Australian Security and Intelligence Conference

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


secau Security Research Centre, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia


Originally published in the Proceedings of the 4th Australian Security and Intelligence Conference, Edith Cowan University, Perth Western Australia, 5th -7th December, 2011


Source and information evaluation is identified as being a critical element of the analytical process and production of intelligence products. However there is concern that in reality evaluation is being carried out in a cursory fashion involving limited intellectual rigour. Poor evaluation is also thought to be a causal factor in the failure of intelligence. This study examined the process of information and source evaluation as understood and practiced by, six West Australian Police Force, (WAPOL) intelligence analysts. Data was gathered by use of a focus group with that data being compared against the current literature. It was discovered that formal training in evaluation methods was limited. The significance of evaluation was however clearly understood and the lack of sufficient training was recognised as a limitation to analysis. The study however identified that this group of analysts did practice evaluation through a process of ongoing information contextualisation.