On Dec. 20, the U.K. Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee issued its annual report. Published pursuant to the Justice and Security Act 2013, the document provides a comprehensive overview of the committee’s work over the past year as overseer of the U.K. government’s intelligence and security organizations. The report contains recommendations to the British intelligence community on policy, expenditure, administration and operations issues. Unexpected events—notably the spring and summer terrorist attacks—left the counterterrorism areas conspicuously thin; additional reports related to those attacks are to follow.
First established by the Intelligence Services Act 1994 to oversee the U.K.’s three main intelligence agencies—the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), the Security Service (MI5) and the Government Communications Headquarters(GCHQ)—the ISC now oversees an additional four intelligence organizations: the Joint Intelligence Organisation (JIO), the National Security Secretariat (NSS), Defence Intelligence (DI) and the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT).