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Intelligence Services Commissioner and the Interception of Communications Commissioner: Annual Reports

Volume 614: debated on Thursday 8 September 2016

I have today laid before both Houses a copy of the latest annual reports from the Intelligence Services Commissioner and the Interception of Communications Commissioner. Both reports show the rigour and strength of our intelligence oversight system, a system that will be further strengthened with the introduction of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner provisions set out in the Investigatory Powers Bill. I welcome the unprecedented level of transparency about the authorisation and oversight regimes that both reports contain.

I am pleased that both reports recognise the diligence and rigour of those who use investigatory powers. These are important powers that are used, when necessary, to keep our country safe. Both reports contain details of the recommendations that the Commissioners have made to continue to improve the way that these powers are used. The public authorities who have received these recommendations will be giving careful consideration to them and how to further improve their processes.

I would like to thank both Commissioners, and the staff that work for them, for their continued diligence and the rigour with which they undertake their oversight roles. In particular, I would like to thank Sir Mark Waller for all of the work that he has undertaken as Intelligence Services Commissioner since this is the last full year of inspections that he will undertake.