Not-so-secret intelligence chief puts his personal details on the web

Not-so-secret intelligence chief puts his personal details on the web
Not-so-secret intelligence chief puts his personal details on the web

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By Simon Cable
The Daily Mail
November 16, 2007

It may not be the most advisable action when you've been appointed the 
Government's head of secret intelligence.

Far from hiding himself from the public glare, senior civil servant Alex 
Allan =E2=80=93 the newly-appointed head of the Joint Intelligence Committee =E2=80=93 
has listed his personal hobbies and even his address and phone number on 
his Facebook-style personal website.

Mr Allan, 56, currently permanent secretary at the Ministry of Justice, 
was appointed by Gordon Brown on the recommendation of Cabinet Secretary 
Sir Gus O'Donnell.

But it appears Mr Allan is prone to slightly bizarre behaviour and is a 
self-proclaimed dedicated rock and roll fan =E2=80=93 revealing himself to be a 
'Deadhead', slang for a fan of cult 1970s U.S. band the Grateful Dead.

Among his other interests listed on his site are cycling, computers, 
card games and sailing =E2=80=93 complete with pictures of him windsurfing to 
work down the Thames during a rail strike.

Even some of his most sensitive personal information appears on the 
site. The Cambridge-educated Mr By Simon Cable Allan has listed his home 
telephone number, address and names of family friends.

The Premier approved Mr Allan's move yesterday as the Government's top 
intelligence advisor.

He replaces Sir Richard Mottram =E2=80=93 who retires this week =E2=80=93 but his 
appointment is likely to raise questions over the vetting of candidates, 
with some quarters describing his website antics as a breach of 

However, it comes at a time of more transparency in Britain's 
intelligence circles, where the head of MI5 makes public appearances and 
the intelligence services openly advertise jobs.

Downing Street said the appointments would take effect 'shortly' with 
arrangements for the interim chairmanship of the JIC expected to be 
announced later today.

Mr Allan began his Whitehall career in 1973, working in Customs and 
Excise and the Treasury. From 1992 to 1997 he was principal private 
secretary to prime minister John Major and then briefly Tony Blair.

He has also been high commissioner to Australia, the Government's 
e-envoy and he took a break from Government service between 2001 and 
2004 to live in Western Australia, where he worked on a range of IT and 
government issues.

A spokesman for Mr Allan said that he would now be removing personal 
information from his web page.

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