The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) is an interagency deliberative body of the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotland, Wales and ...
responsible for intelligence assessment, coordination, and oversight of the
Secret Intelligence Service The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6 ( Military Intelligence, Section 6), is the foreign intelligence service of the United Kingdom, tasked mainly with the covert overseas collection and analysis of human intelligen ...
, Security Service, GCHQ, and Defence Intelligence. The JIC is supported by the Joint Intelligence Organisation under the Cabinet Office.


The JIC was founded on 7 July 1936 as a sub-committee of the
Committee of Imperial Defence The Committee of Imperial Defence was an important ''ad hoc'' part of the Government of the United Kingdom and the British Empire from just after the Second Boer War until the start of the Second World War. It was responsible for research, and so ...
, the advisory peacetime defence planning agency. During World War II, it became the senior intelligence assessment body in the UK. In 1957 the JIC moved to the Cabinet Office, where its assessments staff prepare draft intelligence assessments for the committee to consider.

Role in the Iraq dossier

The JIC played a controversial role in compiling a dossier in which the UK government highlighted the threat posed by
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, the Persian Gulf and ...
's weapons of mass destruction in the run up to the
Iraq War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Iraq War {{Nobold, {{lang, ar, حرب العراق ( Arabic) {{Nobold, {{lang, ku, شەڕی عێراق ( Kurdish) , partof = the Iraq conflict and the War on terror , image ...
. There were allegations that the dossier was "sexed up" prior to publication in order to bolster the case for military action. Evidence that the wording of the dossier was "strengthened" was presented to the
Hutton Inquiry The Hutton Inquiry was a 2003 judicial inquiry in the UK chaired by Lord Hutton, who was appointed by the Labour government to investigate the controversial circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly, a biological warfare expert an ...
, a judicial review set up to investigate the circumstances leading up to the death of an eminent government weapons expert, David Kelly, who had criticised the wording of the dossier in off-the-record briefings to journalists. Dr. Kelly committed suicide shortly after his identity was confirmed to the media by the government. JIC members John Scarlett and Sir Richard Dearlove (both then head of MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service) gave evidence to the Inquiry in which they argued that the words used in the dossier were consistent with their assessment of the intelligence available at the time. Despite the work of the 1400 strong
Iraq Survey Group The Iraq Survey Group (ISG) was a fact-finding mission sent by the multinational force in Iraq to find the weapons of mass destruction alleged to be possessed by Iraq that had been the main ostensible reason for the invasion in 2003. Its final re ...
in post-war Iraq, no evidence of actual WMD capability has so far been uncovered; according to its final report in September 2004. The US and UK Governments both announced investigations into the assessment of WMD intelligence in the run up to war. The British inquiry, headed by Lord Butler of Brockwell, in its report in July 2004, while critical of the British intelligence community, did not recommend that anyone should resign. Similarly, the US Senate Intelligence Committee, while critical of US intelligence officials, did not recommend any resignations in its report, also issued in July 2004.


The Committee is chaired by a permanent chairman, a member of the Senior Civil Service, and is supported by the Joint Intelligence Organisation which includes an assessments 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 draw input from across the intelligence and security agencies and other related bodies. Membership comprises senior officials in the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is a department of the Government of the United Kingdom. Equivalent to other countries' ministries of foreign affairs, it was created on 2 September 2020 through the merger of the Foreig ...
, Ministry of Defence and United Kingdom Armed Forces, Home Office,
Department for International Development , type = Department , logo = DfID.svg , logo_width = 180px , logo_caption = , picture = File:Admiralty Screen (411824276).jpg , picture_width = 180px , picture_caption = Department for International Development (London office) (far right ...
, HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office. The JIC is subject to oversight by the Intelligence and Security Committee. It is supported by the Joint Intelligence Organisation.

Role and functions

The JIC is responsible for: * assessing events and situations relating to external affairs, defence, terrorism, major international criminal activity, scientific, technical and international economic matters and other transnational issues, drawing on secret intelligence, diplomatic reporting and open source material * to monitor and give early warning of the development of direct and indirect threats and opportunities in those fields to British interests or policies and to the international community as a whole * to keep under review threats to security at home and overseas and to deal with such security problems as may be referred to it * to contribute to the formulation of statements of the requirements and priorities for intelligence gathering and other tasks to be conducted by the intelligence agencies * to maintain oversight of the intelligence community's analytical capability through the Professional Head of Intelligence Analysis * to maintain liaison with Commonwealth and foreign intelligence organisations as appropriate, and to consider the extent to which its product can be made available to them The JIC has three functions: * Advising the
Prime Minister A prime minister, premier or chief of cabinet is the head of the cabinet and the leader of the ministers in the executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. Under those systems, a prime minister is n ...
and Cabinet Ministers on intelligence collection and analysis priorities in support of national objectives. * Periodically scrutinises the performance of the Agencies in meeting the collection requirements placed upon them. * Assuring the professional standards of civilian intelligence analysis staff across the range of intelligence related activities in His Majesty's Government.

Intelligence requirements

The JIC drafts the annual Requirements and Priorities for collection and analysis, for approval by Ministers. These support the strategic national security objectives of the UK: * Protect UK and British territories, and British nationals and property, from a range of threats, including from terrorism and espionage; * Protect and promote Britain's defence and foreign policy interests; * Protect and promote the UK's economic well-being; and * Support the prevention and detection of serious crime.

Foreign liaison

Ever since World War II, the chief of the London station of the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major unincorporated territorie ...
Central Intelligence Agency The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA ), known informally as the Agency and historically as the Company, is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, officially tasked with gathering, processing, ...
has attended the JIC's weekly meetings. One former US intelligence officer has described this as the "highlight of the job" for the London CIA chief. Resident intelligence chiefs from
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country b ...
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world's second-largest country by tot ...
, and
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and over 700 smaller islands. It is the sixth-largest island countr ...
may attend when certain issues are discussed.

Chairs of the Joint Intelligence Committee

Since founding, the Committee's Chair has been as follows: * Sir Ralph Stevenson, 1936–39 * Victor Cavendish-Bentinck, 1939–45 (subsequently The 9th Duke of Portland) * Sir Harold Caccia, 1945–48 (subsequently The Lord Caccia) * Sir William Hayter, 1948–49 * Sir Patrick Reilly, 1950–53 * Sir Patrick Dean, 1953–60 * Hugh S. Stephenson, 1960–63 * Sir Bernard Burrows, 1963–66 * Sir Denis Greenhill, 1966–68 (subsequently The Lord Greenhill) * Sir Edward Peck, 1968–70 * Sir Stewart Crawford, 1970–73 * Sir Geoffrey Arthur, 1973–75 * Sir Antony Duff, 1975–79 * Sir Antony Acland, 1979–82 * Sir Patrick Wright, 1982–84 (subsequently The Lord Wright) * Sir Percy Craddock, 1985–92 * Sir Rodric Braithwaite, 1992–93 * Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, 1993–94 (subsequently Baroness Neville-Jones) * Sir Paul Lever, 1994–96 * Sir Colin Budd, 1996–97 * Sir Michael Pakenham, 1997–2000 * Sir Peter Ricketts, 2000 – September 2001 * Sir John Scarlett, 2001–2004 * Sir William Ehrman, 2004–2005 * Sir Richard Mottram, 2005–2007 (''as Permanent Secretary, Intelligence, Security and Resilience'') * Sir Alex Allan, 2007–2011 * Sir Jon Day, 2012–2015 * Sir Charles Farr, 2015–2019 * Sir Simon Gass, 2019–present

See also

* British intelligence agencies * Joint Intelligence Organisation * Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament *
United States Intelligence Community United may refer to: Places * United, Pennsylvania, an unincorporated community * United, West Virginia, an unincorporated community Arts and entertainment Films * ''United'' (2003 film), a Norwegian film * ''United'' (2011 film), a BBC Two fi ...
** National Intelligence Council ** Joint Intelligence Community Council **
United States Director of National Intelligence The director of national intelligence (DNI) is a senior, cabinet-level United States government official, required by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to serve as executive head of the United States Intelligence Comm ...
* Australian Intelligence Community ** Office of National Intelligence ** Office of National Assessments * National Centre for Counter Terrorism, France


Further reading

* *

External links

Joint Intelligence Committee
{{Authority control British intelligence agencies 1936 establishments in the United Kingdom Committees of the United Kingdom Cabinet Office Joint committees National security of the United Kingdom