The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) begins a new era today as a statutory agency within the Defence portfolio.
Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said the establishment of ASD as a statutory agency was an important change that will strengthen its ability to protect Australia’s security.
“The establishment of ASD as a statutory agency within the Defence portfolio achieves a key recommendation of the 2017 Independent Intelligence Review,” Minister Payne said.
“ASD has delivered strategic advantage to the Australian Defence Force and Government for over 70 years,” Minister Payne said.
“Foreign signals intelligence, countering cyber-espionage and defending against cyber threats remain critically important for ASD,” Minister Payne said.
“At the same time, ASD’s focus will now expand to lead cyber security support and services to industry, government and the community. To achieve this the Australian Cyber Security Centre now operates as part of ASD.”
“ASD’s uniquely skilled workforce has always been its greatest asset. As recognised in the Review, recruiting and retaining staff has become increasingly difficult due to increased competition for talent across the private sector.
“As a statutory agency within the Defence portfolio, ASD will have more flexibility to attract, train, retain and develop its specialist workforce.”
ASD will be led by Mr Mike Burgess, the organisation’s first Director General, reporting directly to the Minister for Defence.