Q21.

Are the policies, administration, and budgets of the intelligence services subject to effective and independent oversight?

21a. Independence

Score

SCORE: 0/100

Assessor Explanation

Assessor Sources

21b. Effectiveness

Score

SCORE: NA/100

Assessor Explanation

Assessor Sources

Compare scores by country

Please view this page on a larger screen for the full stats.

Relevant comparisons

There is no independent body, which oversees the policies, administration, and budget of the intelligence services. Since there is very little information about the intelligence service in general, additionally no evidence could be found that an internal control mechanism is in place (see the last country assessment), (6).

Historically, Algeria’s Department of Intelligence and Security (Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité, DRS) has played a decisive role in the political sphere in the country, including choosing the presidents of the country (1). In 2016, President Bouteflika dissolved the DRS and established a new security agency, the Direction of Security Services (Direction des services sécuritaires, DSS), which was reportedly under his control. Some analysts have interpreted that as a step to regain influence over the DRS by the president (1), (2), while Hachemaiou argued that the DRS is still powerful (3). Before the DRS was reportedly in the sphere of influence of the armed forces, but, as the same newspaper article emphasized, all former intelligence services had been somehow out of control (4). The DSS was established by an unpublished presidential decree (3), (4), underlining how secret the service operates and how difficult it is to find information on control mechanisms or functions, including its administration. Moreover, there is no evidence that the parliament has any oversight over the budget of the DRS or DSS. Their budgets have also not been separate items in the national budget (5).

The sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because there is no independent body, which oversees the policies, administration, and budget of the intelligence services (see the answer to question 21A). The DSS was established by an unpublished presidential decree (1), (2), underlining how secret the service operates and how difficult it is to find information on controls mechanisms or functions, including its administration. Moreover, there is no evidence that the parliament has any oversight over the budget of the DRS or DSS. Their budgets have also not been separate items in the national budget (3).

Based on the 2010 Constitution that further centralized power, the three branches of the intelligence services were formally integrated into the office of the presidency (before 2010, the domestic intelligence service SINSE, then SINFO, was headed by the vice-minister of Interior) (3). The Security Bureau of the Presidency (SBP), established in the 1990s as the Military Bureau of the Presidency, has existed as a powerful parallel economic, military and intelligence structure that is solely accountable to the president. President Lourenço has by decree confirmed the core functions and role of the SBP (1), (2), (4).

There is no independent oversight of the intelligence service. Thus, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

Based on the 2010 Constitution that further centralized power, the three branches of the intelligence services were formally integrated into the office of the presidency (before 2010, the domestic intelligence service SINSE, then SINFO, was headed by the vice-minister of Interior) (3). The Security Bureau of the Presidency (SBP), established in the 1990s as the Military Bureau of the Presidency, has existed as a powerful parallel economic, military and intelligence structure that is solely accountable to the president. President Lourenço has by decree confirmed the core functions and role of the SBP (1), (2), (4).

At the inception of the country’s National Investigation Agency (ANR) in March 2016, it was planned that a committee of control would be created within the National Assembly or Parliament to “avoid any deviation of the agency” (1). However, according to JeuneAfrique (2016), a “timetable is set up to to make the Agency operational by June 2017, was approved by the Head of State” (1). This implies that the ANR had only existed for a year at the time and that the parliamentary committee is getting ready to scrutinise its policies, administration and budget. Based on a statement by a security source, claiming that they want to build a solid and well-organized institution; and that this requires both time and resources; it can be assumed that the parliamentary committee will operate independently from the executive and the military (1). However, a look at the work of other national control institutions such as the ASCE-LC; and to what extent they are independent, contrasts the aforementioned assumption. In practice, the Parliament remains heavily dependent on the government, despite the constitutional separation of powers, although the provisions of Article 84 clearly stating that the Parliament controls the actions of the government (3). The government has been criticized for not releasing its information (4), and for protecting some officials (5). Therefore, the parliamentary committee appointed to scrutinize the ANR may occasionally come under undue influence from the executive.

This indicator has not been assigned a score due to insufficient information or evidence.

As the parliamentary committee has not yet produced a report on its work, it is difficult to appreciate the effectiveness of its work.

In Cameroon, there is no Special Commission which serves as watchdog of the activities of the intelligence services. There is also no legal space for judges to play this role. The judiciary operates under the Ministry of Justice, headed by the Minister of Justice, who is an executive member and appointed and dismissed by the President of the Republic, who is the head of the executive branch. The President is also the first magistrate and head of the judicial council, the body that makes policies for the judiciary [1]. According to Article 37 (3) of the Constitiution (1996), “The President of the Republic shall guarantee the independence of judicial power. He shall appoint members of the bench and the legal department. He shall be assisted in this task by the Higher Judicial Council which shall give him its opinion on all nominations for the bench and on disciplinary action against judicial and legal officers. The organisation and functioning of the Higher Judicial Council shall be defined by law” [1]. The Head of the Secret Service, the General Directorate of External Research (DGRE) of Cameroon (Direction Générale de la Recherche Extérieure du Cameroun) is appointed through a Presidential Degree and he is answerable to the President, who is also the Chief of the Armed Forces [2]. The policies, administration and budgets of the intelliegence services are not subject to effective and independent oversight, as they are accountable to the President only. In July 2013, the Secretary General at the Presidency dismissed Peter Koumgou, a police officer and secret service agent, accusing him of dereliction of duty, without due process. In response, Peter Koumgou filed a case against the General Delegation for National Security (DGSN) requesting the sum of 1.6 billion CFA Francs. He questioned the actions of the Secretary General of the Presidency, stating that there was no legal basis to his dismissal [3] [4].

In Cameroon, there is no Special Commission which serves as watchdog of the activities of intelligence services. There is also no legal space for judges to play this role [1] [2] [3]. Therefore, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

The former Agence Nationale de la Stratégie et de l’Intelligence (ANSI), set up by Laurent Gbagbo in 2005, was permanently dissolved via Decree No. 2014-180 on April 10, 2014. A new intelligence service was created around the Coordination Nationale du Renseignement (CNR) on October 18, 2012 via Decree No. 2012-1016 (Décret n° 2012-1016, Portant création, missions et organisation de la Coordination Nationale du Renseignement, en abrégé CNR).

Like its predecessor, the CNR is not subject to NA oversight. It is directly attached to the executive and is headed by the president’s brother, Birahima Téné Outtara. The CNR has full subordination to the executive, a centralizing strategy devised by the president himself and his then Minister of Defence Alain Richard Donwahi. On the official website of President Ouattara, the CNR appears under the subheading “Les Affaires Présidentielles,” and is accountable to the Minister of Presidential Affairs and the Directeur de Cabinet (Chief of Staff), a powerful position in the government hierarchy (1).

According to a news piece in Jeune Afrique from 17 September 2015, Alain Richard Donwahi, the Executive Secretary of the Conseil National de Sécurité (CNS) and Prefect Vassiriki Traore, who helps to coordinate intelligence services, are both in charge of gathering intelligence and work closely with President Ouattara. Several agents have been sent to Morocco, France and the US for training (3). Jeune Afrique describes Prefect Vassiriki Traore as a protégé of President Ouattara’s brother, Birahima Téné Ouattara, which casts further doubt about the independence of Côte d’Ivoire’s secret service system (3).

The NA or any independent body does not oversee the function of the Coordination Nationale du Renseignement (CNR). Therefore, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

There is no independent oversight or policies that scrutinize the budget of the two intelligence agencies in Egypt. Both of them are linked directly to the president (although military intelligence should report to the minister of defence) (1), (2), (3). There are two intelligence services in Egypt, one is General Intelligence (GI) and the other is military intelligence. The GI is an organ that directly reports to the president of the republic (4), whereas the military intelligence is an administrative unit within the Ministry of Defence. The Parliament has no say in deciding the budget of the General Intelligence because, according to Article 76 of the General Intelligence Law, the GI decides its budget and sends it to the president of the republic for approval, and then only the topline figure is sent to the “competent authorities”. On the other hand, the budget of the military intelligence is a part of the defence budget which as discussed previously is also presented as a topline figure where the parliament has no access to its detailed breakdown.

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because, as explained above in 21A, there is no independent oversight of the intelligence service’s policies and budgets, and therefore this sub-indicator was marked as non-applicable (1), (2), (3).

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Interior (PSCDI) lacks a clear-cut mandate for scrutinising the intelligence service’s policies, administration, and budgets. The committee focuses on the armed services (including the military, the police, and para-military services) while the intelligence agencies remain unregulated (1). However, the committee lacks the expertise and resources to execute its mandate efficiently.

The Public Account Committee (PAC) has the power of scrutiny over the intelligence agencies’ budget, but there is no publicly available evidence. No information is published on the Committee website or in the main Ghanaian newspapers such as Modern Ghana, Myjoyonline, GhanaWeb, Ghana News Agency, Graphic Online in the last two years.

The Bureau of National Investigation (internal intelligence) and the Research Department (foreign intelligence) operate under the authority of the Ministry of National Security, while the Defence Intelligence (military intelligence) operates under the MOD’s authority (2), (3).

Because of the lack of a clear-cut mandate over the intelligence agencies, the PSCDI has little to no influence on the intelligence services. Likewise, the PAC does not have access to sensitive information, and its audits are limited to the administration (1).

Within the structure of the MoD, the National Security Council is responsible for intelligence policies, programmes and budgetary planning (1). Other intelligence structures also exist within Iraq’s MoI, the Hashd Al Shaabi (PMF) Commission and the joint intelligence-sharing quartet between Iraq, Iran, Syria and Russia. The oversight capacity of each is not made public. The plethora of actors involved in intelligence gathering and the service’s policies renders independent oversight highly improbable. An inspector general is attached to each ministry, empowered by their legal mandate to inspect all ministerial records and financial activities but IG’s act under the auspices of a party or political bloc that appoints the minister (2) which interferes with independence. The recent appointment of a militia commander affiliated to Badr Corps as the IG for MoD institutions (3) reveals how Iraq’s system of patronage has contributed to the erosion of meritocratic job requirements enshrined in Iraqi law. As members of the GoI such as Moqtada al Sadr, among many other, criticise; “the presence and influence of Iranian-sponsored militias in Iraq as undermining the central government and boosting corruption” (4). The PM has also been criticised of being ensnared in the patron-client politics’ which places even greater limits on his ability to ensure the independence of watchdog’s whose very position is sponsored by actors marred by corruption and political favouritism (5) Aliyah Nassif, an Iraqi MP, recently accused IG offices of selling sensitive and classified information “to cover up crimes of corruption and thefts of public money” (5), (6).
Extant coverage of security developments and intelligence gathering (7) presents strong evidence of Iranian influence in the realm of intelligence Abadi’s appointment of Badr Corps members as interior ministers (Mohammad al-Ghabban and Qassem al Araji) stands as evidence of this (8), alongside Abadi’s failed attempts to dismiss pro-Iranian Faleh Al-Fayyadh as head of national security (9). “Criticism of any collusive behaviour between IG’s and Iran-leaning security actors” a CSO member interviewed told Transparency “may cost you your life or land you in prison” — further evidence of the limitations facing investigators and watchdogs.

There is little evidence of transparency and of intelligence oversight beyond the INIS charter which places IG’s in charge of oversight. However, It is unclear from the charter if the process includes access to classified information, across all of Iraq’s security intelligence branches. The charter legally defines the mandate that intelligence actors operate within but the effectiveness of their functions and investigative activities are widely questioned (1).

Newly formed military structures such as the PMF appear to have a functioning IG office while internal and oversight functions are absent from the charter (2) [962]. Under Abadi, various decrees were issued which have given the coalition of militia forces formal and independent status and access to the state budget (3). PMF-tied intelligence branches are thus, not directly answerable to the MoD as the only legal requirement is that PMF reports directly to the office of the PM. The state-backed umbrella organization has an inspector general but it is unclear whether the officer must act in accordance with the INIS legal mandate. The effectiveness of IG’s oversight functions, from interaction with classified information to budgetary spending on intelligence activities, is undermined by politicking and the politicisation of investigations due to difficulties for offices to remain independent from the respective minister of the ministry whose activities IG’s monitor. These matters culminated in a parliamentary vote this year (4), (5), on whether or not to abolish IG offices. Current PM, Abdel Abdul Mahdi issued a statement after parliament failed to reach a quorum, that endorsed the IG system and their accomplishments, in spite of countless complaints from parliamentarians over alleged corruption and graft (6). The statement conceded that failures include oversight functions and a lack of transparency into the policies that ensure effectiveness. Effectiveness is further stunted by the inability of disparate intelligence branches to pool their powers to advance intelligence cooperation.

According to the list of ministries, institutions and authorities audited by the Jordanian Audit Bureau, the General Intelligence Directorate is included in the audited entities section [1]. However, the available report for the 2015 governmental audit does not include the General Intelligence Directorate [2]. The 2018 approved government annual budget also did not include predicted expenditure of the Intelligence Directorate [3]. In 2012, the head of the intelligence services was put forward for trial and sentencing, for allegations of corruption [4]. Since then, issues around corruption within the intelligence emerged again through media about intelligence personnel selling arms meant to be transferred to Syrian rebels through Jordan in 2016, and the only official governmental response by the Government’s spokesperson at the time, denied allegations put forward by the media [5]. Whilst there is some evidence of the Intelligence Directorate being held accountable for financial misconduct or corruption, there is no evidence of any body or entity exercising oversight over its policies, administration and budgets. The Jordanian Parliament, for example, has 20 permanent specialised committees but none of them is specialised in exercising oversight over the intelligence directorate [6,7].

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because, as explained in the previous sub-indicator, there is not independent oversight over intelligence services in the country [1].

Kuwait has only one intelligence agency, State Security, which is part of the Interior Ministry, according to the Ministry’s website (1). The Parliament does not have a special committee to monitor State Security, but its budget, administration and policies are scrutinised with the rest of the Ministry by the Defence and Interior Affairs Committee (according to articles 76 and 147 of the PIL (2)) — which is not significant because the lawmakers in this committee are pro-government. The SAB has access to its work but it never addresses this department in its annual reports and its auditors say their requests and recommendations are often ignored (3, 4, 5 and 6). The ACA, on paper, has the right to scrutinise its conduct if it sparks public concern or recieves a report about wrongdoing inside it (7). However, ACA auditors are often stonewalled (6).

Officials and activists say their internal auditing/finance department functions under a lot of undue political influence from the executive branch and the royal family. Thus, they are sometimes told to leave things as they are or they do not receive help when they complain of stonewalling (8, 9, and 10). Overall, state auditors in general do not lack resources, but there is regular interefence in their work.

The state auditors do not have regular access to information and officials say their requests are often denied by the ministry and the meetings in which they will discuss the intelligence budgets and performance tend to take place about once or twice a year, officials and an activist close to the security agencies said (1, 2, 3 and 4). The parliamentary committee meets twice a month to talk about security in general, but no evidence has emerged to suggest that the intelligence budget and performance are specifically discussed, as far as the media, officials and activists are concerned (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6).

The parliamentary committee does not practice independent scrutiny and oversight on the intelligence services. For example, the intelligence services’ secret expenditure goes without scrutiny (1). An interviewee confirmed the lack of oversight over secret spending. The source added that there is barely any information is provided for it (2). The size and scope of the Intelligence directorate is altered according to the threat the LAF percieves. The Directorate keeps a 1:1 Christian Muslim parity, and it is said that political alliances exist within the staff. The head of the Intelligence Directorate, a post reserved for a Maronite, is appointed by approval of the LAF commander and based on the President of Lebanon’s preference, who are both Maronites (3). The head of Intelligence Directorate reports to the LAF commander on operations and the chief of staff on administrative related matters (4). There might not be an apparent direct undue influence. However, political penetration exists.

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable, as the parliamentary committee does not have influence over the Military Intelligence Directorate (1).

The budget of the armed and security forces does not include the DGSE, the country’s main intelligence service.¹ It is unclear whether the budget of the military’s own intelligence service, the Direction de la sécurité militaire (DSM), is included in the overall defence budget. Also, there have been no mentions of intelligence spending in recent annual budgets or defence plans.² ³ ⁴ There is no standing parliamentary committee vested with any responsibility or power for overseeing DGSE operations, organisation, budget or activities.⁵ A member of the CDSPC confirmed to the assessor that the committee has no oversight function over the activities of the intelligence services.⁶

There is no standing parliamentary committee vested with any responsibility or power for overseeing DGSE operations, organisation, budget or activities.⁵ A member of the CDSPC confirmed to the assessor that the committee has no oversight function over the activities of the intelligence services.⁶ Therefore, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

No evidence was found, either from government sources or non-government sources such as interviews, media and CSOs reports, of effective and independent oversight of the policies, administration, and budgets of the intelligence services (all sources). General feedback from both interviewees indicate that the King (who is also the head of the armed forces) exerts a firm and direct control over the intelligence services. However, the interviewees were not able to provide detailed information or examples to support this fact.(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13)(14)(15)(16)(17)(18)

As there is no independent oversight of the intelligence service’s policies, administration and budgets, this sub-indicator is marked Not Applicable.

Niger’s intelligence services are connected in various ways to security and defence institutions. Among others, they include the Central Service for the Fight against Terrorism (Service Central de Lutte contre le Terrorisme et la Criminalité Transnationale Organisée, SCLCT). Operational since September 2009, it comprises representatives from Niger’s three primary law enforcement organizations: the National Police, the National Guard, and the Gendarmerie (2). The SCLCT is described as “essential” in the fight against terrorism, but there is no mention of independent oversight (2):

“The Internal Security Service (ISS) of the French Embassy has supported the SCLCT since its creation in training and equipment (Project FSP JUSSEC SI ‘Justice and Security in the Sahel-Saharan region’). With its own budget, and has led to more than one hundred operations relating to major terrorist groups in West Africa, including the dismantling of networks, the SCLCT can now be considered to be a key player in the fight against terrorism.”
(Consultant translation: French to English)

As per a French Senate report from 2014, the SCLCT is an autonomous entity under the direct authority of the General Director of Niger’s National Police. But there is no mention of independent oversight. The Security and Defence Committee (Commission de la Défense et de la Sécurité) of the National Assembly is an oversight body that has the mandate to oversee the security and defence policy (5). The IGSS and the IGA (see question 8 for details) may also play an oversight role. Yet, given funding problems (especially for the IGSS), effective independence does not seem to be possible.

In practice, the committee cannot control policies, administration and budgets of the intelligence services. Therefore this indicator has been marked Not Applicable. The IGSS could also act as an oversight body with limited powers, according to interviews (this does not include expenditure control over some units of intelligences services) (1).

The intelligence services are subject to effective oversight through the Senate and House Committees on National Security and Intelligence (1). They are mandated to oversee public security, security and intelligence matters generally, matters relating to any organization or agency established by law for ensuring the security of the Federation and offices of the National Security Adviser, State Security Services and National Intelligence Agency (1). While these committees may approve and disallow budget items, their powers over appointment are limited to confirmation of officeholders (2).

In response to the needs assessment and capacity building workshop conducted by PLAC, legislators and clerks indicated that infrequent meetings of the Senate Committees on Security did affect the effectiveness of the oversight committees. They indicated the lack of disaggregation of budget items was a matter which also affected the ability of committees members to play their role effectively. As a result of a lack of political will, various anti-corruption agencies have not been able to maintain effective and independent oversight of the defence sector. However, they noted that there was an overall improvement of the effectiveness of the committees in terms of their independence from the executive. Questions did exist over the extent to which committees have access to classified information. Findings of specific investigations are published and shared with the media (1). Much classified information is kept from the relevant committees using ‘strategic intelligence’ and ‘national security’ as excuses, and the committees lack the required expertise to hold the executive to account.

The Internal Security Service (ISS), formerly known as the Oman Intelligence Service and Oman Research Department, and the Sultan’s Security Forces, which work under the Royal Office, investigate all matters related to domestic security (1). External intelligence services fall directly under the Royal Office (1). Media articles rarely feature information about the ISS; however, the Times of Oman published an article sharing their new website, underlining it is available in both Arabic and English, and that it contains a page dedicated to contacting the service (2). Additionally, the ISS website does not function; with a failure to connect to webpages (3). Little information is available explaining the work of the ISS. The Gulf Center for Human Rights highlights arbitrary ISS arrests of human rights activists who criticise police on social media, in collaboration with the special division of the Omani police (4). Although there is limited information available, the ISS has a pension fund with investments in Namaa Poultry (5) and Tanmia Oman National Investment Development Company (6). This fund stands independently to the Royal Office Pension Fund, Ministry of Defence Pension Fund and the Sultan Special Force Pension Fund (6). No indication was found of legislation restricting ISS, it appears independent from the Ministry of Defence but rather directly under the Royal Office. According to our sources, there is no oversight at all over the intelligence sector since it is directed to the placement office which is not under any scrutiny or oversight mechanism (7), (8).

This indicator has been marked Not Applicable because oversight of the intelligence services is absent.

According to senior officers, oversight over the Internal Security Service, which falls directly under the authority of the sultan is absent and presumably, it enjoys wider privileges and protection from any oversight and scrutiny mechanisms, especially after the 1994 coup attempts (1), (2).

According to the Intelligence General Law of 2005, the Intelligence Service shall have an independent budget it shall be included as one number in the general budget of the State. The Legislative Council shall form a special committee of three members to discuss the approval of the intelligence budget within the framework of approving the general budget (3).

However, there is considerable and regular undue influence in the oversight of the intelligence service’s policies, administration, and budgets (1). The inactive Parliament and other groups have limited oversight over the intelligence policies and activities (2). The MoF auditing department runs some activities that focus on specific issues related to financial affairs.

The inactive Parliament and other groups have no influence and exercise limited oversight over the intelligence services policies and activities (1) (2).

The intelligence services in Qatar are part of the Ministry of the Interior. Similar to the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of the Interior is explicitly excluded from oversight by relevant bodies, such as the State’s Audit Bureau and the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority [1]. Overall, there is no entity tasked with oversight of the intelligence services [2,3].

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as there is no independent oversight of the intelligence service’s policies, administration, and budgets.

There is no evidence to suggest that the policies, administration or budget of the Saudi intelligence services, the primary of which is the General Intelligence Presidency (GIP), are subject to independent oversight by any of the aforementioned institutions, such as the Consultative Council’s committee on security affairs or the General Auditing Bureau.
According to our sources, Saudi Intelligence is an independent agency under the authority and power of the crown prince with an independent budget and extreme power. No agency or organization has access to oversight or to audit any of the Saudi intelligence agencies (1), (2).

According to government literature, the CPSA, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is responsible for monitoring the performance of relevant ministries and governments bodies. The literature also alludes to budget oversight, with references to developing CPSA-linked “monitoring units and help them with recruitment, budgets and other organizational support” (3). It is unclear however if these monitoring mechanisms would extend to the country’s intelligence services.

While the Saudi government does not publish data on the budget of the GIP or its other intelligence services including the Mabaheth, its secret police; in October 2015 a report by finance website Insider Monkey stated that Saudi Arabia spends over $495 million on intelligence annually (4).

In July 2017, King Salman consolidated Saudi Arabia’s counter-terrorism and domestic intelligence arms under a new agency, the Presidency of State Security (PSS). The move was ostensibly made to streamline the country’s intelligence services, previously under the purview of the MoI, and to make counter-terrorism efforts directly accountable to the king (5). The new agency is headed by Abdulaziz bin Mohammed al-Howairini, a Saudi general who reports directly to the king; he is said to be close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (6), (7). There has been little information published on the activities of the PSS to date, however its policies, administration, and budget do not appear to open to scrutiny by formal authority.

A meeting agenda of the Majlis al-Shura on January 7, 2019, referenced a “report by the Committee on Security Affairs regarding the annual report of the Head of General Intelligence for the fiscal year 1438/1439 AH [2017/2019]” (8). This suggests some level of scrutiny of the intelligence services, though in the absence of further details it is unclear whether the committee’s review of the annual report constitutes independent and effective oversight.

According to an expert on Gulf affairs, there is “no independent oversight” as “the intelligence services are, like every other structure within the regime, subject to the directives, whims, and passions of MBS” (9).

In October 2018, King Salman ordered the formation of a ministerial committee, to be chaired by the crown prince, to restructure the GIP. In December, the committee published its recommendations for the restructuring, which included:

– Establish a department within GIP for legal affairs to review intelligence operations in accordance with international laws and charters and with human rights, and link this department to the General Intelligence President; and

– Establish a department within GIP for performance evaluation and internal review to evaluate operations, verify their compliance with the approved procedures, and report to the General Intelligence President.

There is no further information publicly available relating to the status of this restructuring. It is unclear whether these reforms will allow for more effective and independent oversight of the intelligence services from within the GIP (10).

According to a Gulf affairs expert:

“The intelligence services are not subject to independent and effective oversight. They continue to operate as separate institutions and enjoy a large degree of operational autonomy, though there is a project underway draw the different services into a more central structure, with the CPSA providing more oversight than it previously had” (11).

As there is no independent oversight of the intelligence service’s policies, administration and budgets, this sub-indicator is not applicable. (1), (2).

According to our sources, Tunis has no law that governs the intelligence services, except for one 2014 decree that gave an independent reveiw of the military intelligence services (1). Besides that, our sources confirm that intelligence has not been under scrutiny and no institution (Parliament or otherwise) have the mandate to scrutinise the Intelligence Agency(2,3). The Intelligence Agency is part of the Ministry of Interior, although the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also have separate intelligence functions. Within the Ministry of Defence, there is an agency of intelligence and security for the defence (created by decree n° 2014-4209 dated 20 November 2014 ). The role of this agency consists of protection of personnel, equipment, installations, and secrets of the Ministry of National Defence, collecting intelligence and inquiries about potential threats that would affect the security of the armed forces and the security of the country in general, contributing to the prevention and control of terrorism, and advising military leaders and the Minister of National Defence (1). The 2014 decree states that this institution has financial independence and that it is placed under the authority of the Minister of Defence. The function of this agency is not clearly defined and there is no reliable information about it. Generally, information on the intelligence sector is not widely available and the intelligence sector is not currently governed by any law. No evidence could be found even of internal controls within the intelligence services. In the absence of a sound legal framework, it is not possible to talk of any independent oversight of intelligence services (4).

As there are no oversight mechanism, this sub indicator is NA.

The UAE’s intelligence services consist of the UAE State Security and the Military Intelligence Security Services, both of which are not subject to any oversight or scrutiny. Evidence has demonstrated that matters related to defence and security in the country do not go through any independent oversight concerning their policies and budgets (1), (2), (3), (4). The UAE State Security and the Military Intelligence Services have an independent budget which is not publicly available (5), (6).

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, due to the lack of an oversight body, and thus assessing its effectiveness in this context is irrelevant (1), (2).

Country Sort by Country 21a. Independence Sort By Subindicator 21b. Effectiveness Sort By Subindicator
Algeria 0 / 100 NA
Angola 0 / 100 NA
Burkina Faso 50 / 100 NEI
Cameroon 0 / 100 NA
Cote d'Ivoire 0 / 100 NA
Egypt 0 / 100 NA
Ghana 0 / 100 0 / 100
Iraq 25 / 100 25 / 100
Jordan 0 / 100 NA
Kuwait 0 / 100 0 / 100
Lebanon 0 / 100 NA
Mali 0 / 100 NA
Morocco 0 / 100 NA
Niger 0 / 100 NA
Nigeria 50 / 100 25 / 100
Oman 0 / 100 NA
Palestine 0 / 100 0 / 100
Qatar 0 / 100 NA
Saudi Arabia 0 / 100 NA
Tunisia 0 / 100 NA
United Arab Emirates 0 / 100 NA

With thanks for support from the UK Department for International Development and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have contributed to the Government Defence Integrity Index.

Transparency International Defence & Security is a global programme of Transparency International based within Transparency International UK.

Privacy Policy

UK Charity Number 1112842

All rights reserved Transparency International Defence & Security 2020