About the Committee

The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC) was first established by the Intelligence Services Act 1994 to examine the policy, administration and expenditure of the Security Service, Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). The Justice and Security Act 2013 reformed the ISC: making it a Committee of Parliament; providing greater powers; and increasing its remit (including oversight of operational activity and the wider intelligence and security activities of Government). Other than the three intelligence and security Agencies, the ISC examines the intelligence-related work of the Cabinet Office including: the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC); the Assessments Staff; and the National Security Secretariat. The Committee also provides oversight of Defence Intelligence in the Ministry of Defence and the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism in the Home Office.

Members of the ISC are appointed by Parliament and the Committee reports directly to Parliament. The Committee may also make reports to the Prime Minister on matters which are national security sensitive.

The Members are subject to Section 1(1)(b) of the Official Secrets Act 1989 and have access to highly classified material in carrying out their duties. The Committee takes evidence from Cabinet Ministers and senior officials – all of which is used to formulate its reports.

Recent Announcements

The Committee's most recent announcements are displayed below. For earlier announcements, or to see more details/attachments, please select 'News Archive' from the navigation bar.
 
  • 27 April 2017
    The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament has today issued a press statement which summarises its work since the publication of its most recent Annual Report in July 2016.
    Posted 27 Apr 2017, 08:00 by ISC Admin
  • 26 April 2017
    The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament has today published its UK Lethal Drone Strikes in Syria Report and also issued a press release.

    This Report examines the intelligence basis behind the UK lethal drone strike against Reyaad Khan, a British citizen, in Syria in August 2015.
    Posted 26 Apr 2017, 01:59 by ISC Admin
  • 17 March 2017
    The Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, the Rt. Hon. Dominic Grieve QC MP, has today issued the following statement:
    The Committee is aware of the allegations that the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, tasked GCHQ to 'wire tap' the now President of the United States, Donald Trump, during the 2016 US Presidential election.

    First, I should make clear that the President of the United States is not able to task GCHQ to intercept an individual's communications.

    Second, long-standing agreements between the Five Eyes countries means that the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand cannot ask each other to target each other's citizens or individuals that they cannot themselves target, or in any other way seek to circumvent their own or each other's legal and policy obligations.

    Third, an individual can only be the target of interception by GCHQ under a warrant signed by a Secretary of State. Such warrants can only authorise action where it is necessary and proportionate for a valid national security purpose. It is inconceivable that those legal requirements could be met in the circumstances described.

    I note GCHQ's public denial of the potentially damaging allegations against them. This was an unusual step by the Agency, but it clearly indicates the strength of feeling about this issue, and I echo that sentiment.
    Posted 17 Mar 2017, 10:44 by ISC Admin
  • 16 December 2016
    The Committee has submitted its Report UK Lethal Drone Strikes in Syria to the Prime Minister.

    In accordance with standard practice under the Justice and Security Act 2013, the Report will now be subject to a redactions process to prepare it for publication. The Committee expects that this process will be completed in the New Year.
    Posted 16 Dec 2016, 07:23 by ISC Admin
  • 21 October 2016
    The following motion was agreed in the House of Commons yesterday:

    That Richard Benyon and Mr David Hanson be appointed to the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament under section 1 of the Justice and Security Act 2013 in place of Sir Alan Duncan who ceased in accordance with paragraph 1(2)(b) of Schedule 1 to that Act to be a member of the Committee when he became a Minister of the Crown and Mr George Howarth who has resigned as a member of the Committee in accordance with paragraph 1(3)(a) of Schedule 1 to that Act.

    The full current list of ISC members is available here.
    Posted 21 Oct 2016, 03:00 by ISC Admin
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