GCSB's systems and processes found to be legally compliant for the 3rd year in a row

The Director-General of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), Andrew Hampton welcomes the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security finding the GCSB to have legally compliant systems and processes for the third year in a row. 

“It is particularly important that the public has independent assurance that the GCSB is acting in a legally compliant manner given much of what we do, by its nature, has to be done in secret,” Mr Hampton said. 

“In addition to the finding that the GCSB’S systems and processes were legally compliant for the third year in a row, the Inspector-General also commented positively on the strong compliance culture that exists within the Bureau and the constructive working relationship that she has with its staff.” 

These findings are detailed in the Inspector-General’s 2017 Annual Report, which notes on page 29: 

“The Bureau has robust compliance measures. As a result errors are promptly identified and remedied. GCSB has comprehensive, and up to date policies and audit procedures. There is a strong culture of commitment to compliance…Bureau staff in roles all levels engage very constructively with my office…Overall I certify that the Bureau has sound compliance procedures and systems in place.” 

In the Annual Report, the Inspector-General also refers to her inquiry into the GCSB’s processes in determining its foreign intelligence activity - arising from the Bureau’s assistance to the New Zealand Government’s campaign to advance a candidate for the Director-General for the World Trade Organisation.  This report was released earlier this year. 

The Inspector-General found the Bureau acted lawfully and properly within its statutory mandate, and recognised the efforts the Bureau went to provide as much information to the public on the matter as it was able. 

In the Inspector-General’s 2017 Annual Report, it notes on page 13:

“This report marked a step forward in the degree of information about the GCSB activities that I was able to publically report on.”

“The positive findings in the Inspector-General’s Annual Report are the result of the hard work and dedication of the GCSB staff who take their responsibilities to always act in accordance with New Zealand law and the public interest incredibly seriously,” Mr Hampton said.

“This tops off what has been a year of significant achievement and development for the GCSB.

“This year saw the completion of the roll-out of the Cortex cyber security programme to a group of nationally significant organisations in the public and private sector. 

“An independent assessment of the Cortex programme showed that over a 12 month period it has saved New Zealand’s most important organisations around $40 million in harm. 

“In accordance with the 2016 Budget increase the Bureau is continuing to grow its staff numbers, with a particular focus this year being attracting more women with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) backgrounds. 

“To help encourage more women to study STEM subjects and to inspire them to consider a career in cyber security the GCSB awarded four $10,000 tertiary scholarships to women studying STEM subjects at New Zealand universities. 

“The scholarships were a first for the GCSB and attracted an exceptionally high level of applications. There’s no doubt that we will offer the scholarships again next year. 

“There is always more that can be done, and the Bureau is committed to continually improving. Our goal is to deliver quality security intelligence work, underpinned by a high level of public trust and confidence.”

A copy of the 2017 Annual Report of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security can be accessed here: www.igis.govt.nz 

A copy of the 2016-17 Unclassified Cyber Threat Report can be accessed here: www.ncsc.govt.nz/newsroom/2016-17  

Media contact: media@nzic.govt.nz / 04 819 7104