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.
  • 17 November 2017

    The following appeared on the House of Commons Votes and Proceedings record for yesterday (Thursday 16 November 2017): 

    8. Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament
    Ordered, That Richard Benyon, Ian Blackford, Caroline Flint, Mr Dominic Grieve, David Hanson, Mr Kevan Jones and Mr Keith Simpson be appointed to the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament under section 1 of the Justice and Security Act 2013.—(Michael Ellis.)

    The following appeared on the House of Lords Order of Business for Tuesday 21 November 2017: 

    Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament
    The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Evans of Bowes Park) to move that this House approves the nomination of Lord Janvrin and the Marquess of Lothian as members of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament.

    Posted by ISC Admin
  • 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
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