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Intelligence Services

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Prime Minister whether new procedures for (a) the analysis and (b) the publication of intelligence material have been put in place since he became Prime Minister; and if he will make a statement. (246282)

Since I became Prime Minister the arrangements for the analysis and publication of intelligence material put in place, and the appointments made, have been consistent with the recommendations of Lord Butler’s Review.

I announced to the House in my National Security Statement on 25 July 2007, Official Report, columns 841-45, the separation of the position of JIC Chairman from policy adviser to the Government to ensure that assessments are formulated independently and that the Professional Head of Intelligence Analysis role created following Lord Butler’s Review would be fulfilled by the JIC Chairman. Last year I also published the National Security Strategy and the National Risk Register.

Following resolutions in both Houses, appointments to the ISC are now made on the basis of nominations by Parliament. Debates on ISC reports will in future take place in both Houses and will be introduced by the Chairman of the ISC or the appropriate ISC member. Arrangements have been made to strengthen further the ISC’s ability to scrutinise financial matters and the process of recruiting a general investigator has begun.