HSB to Become Independent Agency; SIS Returns to Foreign Department

Sanctus – Chancellor Charlene Hendry today announced that cabinet has agreed to split the Homeland Security Bureau, aka the HSB, out from the Sanctarian Federal Police to become a standalone agency. The HSB, tasked with domestic counter-intelligence, will be renamed as the Federal Intelligence Agency and will be moved from oversight by the Department of Justice to the Department of Homeland Security.

The move comes after both the DHS and the DOJ undertook extensive reviews into the intelligence community in Sanctaria, triggered in part by the death of Anita Patel in Sanctarian custody in 2019 – her death was ruled suspicious.

Hendry also announced the Sanctarian Intelligence Service, the nation’s foreign intelligence service, will move back under the auspices of the Foreign Department, having spent the last half a decade in DHS. Hendry confirmed this was partly to avoid having one cabinet secretary responsible for both the foreign and domestic intelligence services, but also a government efficiency assessment report indicated it was a more logical move.

Secretary for Homeland Security Kathryn Stewart, also present at the announcement, thanked the Sanctarian Federal Police, and the Sanctarian Police Force before that for their “extreme diligence and good work” via the HSB in helping to keep Sanctaria safe from enemies domestic, but added that “an independent agency, with a direct reporting line to the Secretary for Homeland Security, is more efficient, effective, and trustworthy in the public’s mind”.

Legislation establishing the Federal Intelligence Agency is expected to be tabled before parliament before the end of September to ensure passage before the House of Deputies is dissolved later this year. Civil servants in the DHS anticipate the agency will be up and running officially by early next year with most existing employees in the HSB being encouraged to apply for similar positions in the FIA.

Secretary for Justice Eric Hill said today that while he was “miss working with the dedicated police officers in the HSB” the move will “make Sanctaria a safer nation”. It’s believed that the upcoming departure of Commissioner Thomas Grealish to lead the new Disaster Management Agency was a key turning point in the Department of Justice endorsing the split – sources in both the DOJ and SFP said that Commissioner was “vocally opposed” to the idea and that Secretary Hill was reluctant to endorse it as long as the Commissioner wasn’t on-board. With Grealish’s departure now announced and planned, Hill decided to press forward.

ADAM KING, Defence & Security Correspondent

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