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Defence Intelligence Staff

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 20 April 2006, Official Report, column 767W, on the Defence Intelligence and Security Centre, from which units of the US armed forces the two American personnel are drawn. (76414)

The US Army Exchange Officer is a member of the US Army Intelligence Corp (304th MI Battalion, 3rd MI Brigade).

The US Air Force Exchange Officer is from the Intelligence Branch of the US Air Force.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether each recommendation in the Butler Review related to the Defence Intelligence Staff was accepted by the Government; and what progress has been made in meeting each recommendation which was accepted. (76409)

The Government's response to the Butler Review was presented to Parliament in March 2005 (Cm 6492) and its response to the recommendations regarding the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) is in Chapter 7.

Lord Butler recommended that the relevant work of the DIS should be more closely integrated with the rest of the intelligence community. The DIS is now fully integrated into the central intelligence requirements and priorities process, although with the acknowledgement that the Ministry of Defence remains ultimately responsible for providing the DIS with its direction.

Lord Butler recommended that consideration should be given to the provision of proper channels for the expression of dissent within the DIS. As the Government response indicated, the MOD had already introduced new arrangements for raising issues of conscience and professional concern, including dissent, in order to address (inter alia) the concerns expressed by Lord Butler. The procedure for handling matters of conscience or professional concern was promulgated to staff in a standing instruction in March 2005.

Lord Butler recommended that in future the Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence should be an intelligence specialist. The MOD recognises the advantage of appointing an intelligence specialist to this role, but as the post requires a wider skills base, increased staff development effort, including a leadership programme for members of the DIS, has been introduced and will enable more personnel with intelligence experience to be considered for the post.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which bodies in addition to the Defence intelligence staff constitute the UK defence intelligence community. (76410)

The bodies which make up the UK Defence intelligence community are the Defence intelligence staff, the J2 branch at the permanent joint headquarters (PJHQ) and the single service intelligence organisations. Operational deployments will also have intelligence elements.

The PJHQ J2 branch act in conjunction with the rest of the Defence intelligence community. Each of the single services has an intelligence branch at their respective front line command headquarters. These are N2 (HQ fleet), G2 (HQ land command) and A2 (HQ strike command). The services also have specialist intelligence units to support them, such as the Air Warfare Centre, the Army Intelligence Corps and the RAF Intelligence Branch.