OCMSA is charged with handling political issues, and had played a central role in monitoring the 2007 popular protests in Myanmar; coordinating widespread arrests of protesters and their interrogation. Human Rights Watch reported that as part of its interrogation process, OCMSA uses sleep deprivation and condones the beating and kicking of detainees until they are unconscious.
Notable former commanders of OCMSA include Vice President Lieutenant General (Ret.) Myint Swe, Chief of General Staff (Army, Navy and Airforce) General Mya Tun Oo and Union Minister for Home Affairs Lieutenant General Kyaw Swe. As of September 2016, OCMSA is headed by Lieutenant General Soe Htut.