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:

  • 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.

16 January 2024

The following appeared on the House of Commons Votes and Proceedings record for yesterday (Monday 15 January 2024):

8 Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament

Ordered, That Maria Eagle be removed from the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament under Schedule 1 to the Justice and Security Act 2013 and Dame Angela Eagle be appointed to that Committee under section 1 of that Act.

09:36, 16 January 2024

5 December 2023

The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament has today published the following two Reports, and has also issued a press release in relation to each Report:

10:30, 5 December 2023

14 September 2023

The Government has today laid its response to the Committee’s 'China' Report, as it is obliged to do under the Memorandum of Understanding underpinning the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Committee will now consider the Government’s response to the 78 conclusions and recommendations contained in the Report.

However, the ISC Chairman, the Rt Hon. Sir Julian Lewis, said:

I welcome this substantial attempt to respond to our Report. However, it is misleading repeatedly to imply - as the Government does - that our findings are outdated. Until two months before publication, we monitored all relevant developments and noted them throughout the Report. This was not difficult to do given the glacial pace at which the Government’s China policy developed.

12:50, 14 September 2023

More News