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Security Structures in the Cabinet Office

25 July 2007

Following the statement by the Prime Minister today, Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell has announced changes in the organisation of the Security and Intelligence function in the Cabinet Office.

Robert Hannigan, currently the Director General (Political) at the Northern Ireland Office, will take up the post of Head of Security, Intelligence and Resilience and will act as Security Adviser to the Prime Minister in the Cabinet Office.

Sir Gus will now lead the process to appoint a separate Head of Intelligence Assessment and Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee. In addition Sir Gus will take responsibility for the Accounting Officer role for the Single Intelligence Account.

These responsibilities are currently held by Sir Richard Mottram, Permanent Secretary for Security, Intelligence and Resilience, who today announces his retirement from the Civil Service in the autumn, when these new arrangements will be introduced.

The Prime Minister told Parliament:

“In line with the Butler Report we will separate the position of Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee from policy adviser to the government. And so the sole responsibilities of the Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee will be to provide Ministers with assessments which have been formulated independently of the political process and to improve across government the effectiveness of intelligence analysis.”

Sir Gus O'Donnell said:

“Richard Mottram has had a long and distinguished career in the Civil Service, holding six appointments as a Permanent Secretary since 1992. Undoubtedly his final job was one of the most difficult and challenging during which he has overseen substantial improvements in our counter terrorism work, the build–up of the capabilities of the Intelligence Agencies, and the development of strengthened assessment processes following the Butler Report.

I am particularly grateful for the role he has played recently in working with the Prime Minister on the security threats in London and Glasgow and the handling of the response to major flooding.”

Sir Gus said that the new appointments met the remit given to him by the Prime Minister to make sure security and intelligence analysis is kept independent of the political process. He added:

“Robert Hannigan is an exceptional civil servant who has played an important role in recent developments in Northern Ireland. I very much look forward to working with him.”

Notes to editors

Biography: Robert Hannigan
The Director General (Political) at the Northern Ireland Office is the principal adviser to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State on the political process, including negotiations with the parties and liaison with the Irish Government. Before taking up this post, Robert was Director of Communications at the NIO.

Head of Security, Intelligence and Resilience will be responsible for the resourcing of the Intelligence Agencies, security issues including the Cabinet Office's role in counter–terrorism and civil contingencies (resilience). The post will have a key role in advising the Prime Minister on security, intelligence and resilience issues.

The appointment of Robert Hannigan has been made with the approval of the Prime Minister and the First Civil Service Commissioner.

Head of Intelligence Assessment and Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee will be responsible for the intelligence assessment and strengthening the intelligence analysis community across Government.

The post of Head of Intelligence Assessment and Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee will be filled by a cross–Government competition.

Joint Intelligence Committee
The Joint Intelligence Committee is part of the Cabinet Office and is responsible for providing Ministers and senior officials with co–ordinated interdepartmental intelligence assessments on a range of issues of immediate and long–term importance to national interests, primarily in the fields of security, defence and foreign affairs.

The JIC's members are senior officials in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Defence (including the Chief of Defence Intelligence), Home Office, Department for International Development, Treasury, and Cabinet Office, the Heads of the three intelligence Agencies and the Chief of the Assessments Staff. Other Departments attend as necessary.

Terms of reference of JIC [External website]

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