Intelligence and Security Committee
The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) was 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 Committee has developed its oversight remit, with the Government's agreement, to include examination of the work of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) and the Intelligence and Security Secretariat, which includes the Assessments Staff in the Cabinet Office. The Committee also takes evidence from the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS), part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), which assists the Committee in respect of work within the Committee's remit.
The Prime Minister, in consultation with the leaders of the two main opposition parties, appoints the ISC members. The Committee reports directly to the Prime Minister, and through him to Parliament, by the publication of the Committee's reports.
The Members are subject to Section 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.
New Chair: On 29 January 2008, the Prime Minister announced the appointment of the Rt. Hon. Margaret Beckett MP as Chair of the ISC.
Annual Report: The Intelligence and Security Committee's Annual Report 2006-2007 was published on Tuesday, 29 January 2008.
The ISC produces an Annual Report each year and may, on occasion, produce special 'ad hoc' Reports. The Committee sends its Reports to the Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister then lays them before Parliament.
The Committee does not comment on its work programme or reports beyond any information given here.