Long delays: The ASIO building, pictured earlier this year, was officially opened in July, but remains empty.

Long delays: The ASIO building, pictured earlier this year, was officially opened in July, but remains empty. Photo: Melissa Adams

The boss of Australia's spies is "frustrated" at the delayed wait to get the keys to his $680 million Canberra headquarters. 

Director-General of Security David Irvine told an Estimates hearing the date his staff would start operating from the building had been delayed by another month.

It is now expected to be the second half of June when spooks will begin fighting terrorists from the five-storey building overlooking Lake Burley Griffin.

And it seems even spies are at the mercy of their tradesmen.

"When we talk about a handover we're in the hands of the building contractors," Mr Irvine said. 

"They're now saying the keys, as it were, can be handed over in mid-June."

The air-conditioning and fire safety systems as well as the automatic doors need remediation work. There has also previously been problems with glass panels falling off, however, authorities now believe the issue is fixed.

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Mr Irvine told the hearing that when the building was opened by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last July, he had expected to move in at the end of August.

"You might detect a slight element of frustration," he said, regarding the almost year-long wait. 

ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seselja noted the existing unsightly fence and Mr Irvine said it would be replaced by a low-key "ha ha" fence, which creates a vertical barrier while preserving views. 

Mr Irvine said it would fit in with the "Canberra no-fence principle".