GCHQ funding and financial controls

Last Updated: 17 Apr 2016
The GCHQ budget is paid from a combination of the Single Intelligence Account and the National Cyber Security Programme. This also provides the funding for the other UK security and intelligence agencies, MI5 and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).


The Single Intelligence Account (SIA) budget is decided by Ministers during the Spending Review which sets the budgets for all Whitehall departments. The Government decides what the security priorities are during the Strategic Defence and Security Review. This then influences the funding allocated to the UK's security and intelligence agencies.

The most recent Spending Review was completed in June 2013, and sets out the SIA budget for financial year 2015-16. The next Strategic Defence and Security Review is due in 2015-16. This will, in turn, shape the next Spending Review which will set the SIA budget for 2016 and beyond.

Financial controls

The accounting officer for the SIA is the Prime Minister's National Security Advisor and Head of Intelligence, Security and Resilience.

The total expenditure for the security and Intelligence agencies published was approximately £2 billion in financial year 2011-12.

GCHQ produces accounts in the same way as all government departments, and is subject to the same financial rules. The Department's accounts are independently audited by the National Audit Office, and its finances are scrutinised by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC).

GCHQ also has an internal audit function which works to government standards set by HM Treasury.