The Functions of the National Security Council

Article 240 of the Kenyan Constitution establishes the National Security Council in Kenya. The National Security Council Act makes further provisions with respect to the functions of the National Security Council pursuant to Article 240 of the Constitution, and for connected purposes.

Members of the National Security Council in Kenya

The composition of the National Security Council in Kenya is as follows—

  • the President;
  • the Deputy President;
  • the Cabinet Secretary responsible for defence;
  • the Cabinet Secretary responsible for foreign affairs;
  • the Cabinet Secretary responsible for internal security;
  • the Attorney-General;
  • the Chief of Kenya Defence Forces;
  • the Director-General of the National Intelligence Service; and
  • the Inspector-General of the National Police Service.

The President should preside at meetings of the Council. The Council should also appoint its secretary.

The Functions of the National Security Council

Article 240 (3), (6) and (8) of the Constitution stipulates the functions of the National Security Council in Kenya

The National Security Council should exercise supervisory control over the national security organs and perform any other functions prescribed by national legislation. However, the supervisory function should not extend to operational control of the national security organs.

The national security organs in Kenya are the Kenya Defence Forces, the National Police Service and the National Intelligence Service.

The National Security Council Council should—

  • integrate the domestic, foreign and military policies relating to national security in order to enable the national security organs to co-operate and function effectively; and
  • assess and appraise the objectives, commitments and risks to the Republic in respect of actual and potential national security capabilities.

The Council should report annually to Parliament on the state of the security of Kenya.

The National Security Council in Kenya may, with the approval of Parliament–

  • deploy national forces outside Kenya for —
    • regional or international peace support operations; or
    • other support operations; and
  • approve the deployment of foreign forces in Kenya.

Additional functions of the National Security Council under Section 4 of the National Security Council Act are to—

  • review and make recommendations on policies on matters relating to national security;
  • prioritize the programs or activities that address the internal, foreign and defence interests on the national security of the Republic;
  • receive reports from security organs on the implementation of the Council’s policy directives;
  • develop and from time to time review the national security policy;
  • identify and develop strategies to enable the security organs to respond to internal and external threats to the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity;
  • conduct an annual review of the internal, foreign and defence priorities relating to the national security of the Republic;
  • advise the President on the declaration of a state of emergency; and
  • perform such other functions as may be conferred on it by the Act or any other written law.

Subject to Article 6 of the Constitution, the Council should devolve its services so far as it is appropriate to do so having regard to the nature of the services.

For more about the National Security Council, see the National Security Council Act.

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