Sir Brian Leveson announces the merger of IPCO and OCDA

Published on 01 March 2024

The Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office (IPCO) and the Office for Communications Data Authorisations (OCDA) have completed their merger.

The combined organisation will be known as the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office (IPCO) with a new tagline: Authorisation and Oversight.

The primary purpose of the merger is to make the business and administration processes of the two organisations more efficient, while protecting the independent decision making and oversight functions of each.

Sir Brian Leveson said:

“I am delighted to announce formally the merger of IPCO and OCDA. I am immensely proud of the work achieved by both organisations to date in overseeing and authorising the use of investigatory powers.

“IPCO was set up following the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 and OCDA was established some two years later following amendments to the IPA, each with different resources, functions and capability. At that later time, it was right that the organisations were separate and able to establish effective working practices for their different functions.

“Five years on, however, as IPCO and OCDA have matured and the working practices and support systems of the two organisations have aligned, it had made sense formally to join the two and to develop a single, unified body.

“I am confident the merger will make administrative processes more efficient while preserving the independence of our statutory functions.”

The name IPCO has been retained because the organisation’s authorisation and oversight functions derive from powers delegated by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner, whose statutory role was created by the Investigatory Powers Act 2016.

The merger will drive administrative change while the functions of authorisation and oversight will remain as before. Applications to acquire communications data will continue to be considered by authorising officers exercising the delegated powers of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner and compliance with the Act and the Codes of Practice will still be overseen by teams of inspectors reporting back to the Investigatory Powers Commissioner.

IPCO will remain under the leadership of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner and continues to be overseen by one Chief Executive, Richard Thompson OBE.

The organisation has been rebranded with a new logo featuring the new tagline. Staff have also devised a new strapline, mission statement and set of values.

Ensuring lawful compliance through independent authorisation and oversight

To protect the human rights of individuals from unjustifiable state intrusion by exercising independent consideration of the use of covert investigatory powers by public authorities, ensuring they are only deployed in accordance with the law and the public interest, and thereafter by providing independent oversight of the use of such powers.


Independent: We undertake our duties impartially and fairly, acting independently of the Government and the public authorities.
Professional: We make well-informed decisions, applying scrutiny, confidentiality and integrity in a constructive way. We respond effectively to developments in the law, technology and society.
Considerate: We value people’s differences and strive to create an open, safe and respectful space in which people feel free to express different ideas, opinions and views.
Open: We hold truth and transparency as key guiding principles. We share appropriate information about our work to build and maintain the trust of the public and those with whom we engage.

The process of merging IPCO and OCDA started in late-2023. The legal resources were merged more than two years ago, and the finance team has consistently worked across both organisations. Both organisations have also been successfully operating under the leadership of one Chief Executive for some time.

For more information on the history of IPCO and the oversight of investigatory powers in the UK, please visit our History page.

Have a question?

Send us a message and we will get in touch as soon as possible

Get in touch

Follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with IPCO

Check our FAQs for answers to commonly asked questions

Read our FAQs