The Committee

The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC) is the committee of Parliament with statutory responsibility for oversight of the UK Intelligence Community.

Authority

The Committee was established under the Intelligence Services Act 1994, but its powers were reinforced in the Justice and Security Act 2013.

Remit

Under the Justice and Security Act 2013 and the accompanying Memorandum of Understanding, the ISC oversees the policies, expenditure, administration and operations of MI5, MI6, GCHQ, Defence Intelligence, the Joint Intelligence Organisation, the National Security Secretariat (NSS) and the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism.

The Committee sets its own agenda and work programme, taking evidence from Ministers, the Heads of the intelligence and security Agencies, senior officials, experts, and academics as it considers necessary.

Membership

The Committee consists of nine Members, drawn from both Houses of Parliament and appointed by Parliament. The Chair of the Committee is elected by its Members.
The Members are subject to Section 1(1)(b) of the Official Secrets Act 1989 and are routinely given access to highly classified material in carrying out their duties.

Current Inquiries

The Committee has produced a report on the Russian threat to the UK. The report was still awaiting confirmation from the Prime Minister that it could be published when Parliament was dissolved for the 2019 General Election.

The Committee has also produced an Annual Report for 2018-2019 which is similarly awaiting confirmation.

In addition, the Committee was in the process of a further four Inquiries at the time of dissolution:
  • an Inquiry into national security issues relating to China;
  • an Inquiry into Right Wing Terrorism;
  • an examination of the current threat from Northern Ireland-Related Terrorism; and
  • a case study on GCHQ procurement.

News

For earlier news items, or to see more details/attachments, please select 'News Archive' from the navigation bar.
 
  • 5 November 2019
    Under the Justice and Security Act 2013, Members of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament hold office for the duration of a Parliament and therefore vacate their posts upon the dissolution of Parliament. The new Committee will be appointed after the 2019 General Election.

    Members are appointed by the Houses of Parliament (having been nominated by the Prime Minister in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition). The Chair of the Committee is elected by its Members.
    Posted 3 Dec 2019, 08:09 by ISC Admin
  • 17 October 2019
    The Committee has today sent its Report, 'Russia', to the Prime Minister.

    In accordance with the Justice and Security Act 2013, the Prime Minister will now consider whether there is any information in the report which, if published, would be prejudicial to the continued discharge of the functions of the security and intelligence Agencies. The Committee expects to be in a position to publish the report imminently.

    The Committee is continuing its Inquiry into national security issues relating to China, and has agreed subsequently to undertake an Inquiry considering the threat from Right Wing Terrorism.
    Posted 17 Oct 2019, 08:37 by ISC Admin
  • 11 September 2019
    On 9 September 2019 the House of Lords held a debate on the recent work of the Intelligence and Security Committee. A transcript of the debate can be found here.
    Posted 11 Sep 2019, 09:05 by ISC Admin
  • 19 July 2019
    The Committee has today issued the following Statement on 5G suppliers

    Posted 19 Jul 2019, 00:40 by ISC Admin
  • 18 July 2019
    The Committee has today published the following Statement in relation to Detention and Rendition

    Posted 18 Jul 2019, 04:26 by ISC Admin
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