Are the policies, administration, and budgets of the intelligence services subject to effective and independent oversight?
Cameroon score: 0/100
There is considerable and regular undue influence in the oversight of the intelligence service’s policies, administration, and budgets. It is likely its mandate results in limited power and resources to carry out the oversight.
A parliamentary committee or independent body (e.g., appointed by PM) is designated to scrutinise the intelligence service’s policies, administration, and budgets. It may occasionally be subject to undue influence from the executive or the military or its mandate is not always matched by the body’s powers and resources.
A parliamentary committee or independent body (e.g., appointed by PM) is designated to scrutinise the intelligence service’s policies, administration, and budgets. It functions without undue influence from the executive or the military. Its mandate is matched by the body’s powers and resources.
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 . 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” . 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 . 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  .
1. “Law No. 96-06: Constitution of the Republic of Cameroon”, National Assembly, January 18, 1996, http://confinder.richmond.edu/admin/docs/Cameroon.pdf.
2. “Cameroon (National Assembly)”, Inter-Parliamentary Union, accessed March 17, 2019, http://archive.ipu.org/parline-e/reports/CtrlParlementaire/2053_F.htm#defnat.
3. “Cameroon secret service agent claims 1.6 billion cfa francs from the state of Cameroon”, All Afrikan Network, accessed 20 March 2018, http://www.alafnet.com/cameroon-secret-service-agent-claims-1-6-billion-cfa-francs-from-the-state-of-cameroon.
4. “Cameroun – Services Secrets: Complot Manque a la DGRE – Cameroon”, Camer.be, October 17, 2015, http://www.camer.be/46240/11:1/cameroun-services-secrets-complot-manque-a-la-dgre-cameroon.html#vB23xkPd9MTGcGM8.99
Cameroon score: NA/100
The oversight function has little to no influence over the intelligence services.
The oversight function does not have regular access to classified information. It may meet less frequently than every 6 months.
The oversight function has access to classified information and meets at least every 6 months to review budget and expenditures, personnel issues, and policies of the intelligence services. Findings are rarely published.
The oversight function has access to classified information and meets at least every 6 months to review budget and expenditures, personnel issues, and policies of the intelligence services. Though meetings are held behind closed doors, a summary of findings is published.
The oversight function has access to classified information and meets at least every 2 months to review budget and expenditures, personnel issues, and policies of the intelligence services. Though meetings are held behind closed doors, a summary of findings is published.
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   . Therefore, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.
1. Interview with a senior military officer from the Ministry of Defence, Maroua, March 30, 2018.
2. Interview with a senior auditor from the Supreme State Audit, Presidency of Cameroon, Yaounde, March 23, 2018.
3. Ngo Nolla Pauline Priscille, “Secret et Proces Penal au Cameroun”, M.Phil. dissertation, University of Yaounde, 2012, https://www.memoireonline.com/08/13/7292/Secret-et-proces-penal-au-cameroun.html.
Compare scores by country
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|Country||21a. Independence||21b. Effectiveness|
|Albania||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Algeria||0 / 100||NA|
|Angola||0 / 100||NA|
|Argentina||50 / 100||25 / 100|
|Armenia||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Australia||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Azerbaijan||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Bahrain||0 / 100||NA|
|Bangladesh||0 / 100||NA|
|Belgium||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|Botswana||50 / 100||25 / 100|
|Brazil||75 / 100||0 / 100|
|Burkina Faso||50 / 100||NEI|
|Cameroon||0 / 100||NA|
|Canada||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|Chile||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|China||0 / 100||NA|
|Colombia||NEI||50 / 100|
|Cote d'Ivoire||0 / 100||NA|
|Denmark||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|Egypt||0 / 100||NA|
|Estonia||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|Finland||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|France||50 / 100||75 / 100|
|Germany||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Ghana||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Greece||25 / 100||0 / 100|
|Hungary||50 / 100||100 / 100|
|India||0 / 100||NA|
|Indonesia||50 / 100||25 / 100|
|Iran||0 / 100||NA|
|Iraq||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Israel||50 / 100||100 / 100|
|Italy||75 / 100||100 / 100|
|Japan||25 / 100||0 / 100|
|Jordan||0 / 100||NA|
|Kenya||75 / 100||25 / 100|
|Kosovo||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|Kuwait||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Latvia||75 / 100||50 / 100|
|Lebanon||0 / 100||NA|
|Lithuania||75 / 100||50 / 100|
|Malaysia||0 / 100||NA|
|Mali||0 / 100||NA|
|Mexico||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Montenegro||50 / 100||75 / 100|
|Morocco||0 / 100||NA|
|Myanmar||0 / 100||NA|
|Netherlands||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|New Zealand||75 / 100||50 / 100|
|Niger||0 / 100||NA|
|Nigeria||50 / 100||25 / 100|
|North Macedonia||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Norway||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|Oman||0 / 100||NA|
|Palestine||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Philippines||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Poland||75 / 100||50 / 100|
|Portugal||75 / 100||50 / 100|
|Qatar||0 / 100||NA|
|Russia||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|Saudi Arabia||0 / 100||NA|
|Serbia||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Singapore||0 / 100||NEI|
|South Africa||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|South Korea||100 / 100||25 / 100|
|South Sudan||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Spain||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|Sudan||0 / 100||NA|
|Sweden||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Switzerland||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|Taiwan||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|Thailand||0 / 100||NA|
|Tunisia||0 / 100||NA|
|Turkey||0 / 100||NA|
|Uganda||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Ukraine||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|United Arab Emirates||0 / 100||NA|
|United Kingdom||75 / 100||75 / 100|
|United States||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|Venezuela||0 / 100||NA|
|Zimbabwe||0 / 100||NA|