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23 July 2008. This updates a birdseye of 2 July 2007.
See also: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/alan-turnbull/secret.htm#MI5
Ombudsman in MI5 deal to access secret intelligence
By Chris Thornton
Monday, 23 June 2008
Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson has signed an agreement with MI5 to access
secret intelligence for his investigations into policing and he is
prepared to go to Parliament if the deal is breached. The agreement with
the Security Service is after months of negotiations about the procedures
for getting secret material his office used to get automatically. The memorandum
of understanding signed by the policing watchdog, MI5 and the PSNI became
necessary when the Security Service took over anti-terrorist intelligence
last October. The shift led to MI5 building a £20m base in Palace Barracks,
Holywood, and recruiting agents locally. The building is also a back-up
headquarters after London.
The Security Service in Northern Ireland
The Security Service has had responsibility for national security intelligence work against all Irish related terrorism in Great Britain since 1992. However, within Northern Ireland, this role has historically been carried out by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), and before it the RUC.
On 24 February 2005, the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Paul
Murphy, announced that the Security Service would be taking on the lead role
for national security intelligence work in Northern Ireland during 2007.
A new headquarters for the Service has also been constructed in Northern
Ireland, bringing together staff who had previously been split between a
number of sites. The new building at Loughside, Palace Barracks, Holywood,
was formally opened by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on 4 December