The Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy (JCNSS) was first established in the 2005-10 Parliament, and was most recently reappointed by the Commons in October 2017 and by the Lords in November 2017, with the purpose of considering the National Security Strategy.
The Committee comprises 10 Members of the House of Lords and 12 Members of the House of Commons. These include the chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee as well as the chairs of the following Select Committees:
The previous Government published the most recent National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review (NSS & SDSR) in November 2015. It is planned that the strategy will remain in place until 2020 however the National Security Risk Assessment, which informs the strategy, is typically renewed more frequently. The Government also publishes an annual implementation report on the NSS & SDSR. Both documents are relevant to the substantive work of the Committee.
As part of its remit, the JCNSS scrutinises the structures for Government decision-making on national security, particularly the role of the National Security Council and the National Security Adviser. The Committee's 2016 report on the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 examines the suitability of the current National Security Strategy and was informed by evidence from the relevant minister, academics, and senior officials in the National Security Secretariat.
In addition to scrutinising the NSS & SDSR, the Committee also looks at cross-government expenditure and policy related to the National Security Strategy. The Committee's 2017 Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) report argued for greater parliamentary access to the workings of the CSSF for the purposes of effective scrutiny. It was followed by an inquiry into cyber security, which ended upon the dissolution of Parliament before the 2017 General Election.