The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) is the part of the British Cabinet Office responsible for directing the national intelligence organisations of the United Kingdom on behalf of the Cabinet and providing advice to the Cabinet related to security, defence and foreign affairs. It oversees the setting of priorities for the intelligence and security agencies; Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), Security Service (MI5), Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), and Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) and establishes professional standards for intelligence analysis in government.
The JIC is subject to oversight by the Intelligence and Security Committee and is an element of the Intelligence, Security and Resilience organisation within Cabinet Office.
The Committee is chaired by a permanent chairman, a member of the Senior Civil Service with, who is supported by the Intelligence and Security Secretariat and an assessment staff. The assessment staff is made up of experienced senior analysts drawn from across government and the military and conducts all-source analysis on subjects of interest to the committee. JIC papers written by the staff draw input from across the intelligence and security agencies and other related bodies.
Membership comprises the heads of the three collection agencies; Secret Intelligence Service, Security Service and GCHQ, also the Chief of Defence Intelligence, Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence Staff, the Chief of the Assessment Staff, representatives of the Ministry of Defence, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and other departments, and the Prime Minister's adviser on foreign affairs.
Michael Pakenham has been the Committee's Chair since 1997.
The JIC has three functions:
- Advising the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers on intelligence collection and analysis priorities in support of national objectives.
- Directing the collection and analysis effort of the Secret Intelligence Service, Government Communications Headquarters, the Security Service and the Ministry of Defence based on those recommendations. The direction to the Ministry of Defence is implemented by Defence Intelligence Staff
- Assuring the professional standards of civilian intelligence analysis staff across the range of intelligence related activities in Her Majesty's Government
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