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Statement by the Intelligence Services Commissioner on the publication of the his 2012 Annual Report

(18 Jul 2013) The Prime Minister laid before Parliament the Annual Reports of the Interception of Communications and Intelligence Services Commissioners, covering the discharge over their functions over 2012.

This is Sir Mark’s Second report, which has focused more on the way in which authorisations have been carried out as well as ensuring that the issue of privacy is given specific consideration as a separate issue within the concept of proportionality.

Statement by Sir Mark Waller

Sir Mark Waller would like to make the following statement in relation to an article published on page 6 of the Independent on Monday 15th July 2013.

“It is clear from my report that I updated it in June following considerable media comment about the legality of GCHQ’s activities. However, this did not delay the publication of my report and the update was not ordered by Whitehall officials or anyone else. As the media reporting covered the period of my report, I felt it was important to discuss this with GCHQ before my report went to press.”

The 2012 report can be accessed by following the link below.

Report of the Intelligence Services Commissioner for 2012

The report was accompanied by a Written Prime Ministerial Statement

The Prime Minister outlined the conclusions of the Commissioner that:

  • Intrusive powers are being used properly and appropriately, in accordance with the requirements set out in statute.
  • The Commissioner and his staff provide statutory oversight to check that public authorities use correctly and lawfully the relevant provisions of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994.
  • The comparatively few errors that did occur throughout 2012 were all caused by procedural or technical problems that have since been addressed.
  • Information on current patterns of use, emerging developments and broad statistics are shown with a high degree of understanding, diligence and compliance with what the law requires from the agencies and the personnel required to observe it.
  • His report is an important part of demonstrating that there are independent, external checks on public authority covert investigations and that public authorities may obtain private information covertly only when this is necessary and proportionate to do so.

18 Jul 13