Section 12 – Special rules on procedures of organisations relating to intelligence and security matters

(1) This section applies to—
(a) an intelligence and security agency; and
(b) any other organisation in the public sector that holds or has access to—
(i) classified information; or
(ii) information relating to the activities of an intelligence and security agency.
(2) An organisation to which this section applies must have internal procedures that—
(a) provide that the persons to whom a disclosure of information described in subsection (1)(b) may be made must be persons holding an appropriate security clearance and be authorised to have access to the information; and
(b) state that the only appropriate authority to whom information described in subsection (1)(b) may be disclosed is the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security; and
(c) invite any employee who has disclosed, or is considering the disclosure of, information described in subsection (1)(b) under this Act to seek information and guidance from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, and not from an Ombudsman; and
(d) state that no disclosure of information described in subsection (1)(b) may be made to an Ombudsman or to a Minister of the Crown other than—
(i) the Minister responsible for an intelligence and security agency; or
(ii) the Prime Minister.

Commentary

This section specifically relates to an intelligence or security agency and also encompasses any other organisation within the public sector that holds or has access to classified information or information that relates to the activities of an intelligence and security agency.

It sets out a requirement for an organisation that comes within the gambit of this section to have in place internal procedures that ensure that only a person holding an appropriate security clearance and thereby authorised to have access to such information, may receive a disclosure pursuant to 12 (1) (b)

Those internal procedures must make it clear that it is mandatory, that the only appropriate authority to receive a disclosure pursuant to 12 (1) (b) is the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security.  Those internal procedures must also make it clear to any person seeking to make a disclosure pursuant to12 (1) (b) they may seek information and guidance from the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security only and not from an Ombudsman.

The internal procedures must also make it clear that no disclosure of information pursuant to 12 (1) (b) may be made to a Minister of the Crown or an Ombudsman other than the Minister in  charge of the intelligence and security agency or, the Prime Minister.