other responsibility for the enforcement of the law.

However, this does not prevent the agencies from:

                     (c)  obtaining intelligence under paragraph 6(1)(a), 6B(a), (b), or (c) or 7(a) and communicating any such intelligence that is relevant to serious crime to the appropriate law enforcement authorities; or

                     (d)  in the case of ASIS--performing the function set out in paragraph 6(1)(da) or providing assistance as mentioned in subsection 6(7); or

                     (e)  in the case of AGO--performing the functions set out in paragraphs 6B(e) and (f); or

                      (f)  in the case of ASD--performing the functions set out in paragraphs 7(e) and (f).

Note:          For police functions and serious crime see section 3.

       (2AA)  An agency may communicate incidentally obtained intelligence to appropriate Commonwealth or State authorities or to authorities of other countries approved under paragraph 13(1)(c) if the intelligence relates to the involvement, or likely involvement, by a person in one or more of the following activities:

                     (a)  activities that present a significant risk to a person's safety;

                     (b)  acting for, or on behalf of, a foreign power;

                     (c)  activities that are a threat to security;

                     (d)  activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or the movement of goods listed from time to time in the Defence and Strategic Goods List (within the meaning of regulation 13E of the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 );

                     (e)  committing a serious crime.

          (2A)  The agencies' functions do not include undertaking any activity for the purpose of furthering the interests of an Australian political party or other Australian political organisation.

             (3)  Subsection (1) does not apply to the functions described in paragraphs 6(1)(da), 6B(b), (c), (d), (e), (f) and (g), and 7(c), (d), (e) and (f).

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