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.
 
  • 14 July 2020
    On the afternoon of Tuesday 14 July 2020 the House of Lords voted to approve the House of Lords Member of the ISC. The Official Hansard record can be found here.
    Posted by ISC Admin
  • 14 July 2020
    On the evening of Monday 13 July 2020 the House of Commons voted to approve the House of Commons Members of the ISC. The Official Hansard record can be found here.
    Posted by ISC Admin
  • 10 July 2020

    The following item relating to Membership of the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) is on the House of Commons Order Paper for debate and vote on Monday 13 July 2020:


    5. INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY COMMITTEE OF PARLIAMENT


    Up to 90 minutes (Standing Order No. 16(1))


    The Prime Minister

    That Chris Grayling, Sir John Hayes, Stewart Hosie, Dame Diana Johnson, Mr Kevan Jones, Dr Julian Lewis, Mark Pritchard and Theresa Villiers be appointed to the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament under Section 1 of the Justice and Security Act 2013.



    The following item relating to Membership of the Intelligence and Security Committee  (ISC) is on the House of Lords Order Paper for debate and vote on Tuesday 14 July 2020:


    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 West of Spithead as a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament.  


    Posted 10 Jul 2020, 03:23 by ISC Admin
  • 17 December 2019
    On 13 December No. 10 wrote to the Committee Secretariat to notify it that the Prime Minister has now confirmed that there is no material in the Committee's Russia Report which, if published, would be prejudicial to the discharge of the functions of the security and intelligence Agencies, and that therefore the Report may be published once the new Committee is appointed.

    Posted 17 Dec 2019, 07:23 by ISC Admin
  • 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
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