Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Death of David Kelly - David Kelly's security clearance

On 24th February 2000, David Kelly's security clearance ("developed vetting clearance" in the jargon) was reaffirmed as applying to 23rd February 2007.

The types of information to which David Kelly was cleared to have access to is impressive:

  • Regular and constant acess to TOP SECET information of UK origin

  • Any access to TOP SECRET information of US origin

  • Any access to TOP SECRET atomic information SUBJECT TO INDOCTRINATION

  • Any access to TOP SECRET International Defence Organisation information SUBJECT TO INDOCTRINATION

  • Access to sensitive intelligence information (eg Codeword) SUBJECT TO INDOCTRINATION

Source: Developed Vetting Certificate 24/2/00.

I wonder how many (or do I mean how few?) other individuals had comparable security clearance combined with his technical knowhow.

I suspect that there were very few others.


  1. Blimey! I bet he thought Hoon was a junior official. This clearance might have expired in 2007, but I bet it was withdrawn some time prior to 17 July 2003. I wonder where that document is?
    And would this Top Secret information been lying around on coffee tables in Southmoor?

  2. Damage limitation exercise, courtesy of Brian Jones at the Hutton Inquiry:
    Q. We have, in fact, seen his clearance which was to the highest level but Mr Hatfield said that that was on a "need to know" basis. Can you help me with what "need to know" means?
    A. Yes. That description applies really to all highly classified material. Only those people who need to know certain things will see that information. I mean, it is a sensible security device and, for example, even those of us who worked within intelligence would only see intelligence as it related to our particular areas of interest.
    Q. So later on when he becomes a chemical and biological warfare specialist, he would need to know intelligence in relation to that but not other aspects. Is that a fair analysis?
    A. Yes, maybe I should just clarify. His job at Porton Down was to do with biological defence. He had a background -- he was a microbiologist, that was his area of expertise. But he did have a background in biological defence in particular. Sorry, I have forgotten the detail of your question.
    Q. No, that is enough on the "need to know".
    A. Yes.

    Mr Hatfield was indeed quizzed about Dr Kelly's "need to know" security clearance, but in the middle of it, an astonishing question was asked:
    Q. Do you know whether he had been served with any notice pursuant to the provisions of the Official Secrets Act 1989?
    A. I am unaware of that and I would be astonished if he had been served with any such notice.

  3. More from Dr Brian Jones...
    We have heard that Dr Kelly had three offices in London, one at the Metropole Building, one with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and one in the DIS building. Were you in the DIS building?
    A. I was.
    Q. Did Dr Kelly have an office there?
    A. Not to my knowledge.

    So, did is Dr Jones' memory suffering a lapse? Or did Dr Kelly really NOT have an office in the DIS building of the MoD?