The Chief Surveillance Commissioner is responsible for keeping under review:
- The performance of functions under Part III of the Police Act 1997
- (except in relation to the interception of communications and the intelligence and security services) the exercise and performance of the powers and duties conferred or imposed by or under Parts II and III of RIPA
- The exercise and performance of the powers and duties conferred or imposed by or under RIP(S)A.
The Chief Surveillance Commissioner is also the Investigatory Powers Commissioner for the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus, for whom he fulfils a similar oversight function.
In carrying out his role, the Chief Surveillance Commissioner will do such things as:
- consider all reports prepared by the Assistant Surveillance Commissioners and Surveillance Inspectors following their inspections of public authorities and write to the chief officers about those findings and any resultant recommendations
- Consider and determine appeals against any decision by an Ordinary Surveillance Commissioner to quash, cancel or refuse the authorisation of property interference or intrusive surveillance
- Provide an annual report to the Prime Minister, Scottish Ministers and the Administrator for the Sovereign Base Areas, Cyprus on the matters for which he is responsible
- Determine how his Office will support his statutory functions and chair regular meetings with his Commissioners and Inspectors