"So Clive, MI-6 has people on staff that are completely ignorant of the service, since any knowledge is "need to know"? They've basically have secretaries on staff that are hired for typing skills?"
Yes and Yes go read the online job adverts for MI-5 and MI-6.
Also please read both the articles carefully!!!
She was not never was or now probably never will be a member of the inteligence services proper (MIs) in the United Kingdom.
She was possibly and still might be a police officer or flat foot (you need them for walking the beat and opening doors).
Not only was she working for the "flat foots" but she wasa ham fisted on at best.
How she was selected based on her colleagues coments amazes me (it's something positive vetting is supposed to pull up, but flat foots are usually negativly vetted at best).
Now go read the original "From Russia with Love" james bond book it will tell you a lot about how the service was run shortly after WWII and has a very good description of a top of the line cipher system of the time. Ian Fleming was both a journolist and Intelegence officer prior to writting the James Bond books. So for that matter was Sefton Black and many other well known writers playwrites and journolists.
It is of such open and wide knowledge that I am surprised two journolists have got the service angle wrong. "Officers" work for the service there are very few of them in the field for very obvious reasons.
Agents are usually people who have been turned or have in other ways betrayed the trust of a forign power or organisation, and obviously are not to be trusted at all hence no training etc.
Associates are ordinary UK or other people that have been simply recruited (often unknown to them) to act as eyes and ears for the service.
There are also what are fictionaly and fancifully called proxies, freelancers and deniable assets. These people are not paid (in the conventional sense) but are very highly rewarded. They are used on a job by job basis to "go fetch" information out of safes and filing cabinates and other on-site work. They do not work for anybody other than themselves.
These irregulars are without constraint and usually very highly trained (but by whom is an open question in many cases). Often considerably more so than field and case officers who are strictly limited in what they can do by their diplomatic status.
By and large MI-6 is not a bunch of field officers running around doing those fictionaly named "black bag jobs" and "wet work" and the like.
They are primarly investagative journolists in function with diplomatic status when and if they go abroad (which is rare).
You may have heard the half truth joke about what the NSA will do if it gets control of the CIA which is outsource them to CNN and Reuters cliping service. It's only a half joke because CNN is usally pumping out raw intel from on the spot better and faster than most countries Intel services could hope to achive on the very best of days (simply because they have no Intel security issues to worry about).
For good and proper reaons MI-6 or the service is not allowed to do Intel work on subjects or organisations within the UK, the same with other countries Intel services such as the NSA etc (which is why the BRUSA agremment came into being).
Historically "home"/"on shore" Intel work used to be MI-5's job prior to the politicos passing bits over to the "special branch" and Met Police at New Scotland Yard and the buildings just around the corner).
Getting back to The Service, it does not usually move it's own data around that falls to the likes of the Diplomatic Wireless service (have a look at this blogs page about Aspidistra or google "Pownden and Hanslope Park"), it's associated millitry units and Forign and Commenwealth Office diplomatic couriers who are usually ex armed forces personnel with full diplomatic status.
Also check out the relationship between the DWS and BBC overseas stations technical staff they where trained by F&CO and DWS staff (as they used to carry piccolo diplomatic wirless traffic on the main line transmitters when not on BBC Overseas Service broadcasts).
Getting back to the happless flat foot, she was not MI6 she was not carrying MI6 intel she was working for SOCA (serious organised crime which is activly being replaced) which are just (brighter than??) average flat foots. She was carrying SOCAs data which might have included input from both MI5 and MI6 by way of the "cabinat office".
There is as noted a real issue with both MI-5 and MI-6 in that they have their own "home" and "away" pitches and are not allowed to walk on each others grass. When you have Organised or Serious Crime these days it is usually trans border and almost "virtual" in heirachy. This gives problems for the intel services which is one of the reasons "special branch" and it's successors like SOCA have been responsible for running such shows with the MI's in the back seat.
The real problem which is just starting to hit public awarness is the major and incompatable difference between the Police and Intel Services.
The Police are rightfully and properly an organ of the legislature along with courts etc, they are sworn to uphold the law withoout fear or favour. Importantly they have to have the trust of the country which unfortunatly G20 just played an own goal via the Met TSG.
Intel services are organs of the exeutive have few restrictions except those in their articals of administration their primary purpose was to gather information for the executive via whatever means are apropriate they where not law keepers in any way shape or form infact the opposit frequently.
This split personality style running of Intel is apparently the secure way to go...