The National Security and International Policy Group Executive
National Security Adviser
The National Security Adviser (NSA) provides a high level of leadership, direction and coordination among our national security and intelligence agencies. The NSA is the principal source of advice to the Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Prime Minister, on all policy matters relating to the security of the nation and oversees the implementation of all national security policy.
Appointed at the Associate Secretary level within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the NSA reports to the Secretary of the Department, who is Chair of the Secretaries’ Committee on National Security and principal departmental officer attending the National Security Committee of Cabinet.
The NSA interacts directly with agency and departmental heads and the position’s responsibilities complement the roles and responsibilities of the current heads of agencies by enhancing whole-of-government coordination.
The NSA’s duties include:
- Developing effective partnerships within the national security community;
- Improving the national security community’s strategic direction;
- Supporting whole-of-government security policy development and crisis response;
- Overseeing the implementation of all national security policy arrangements; and
- Promoting a cohesive national security culture.
Dr Margot McCarthy was appointed the National Security Adviser on 3 February 2012.
Deputy National Security Adviser
The Deputy National Security Adviser (DNSA) supports the work of the National Security Adviser across the breadth of national security and international policy development, advice and coordination responsibilities. The DNSA provides whole-of-government leadership on a range of national security policy issues, including as chair of the National Counter-Terrorism Committee and the National Crisis Committee and co-chair of the Australian Emergency Management Committee. As a Deputy Secretary in the Department, the DNSA also oversees the routine business of the National Security and International Policy Group.
Mr Allan McKinnon was appointed to the position of DNSA in 1 June 2012.
National Security Chief Information Officer / Cyber Policy Coordinator
The role of the National Security Chief Information Officer (NSCIO) is to provide strategic direction and coordination for information sharing across the national security community. This includes harmonising the broad policy, governance and legislative arrangements currently in place so as to improve interoperability and collaboration, and provide oversight of the national security information management environment.
The role of the Cyber Policy Coordinator (CPC) is to coordinate the whole-of-government approach to cyber policies and activities. The CPC provides strategic leadership and coordination on matters of cyber policy and strategies across the entire cyber ‘spectrum’, from online consumer protection to cyber defence. The Cyber Policy Group (CPG) is the primary forum for whole-of-government leadership and coordination across the full-spectrum of cyber policy issues.
To assist in coordinating the Commonwealth’s cyber policy agenda, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet assumed responsibility for cyber security policy in December 2011 (previously held by the Attorney-General’s Department), as part of a broader reshuffle of portfolio responsibilities.
Mr Allan McKinnon is the NSCIO and CPC.
The National Security Information Environment Roadmap: 2020 Vision provides for the first time a single strategy to overcome the many barriers to information sharing within the Federal national security community. This public document details the journey of change the national security community will take over the next ten years to realise the vision of a secure, coordinated and effective national security information management environment.
- National Security Information Environment Roadmap: 2020 Vision - PDF 2.6MB
- National Security Information Environment Roadmap: 2020 Vision - RTF 124KB
National Security Community Standards and Guidelines
The National Security Community publicly available standards, guidelines and frameworks are listed below.
- National Security Community Standard for Info Security Marking Metadata - RTF 923KB | National Security Community Standard for Info Security Marking Metadata_signed - PDF 702KB
- National Security Community Standard for Information Resource Metadata - RTF 880KB | National Security Community Standard for Information Resource Metadata_signed - PDF 702KB
- National Security Community Standard for Publication Metadata - RTF 899KB | National Security Community Standard for Publication Metadata - signed - PDF 703KB
- National Security Community Standard for Source Reference Citation Metadata - RTF 890KB | National Security Community Standard for Source Reference Citation Metadata - signed - PDF 768KB
NSCIO has developed a Vision for how the national security community can be more cooperative, integrated and effective. This Vision drives our overall approach to delivering capability for national security information management.
- National Security Chief Information Office Vision - PDF 175KB
- National Security Chief Information Office Vision - RTF 32KB
Our Strategy and Principles
NSCIO has established a five point strategy to help develop a more coordinated and effective national security information management environment. This strategy is based on five key priorities: Drive New Governance; Strengthen Trust; Create Pervasive Electronic Connectivity; Build Capability; and Enhance Collaboration.
- Approach to national security information management - PDF 276KB
- Approach to national security information management - RTF 85KB
The Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF), led by the Attorney-General’s Department, and the Information Security Manual (ISM), led by the Defence Signals Directorate, both contribute to achieving the Roadmap Vision. The PSPF provides a strategic statement giving high-level Government commitment to protective security policy and requiring agencies to use protective security as a business enabler to facilitate Government working confidently and securely. The purpose of the ISM, which complements the PSPF, is to assist Australian government agencies in applying a risk-based approach to protecting their information and systems.
The National Security and International Policy Group
The National Security and International Policy Group provides advice on Australia’s foreign, trade and treaty matters, defence, intelligence, non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, law enforcement, border security and emergency management matters and plays a coordinating leadership role in the development of integrated, whole-of-government national security policy.
The National Security and International Policy Group comprises three divisions:
- International Division provides advice, coordination and leadership on Australia’s foreign, trade, aid and treaty matters and priorities, including bilateral relations, relationships with regional and international organisations, free trade negotiations and whole-of-government priorities for the overseas aid program.
- Cyber Policy and Homeland Security Division provides advice, coordination and leadership on integrated, whole-of-government policy matters, priorities and strategy in the areas of critical infrastructure protection, e-security, non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, law enforcement, border security and emergency management issues.
- Defence, Intelligence and Information Sharing Division provides advice, coordination and leadership on integrated and whole-of-government policy matters, priorities and strategy in the areas of defence, intelligence policy and coordination, and information sharing and strategic policy framework matters.
- Dr Margot McCarthy – National Security Adviser
- Mr Allan McKinnon – Deputy National Security Adviser, National Security Chief Information Officer / Cyber Policy Coordinator
- Ms Sachi Wimmer – First Assistant Secretary, Cyber Policy and Homeland Security Division
- Ms Kathy Klugman – First Assistant Secretary, International Division
- Mr Richard Sadleir – First Assistant Secretary, Defence, Intelligence and Information Sharing Division
Resources and Links
- Summary and Conclusions: Homeland and Border Security Review - RTF 125KB | PDF 121KB
- Counter-Terrorism White Paper: Securing Australia - Protecting our Community
- Strong and Secure: A Strategy for Australia's National Security
- Whole of Goverment Protective Security Outlook
Speech by Dr Margot McCarthy, National Security Adviser
Canberra, 4 September 2012
- National Security: Past, Present and Future
Speech by Dr Margot McCarthy, National Security Adviser
Canberra, 15 June 2012