Press release

PM approves reappointment of Intelligence Services Commissioner

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Sir Mark Waller is reappointed as the Intelligence Services Commissioner.

The Prime Minister has approved the reappointment of Sir Mark Waller as the Intelligence Services Commissioner for a further term of 3 years from 1 January 2014.

Biographical notes

The Rt. Hon. Sir (George) Mark Waller (73) was called to the Bar at the Gray’s Inn in 1964 and took Silk in 1979. He was appointed as a Recorder in 1986, as a High Court Judge (Queen’s Bench Division) in 1989, and was a Presiding Judge on the North Eastern Circuit from 1992 to 1995.

He was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal in 1996, and was the Vice President, Court of Appeal (Civil Division) from 2006 to 2010. He retired in May 2010, and was appointed as the Intelligence Services Commissioner in 2011.

Remit of the commissioner

Section 59(1) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (‘RIPA’) provides for the Prime Minister to appoint an Intelligence Services Commissioner, to perform a number of statutory functions under that act. The Intelligence Services Commissioner may be required to perform additional functions by the Prime Minister under section 59A of RIPA inserted by the Justice and Security Act 2013.

The Intelligence Services Commissioner oversees the use of intrusive powers such as interference with property, section 7 authorisations under ISA, intrusive surveillance, directed surveillance and the use of Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS)

The commissioner’s specific remit is to:

  • keep under review the exercise by the Secretary of State of his powers to issue, renew and cancel warrants for entry on or interference with property or with wireless telegraphy

  • keep under review the exercise by the Secretary of State of his powers to give, renew and cancel Section 7 authorisations under ISA for acts done outside the UK

  • keep under review the exercise and performance by the Secretary of State of his powers to grant authorisations for intrusive surveillance and the investigation of electronic data protected by encryption in relation to the activities of the intelligence services and (except in Northern Ireland) of Ministry of Defence (MOD) officials and members of the armed forces

  • keep under review the exercise and performance by members of the intelligence services to grant authorisations for directed surveillance and for the conduct and use of CHIS and the investigation of electronic data protected by encryption

  • keep under review the exercise and performance in places other than Northern Ireland by MOD officials and members of the armed forces to grant authorisations for directed surveillance and the use of CHIS and the investigation of electronic data protected by encryption

  • keep under review the adequacy of the Part III safeguards arrangements in relation to the members of the intelligence services

  • keep under review the adequacy of the Part III safeguards arrangements in relation to officials of the MOD and members of the armed forces in places other than Northern Ireland

  • give the Investigatory Powers Tribunal all such assistance as it may require in connection with its investigation, consideration or determination of any matter

  • make an annual report to the Prime Minister on the carrying out of the Commissioner’s functions

  • under section 13(3)(b) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 the Home Secretary is required to consult, amongst others, the Intelligence Services Commissioner before asking Parliament to extend the control order provision for a further period

  • monitor compliance with the Consolidated Guidance to Intelligence Officers and Service Personnel on the Detention and Interviewing of Detainees Overseas, and on the Passing and Receipt of Intelligence Relating to Detainees and any other extra-statutory duties that the Prime Minister may from time to time ask the Commissioner to take on and which the Commissioner is willing to undertake