Written Ministerial Statement on retention and disclosure of material

Published on 09 May 2019

The Home Secretary has today laid a Written Ministerial Statement in the House of Commons on the Investigatory Powers Act 2016:  Safeguards relating to retention and disclosure of material.

The Investigatory Powers Commissioner, the Rt Hon Lord Justice Fulford, has made the following statement on the issue:

“I first became aware of the compliance risks identified by MI5 at an oral briefing meeting on 27 February 2019, and I immediately requested a comprehensive written description of all the matters that had then been outlined. This was provided on 11 March 2019.  I then asked a team of inspectors from my office to spend a week in MI5 investigating the extent of the compliance risks that had been identified.  I am reassured that MI5 has taken immediate steps to introduce a series of mitigating actions in the light of that thorough review, and these actions – along with a programme of further measures that will be progressively implemented – provide sufficient reassurance that MI5’s handling arrangements within the particular area of concern are now satisfactory as regards warranted material. These changes will be carefully invigilated and my inspectors have already carried out one follow-up inspection.  We will conduct regular reviews over the coming months to ensure that the process of rectification is fully implemented.

“I will set out further details on this issue, to the extent that it would be appropriate to do so, in due course in my annual report.”

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