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.
 
  • 24 February 2015
    The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC) has released a statement today regarding the Chairmanship of the Committee for the remainder of this Parliament.
    Posted 24 Feb 2015, 10:42 by ISC Admin
  • 24 February 2015
    The Chairman of the ISC, the Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP, has this morning issued the following statement:
     
    None of the current controversy with which I am associated is relevant to my work as Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament.
     
    However, I have today informed my colleagues that while I will remain a member of the Committee, I will step down from the Chairmanship.
     
    The Committee is due to be dissolved in little over a month with the prorogation of Parliament for the forthcoming General Election.  The main substantive work which needs to be completed will be the publication of our Privacy and Security Report during March.
     
    I do not want the work of the Committee and the publication of the Report to be, in any way, distracted or affected by controversy as to my personal position.  I have concluded, therefore, that it is better that this important work should be presided over by a new Chairman.
    Posted 24 Feb 2015, 02:11 by ISC Admin
  • 11 February 2015
    The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC) has today released a statement on its investigation, announced on 17 December 2014, into redactions to the report of the US Select Committee on Intelligence.
    Posted 11 Feb 2015, 05:28 by ISC Admin
  • 17 December 2014
    The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament has today released a statement on its Inquiry into detainee treatment and rendition.
    Posted 17 Dec 2014, 05:53 by ISC Admin
  • 25 November 2014
    The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament has today laid before Parliament its Report on the intelligence relating to the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby.  The Report can be downloaded from the Special Reports section of this website.
    Posted 25 Nov 2014, 03:01 by ISC Admin
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