AGO is the lead geospatial and imagery intelligence organisation in the Department of Defence. Its mission is to provide geospatial information, services and intelligence – collectively known as GEOINT – to enable decision making in support of Australia’s defence and national interests.
The AGO is unique in the NIC, as it has both intelligence and non-intelligence functions defined in legislation under the Intelligence Services Act 2001 (the ISA) and the Navigation Act 2012.
The AGO’s intelligence functions as described in the ISA are to provide GEOINT to help meet Australia’s foreign intelligence requirements, support ADF operational, targeting, training and exercise requirements, and support the national security functions of the Commonwealth and State authorities.
Non-intelligence functions under the ISA include the provision of many geospatial services such as:
- digital and hardcopy maps
- nautical charts
- tailored imagery
- other geospatial products.
Additionally, AGO provides technical advice and assistance on the use of geospatial information and services, and data and metadata standards for current and future Defence systems and platforms. AGO also provides assistance to authorities undertaking emergency response functions.
Combined, these functions put AGO at the forefront of support to the ADF and the government’s wider national security priorities.
Through the Australian Hydrographic Office (AHO) and under the Navigation Act, AGO handles official and authorised navigational charts, publications, and maritime data, and services required to support the safety (of life at sea) convention.
AGO operates across Australia in Canberra, Bendigo, Wollongong and Adelaide.