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 (which can be found at Annex A in the Committee’s Annual Report 2013-2014), 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 Homeland Security Group.

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 is currently conducting Inquiries into:

  • national security issues relating to China;
  • Extreme Right Wing Terrorism;
  • International Partnerships;
  • Cloud technologies; and
  • national security issues relating to Iran.


News

For earlier news items, please select ‘More News’ from the bottom of this page, or ‘News’ from the navigation bar.

24 November 2021

Further to the notification on this website yesterday that confirmation had not yet been received from the Prime Minister in relation to its Annual Report, the Committee received that confirmation this afternoon.

The Annual Report will therefore be laid before Parliament before the House rises for recess.

14:16, 24 November 2021

23 November 2021

On 25 October 2021 the Committee sent its Annual Report 2019-2021 to the Prime Minister.

In accordance with the Justice and Security Act 2013, the Prime Minister must 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. By convention the Committee requests that the Prime Minister responds within ten working days. This period expired on Monday 8 November. The Committee is still hopeful that the Prime Minister will provide notification by 26 November - the last possible day if the Report (which has already been delayed for six months by late returns by the Government) is to be published before the House rises for Christmas Recess.

17:01, 23 November 2021

26 August 2021

The Committee has today requested from the Government any intelligence assessments which covered the outlook for the regime with regards to the final withdrawal of US and coalition forces from Afghanistan.

15:36, 26 August 2021

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