To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures are being taken within the Counter Terrorism Policy Department to optimise systems for the processing of intelligence information; and if he will make a statement.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) Counter Terrorism Policy Department (CTPD) receives electronically an average of around 270 intelligence reports a week. As Sir Michael Jay, the Permanent Under-Secretary at the FCO, foreshadowed to the Foreign Affairs Committee in February 2003, the number of officers dealing with these reports has been increased—from two to five. These officers immediately alert all other FCO colleagues who need to be aware of particular reports, and ensure that any necessary action is set in hand—for example, prompt revision of FCO Travel Advice. CTPD is supported by a team of three FCO officers located within the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC)—a multi-agency body which brings together those involved across government in assessing and reporting of terrorist threat intelligence. This arrangement ensures that CTPD has advance notice of JTAC threat reports.