In the post-World War II period, the Defence and national intelligence functions were shared between the Navy, Army and Air Force intelligence directorates and the Joint Intelligence Bureau (JIB). The bureau was responsible for geographic, infrastructure and economic intelligence – mainly in Australia's region. In 1957 its responsibilities were expanded to include scientific and technical intelligence.
In 1970, the Joint Intelligence Organisation (JIO) was formed from a merger of JIB with most of the foreign assessment elements of the three armed services. Following the first Hope Royal Commission and establishment of the Office of National Assessments in 1977, JIO was re-oriented to focus more closely on Defence interests. The second Hope Commission endorsed these arrangements in 1984.
In 1989 counter-terrorism was added to JIO's responsibilities. Following a review of Defence intelligence in 1989 by then MAJGEN John Baker, the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) was established in 1990 as Defence's sole strategic-level all-source intelligence assessment agency.