Sir Brian Leveson

Investigatory Powers Commissioner's Office

IPCO provides independent oversight and authorisation of the use of investigatory powers by intelligence agencies, police forces and other public authorities.

IPCO’s purpose is to oversee how these powers are used, taking account of the public interest and ensuring that investigations are conducted in accordance with the law.

Sir Brian Leveson replaced Sir Adrian Fulford as the Investigatory Powers Commissioner in October 2019. Before taking up this role, Sir Brian was President of the Queen’s Bench Division and Head of Criminal Justice for England and Wales.

IPCO’s latest Annual Report is available here.

  • Who we are

    Overseen by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner (IPC), IPCO currently employs approximately 50 people, including Inspectors, lawyers, communications experts and others. The team supports the IPC and the Judicial Commissioners in fulfilling their duties under the Act.

  • What we do

    IPCO provides independent oversight of the use of investigatory powers, as outlined in the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. This oversight includes the inspection and authorisation of the use of these powers by over 600 public authorities.

  • Investigatory Powers

    Investigatory powers allow certain organisations to gather information for investigative purposes, for example through surveillance techniques or the acquisition of communications data.

Recent Activity

  • Coronavirus Act 2020: maintaining oversight of investigatory powers

    The Coronavirus Act 2020 allows the Investigatory Powers Commissioner to appoint temporary Judicial Commissioners and permits the time periods for urgent warrants to be extended. The Commissioner, Sir Brian Leveson, wrote to the Home Secretary on 26 Marc......

  • Publication of Investigatory Powers Commissioner's Annual Report

    The Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office (IPCO) has published its Annual Report on the oversight of the use of covert powers by public authorities. The Report, covering the year 2018, offers a complete look into IPCO’s first full year i......

  • Oversight of The Principles

    Through a formal Direction, the Prime Minister has instructed the Investigatory Powers Commissioner (IPC) to oversee and report on the application of The Principles from 1 January 2020. The Direction is in accordance with section 230(1) of the Investigato......