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Is the legislature (or the appropriate legislative committee or members of the legislature) given full information for the budget year on the spending of all secret items relating to national security and military intelligence?


SCORE: 25/100

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The Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the State Intelligence Service (SHISH) inform the Committee on National Security (CNS) on the spending of the secret budget in closed-door hearings during the overall discussion of the annual budget [1]. However, the spending of the secret budget is discussed very superficially and the data are presented in an aggregated form [2]. The Internal Audit reports of the MoD and the SHISH are not provided to the parliament [1]. According to the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament, the members of the CNS may request to have access to Internal Audit reports [3], but no such practice exists [2].

There is no evidence that parliament receives a full briefing on expenditures on secret items relating to national security and military intelligence. The websites of both chambers do not provide any information (1), (2).

The areas of national security and intelligence are mainly under the authority of the executive. According to Art. 91 of the constitution, the President of the Republic is responsible for national defence. The presidents of both chambers have only a consolatory status (see Art. 105 and Art. 109) (3). In 2016, President Bouteflika restructured the Department of Intelligence and Security (Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité, DRS) and established a new security agency, the Direction of Security Services (Direction des services sécuritaires, DSS), which is reportedly now under his control (4). The DSS was established by an unpublished presidential decree (5), (6), underlining how secret the service works. There is hardly any information available about the intelligence services.

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

There is no publicly accessible information the budget for secret items relating to national security and the intelligence services. For instance, the 2018 State Budget Law stipulates that security-related public services integrated into the National Security System are subject to a special regime, funded by the Special Financial Security Funds that are under the sole control of the president (Art. 12) (1).

There is Not Enough Information to score this indicator. By the National Intelligence Law, [1] the Bicameral Commission of Inspection of Intelligence Organisations and Activities (7 Senators and 7 Congressmen, for two renewable years) was created as a supervisory body within the Congress. This commission has the function of supervising that the operation of intelligence agencies strictly complies with the current constitutional, legal, and regulatory norms. In accordance with the legislation, the Bicameral Commission has broad powers to control and investigate ex officio, so the form and regularity of its functions are not determined. [2] [3] Likewise, control reaches both budgetary management (including “reserved expenses”) and any other activity of those agencies. Likewise, intelligence agencies “are obliged to provide the data, background, and reports related to the exercise of their functions” in cases where the Commission requires their collaboration. [4] [5] As the agency has checked, the Bicameral Commission, which must monitor intelligence activities, does not report how many times it meets a year or the activities it performs, nor does it receive reports and other intelligence information. [6] There is no access to the actions of the Committee. While the Committee has formal powers to access the complete information, it is difficult to verify due to the limited information if it has requested and received this information.

According to the National Assembly’s Rules of Procedure, expenditures containing state and official secrets are discussed at a closed-door joint meeting of the Standing Committee on Defence and Security and Standing Committee on Financial-Credit and Budgetary Affairs of the National Assembly, where the deputies, the Chairman of the Audit Chamber as well as the prime minister’s authorized representatives may participate [1]. Though spending on secret items relating to national security and the intelligence services is not available in the budget, the Rules of Procedure specify that MPs may have written and oral requests to the Executive inquiring additional details on a discussed topic [2].

According to the Intelligence Services Act 2001 [1] and information on the role of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS), one of the three main functions of PJCIS is to “providing oversight of Australian intelligence agencies by reviewing their administration and expenditure” [2]. As part of this oversight, PJCIS is required to conduct an annual review [3] and releases a public report to expand on these efforts. The PJCIS report indicates that “The Committee is privy to detailed, largely classified, information about the administration and expenditure of agencies. Each agency provides information on its administration and expenditure to the Committee in the form of classified written submissions, by appearing to give evidence in private (classified) hearings, and by providing private briefings to the Committee, at its request” [4]. While the level of detail provided about secret spending to the PJCIS is not known exactly, a federal politician interviewee praised the level of authority and quality of the oversight efforts of the Committee [5], indicating that the level of expenditure detail the Committee has access to is high. While other Parliamentary committees are responsible for oversight of different aspects of the various security and intelligence agencies, the PJCIS has exclusive oversight authority over the administration and budget of the sox Australian security and military intelligence agencies (see Q1A and Q1B). The PJCIS claims that it has access to “detailed” information about national security and military intelligence agency budgets, scrutiny over which falls under its main mandate of expenditure oversight; however, it is unknown whether there is any omission of information.

The Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On Intelligence and Anti-Intelligence Activity” does not contain any information on accountability to the parliament (1). According to the law “On the status of the deputy of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan” (Article 11), the deputy may apply to central and local executive authorities, judicial authorities, local self-governing bodies, state enterprises, institutions, organizations to receive necessary materials and documents related to their activities. These bodies must submit the required materials and documents to the deputy within ten days, anticipating the requirements of the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan on state secrets (2). The Committee for Defence, Security and Anti-Corruption is not provided with information about spending on secret items (3, 4). Defence spending and the budget are not transparent, and the major defence-related ministries do not report to parliament (5).

The Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee at the Shura Council is not given any information about the budgetary year or spending [1, 2]. Indeed, the lists of meetings have nothing related to the budget or expenses [3, 4, 5].

There are no official or media reports suggesting that Parliament or the PSCMoD ever receives full information regarding expenditure on secret items relating to national security and military intelligence [1].

Committee I (‘Comité I’, ‘Comité R’) is responsible for scrutinizing the intelligence services and reports back to the Parliament. It has access to documents and can interview personnel and expert witnesses in its investigative procedures [1]. The committee has full insight into defence expenditures on a detailed level, including item descriptions and disaggregated data [2].

These checks happen quarterly by a representative of the cabinet of the Ministry of Defence, and in the presence of the Chair of Committee I. This includes parts of the intelligence service’s ‘sensitive’ budget, especially so-called ‘special funds’, which include expenditures for operations and informants. Committee I reports to the Commission of Defence behind closed doors. Elected MPs chairing in this Commission thus have full oversight. Since 2019, there are ongoing discussions to include the Court of Auditors into the monitoring of the ‘sensitive budgets’ in order to let Committee I focus on its core business of how exactly these funds are used.

The Ministry of Defence Ministry of Defence does not have military intelligence in its composition, the Intelligence-Security Agency runs at state level rather than sitting within the Ministry of Defence [1, 2, 3].
One of the competencies assigned to the Joint Committee on Supervision of the Work of Intelligence and Security Agency of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina is to consider reports of the director-general on the activities and costs of the JC and especially analyze how budget funds are spent, the committee’s sessions are closed to the public [4, 5].
Before being voted on in both houses of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina [2], the budgets and spending reports are discussed and adopted by the Committees on Finance and Budget (of both houses) and the Joint Committee on Defence and Security of BiH (in the case of the Intelligence and Security Agency of BiH, the Joint Committee on Supervision of the work of Intelligence and Security Agency of BiH) [6, 7].

The Legislative Committee responsible for the National Security (Directorate of Intelligence Security Services) is provided with a budget but the finer details are not disclosed. For example, it has been reported that, Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) continues to consume more funds from both the recurrent and development budget for the state presidency under of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration. The 2018 budget request, which is not specific, is almost the same as that of last year. The projects are also the same [1]. The Office of the President (OP) is requesting P1,402,872,560 and DISS will get P410, 921690.00, which is 29.3 percent of the total recurrent budget. Last year, it was allocated P337 million or 28 percent of the total recurrent budget and this year, it has increased by slightly 1.3 percent [1]. On the development budget, OP requested P676, 014,000.00 and DISS will get the lion’s share of P261, 414,000.00, which represents 39 percent of the Ministry’s development budget. Giving reasons for DISS’s lion share, Molale said that the budget is for strengthening the spy agency’s capabilities [2]. Last year, DISS got P261, 061,914.00 representing 38% of the development funds for the ministry.
Molale said, “Continuous improvements in the organisational infrastructure and operational tools/instruments is vital in the integration and coordination of initiatives aimed at safeguarding national security”. He reasoned that it is important to continue improving and investing in capital projects in the intelligence security. Some of the projects that are to be carried out, according to Molale, include various infrastructure developments improvements in communication network and acquisition of mobile platforms [2].

The Defence Committee is not used to having access to classified documents regarding the year budget because they never ask for it. According to an interview held in 2015 with the secretary of the Senate Defence Committee, when they have doubts, senators ask for the Legislative Budget Committee [1]. According to a public official who works in the Budget Consultancy of the Senate, and also to a response to an FOI request, deputies and senators can ask for full information on secretive budgets, but they have never exerted the right [2, 3]. It is important to note that the fact that deputies do not exercise their rights to request this information shows the limitations of this index since it is hard to compare these issues across very different realities of civil-military relations.

The military budget given to the legislature for adoption does not mention any information of spending on secret items, and there is no evidence of military expenditure on secret items (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6).

Although there is a Defence Committee in the National Assembly, the Committee remains inactive. In addition, the Ministry of Defence does not give details of secret items bought, as these items and activities are often considered strategic and secret and therefore not to be made public [1] [2]. According to one interviewee, it is believed that making this information public would more or less constitute exposing your strategy to your enemy [1].

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) Act [1] mandates the Committee to review: the legislative, regulatory, administrative and financial framework for national security and intelligence; any activity carried out by a department that relates to national security or intelligence; and any matter relating to national security or intelligence that a minister of the Crown refers to the Committee. It is made up of members of the House of Commons and Senators with Top Secret Security Clearance [2]. It produces an annual report of its activities and findings (with sensitive material redacted) to Parliament [3]. Reports have not clearly provided information on spending on secret items, with the exception of one section (p.136) referring to CBSA spending from 2015-2018 shown in a highly aggregated format. [4]
The National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA) Act [5] mandates the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency to review national security and intelligence activities from all federal departments and agencies, and inform Parliament and Canadians of the lawfulness of their governments actions. Reviews and Annual Reporting (to date) have not covered information on expenditures. [6]

According to the Organic Law of the Ministry of National Defence (MDN), the MDN, in coordination with the sub-secretary for the armed forces and El Estado Mayor Conjunto (EMCO), shall prepare reports for Congress informing them about the execution of the budget and the funding of acquisition and investment projects in the armed forces [1]. The Congress will be informed, in secret sessions, about the planning in the development of the defence forces, including the financial planning and its execution, and the acquisition and investment projects in arms systems, including the funding of materials with reserved and secret status [2]. However, there are legislative and practical obstacles to the information provided. There are prescriptions about the secrecy and reserved character of specific funds, such as the RestrictedLaw of Copper, which can only be scrutinised by the Oficina de la Contraloría General de la República (CGR), and in restricted form. Likewise, the Code of Military Justice indicates the secret character of documents related to state security, national defence, and the public order, including, in broad terms, information about arms and war and military equipment [3, 4]. In practice, there has been a culture of secrecy and opacity around spending on secret items, which is corroborated by a senior congressman [5]. Information about expenditures that belong to restricted funds and secret items, when discussed, is presented in general terms and with few details. It must be noted that mitigating this culture of secrecy has been part of the recent agenda in the MDN to promote probity, transparency and internal control, mainly as a reaction to corruption scandals within the armed forces [6].

Neither the Chinese Constitution nor the NPC or PLA regulations stipulate access to information on secret budgets. In addition, the People’s Liberation Army Secrecy Regulations (中国人民解放军保密条例) does not mention legislative oversight and access to relevant information. Overall, according to the Open Budget Survey, “the legislature and supreme audit institution in China provide weak oversight of the budget.” No legislative body receives infromation on secret spending.

The Congress of the Republic receives different types of reports related to the operation of the defence sector and the National Intelligence Directorate (DNI). Every year, the document “Memories to Congress” must be delivered, outlining strategic planning, the implementation of security and defence policy, strategic objectives, and budget spending. [1] Through the political control carried out by the legislature, information can be requested at any time from the Executive, the Military Forces, or from the Police on intelligence matters. This information is delivered through response to questionnaires generated by the legislature. It should be added that the Legal Commission for Monitoring Intelligence and Counterintelligence Activities by Congress is in charge of exercising political control and monitoring, as well as the supervision of the use of resources in intelligence and counterintelligence tasks. However, there are no public documents that account for such control. The annual report of the DNI describes the expenses made generally in categories and aggregated: personnel expenses, general expenses, transfers, operations, and investment. However, the secret items with disaggregated data are not clearly detailed. Likewise, the DNI reports on projects related to infrastructure and the strengthening of intelligence actions in the Bank of Programmes and National Investment Projects (BPIN). However, said information is not detailed, so the results and impacts of the implementation of said projects are unknown. Lastly, the DNI presents the level of budget execution through the categories described above and reports the performance of public contracts with private entities, information that is not presented in a comprehensive or detailed way. [2]

The publication of the accounting statements of the Ministry of Defence that are sent to the General Accounting Office of the Nation are published on its website, with the financial statements presented and explained item by item. With regard to reserved expenses, the exceptional nature of these expenses and the justification for their exclusion in the financial statements are specified. [3] Faced with this situation, Interviewee 6 reports that in matters of national intelligence there are very few available data. [4] Despite filing petitions, the response of the authorities has been the refusal of additional information due to national security issues. There is no budget information on intelligence actions such as wiretapping, reward payments, and national security-related expenses. Interviewee 1 reports that there is no information regarding budget monitoring actions on the spending of secret items related to military intelligence. [5] Thus the legislature receives limited information on the spending of secret items for the defence sector.

According to the 2016 Constitution, the Assemblée Nationale (NA) has several mechanisms to oversee government policy, including amendment rights over expenditure in the annual Budget Law. However, the NA lacks explicit formal rights to monitor the defence budget and much less to co-determine spending on secret items related to national security and military intelligence (1). According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), oversight of national defence policy is exercised solely via the Commission Sécurité et Défense (CSD). However, it is also not entitled to examine and co-determine annual spending on secret items related to national security or military intelligence (2). “The Security and Defence Committee has the general powers accredited to committees, i.e. of inquiry and information. The composition of the Commission reflects the numerical strength of each party in the parliament. The parliament controls national defence policy when the finance bill is being examined” (2).

The Coordination Nationale du Renseignement (CNR) created on October 18, 2012, via Decree No. 2012-1016, is the official coordinating body for intelligence matters. It is not subject to NA or CSD oversight. The CNR is directly attached to the Executive and is headed by the President’s brother, Birahima Téné Ouattara. The organizational structure of the CNR is as a fully centralized agency devised by the president himself and his then Minister of Defense Alain Richard Donwahi. On the official website of President Ouattara, the CNR appears under the subheading “Les Affaires Présidentielles”, and appears to be accountable only to the minister of presidential affairs and the Directeur de Cabinet (Chief of Staff), a powerful position in the government hierarchy (3). “As per this hierarchy, the Presidency has become the heart of the entire Ivorian security system. In effect, it became a veritable control tower supervised at the time by the Secretary-General, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, and Birahima Téné Ouattara, aka “Photocopy”, the Minister of Presidential Affairs… The centralization of information oversight at the Presidency and under the “authority” of the Head of State is certainly true on paper. However, in reality, this power is in the hands of the President’s brother Birahima Téné Ouattara, the Minister of Presidential Affairs, who also holds the office of DAF at the Presidency and Treasurer of the RDR, the ruling party” (4).

The parliamentary committee called the Committee on the Intelligence Services (Udvalget vedrørende Efterretningstjenesterne, Kontroludvalget) conducts parliamentary oversight of DDIS (see Q21) (1). The mandate of the committee is written in very general broad terms [2]. The committee consists of five members from the parliament’s five largest parties. The incumbent government is, among other things, obliged to orient the committee before it issues guidelines and instructions for the DDIS [2]. It is written into law that the committee has no mandate to exercise control or scrutinise the appropriations for the DDIS. The committee can, however, be provided with information on general aspects of the DDIS budget [1].

The legislature is not provided with the information; it is only provided with the topline total figure (1), (2), (3), (4). Only representatives of the Defence Committee of the Parliament are allowed to join the discussions on the budget in the NDC (5). It is important to note here that the parliamentary committee on defence is headed by a senior military officer.

Protection of the information containing a state secret is regulated by State Secrets and Classified Information of Foreign States Act. [1] It stipulates that the items of information concerning the preparation, management and operations of national defence are classified as ‘secret’. Therefore, it is not made public, although the expenses are included in the state budget.

In order to have full access to the detailed budget that, according to the interviewee, consists of thousands of pages, a member of parliament has to have the necessary clearance to access state secrets. [2]

Members of the Riigikogu are authorised to access state secrets in order to perform their duties, as stipulated by the Status of Members of the Riigikogu Act. [3] Each member of the Riigikogu who is appointed member of the National Defence Committee is to undergo security vetting. If the member does not pass the security vetting, a new member is appointed in accordance with the procedure provided in the Riigikogu Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act. Nevertheless, according to the interviewee [1], not all members of the Committee have access to state secrets. In addition to that, not all the members have enough knowledge on defence issues to be able to inquire all the necessary information.
It is generally accepted that the members of the committee do not enquire about the operations by the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service, about their clients and how much they are paying their clients. The Minister of Defence is allowed to enquire about this, but by “unwritten rule” even the Minister does not ask questions about this, according to the interviewee.
The draft budget of the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service is deliberated by the Security Authorities Surveillance Committee of Riigikogu, in accordance with the Security Authorities Act. [4]

Information that is categorised as “secret” or “completely secret”, includes very detailed information about the budget expenses: planned purchases, the number of personnel and expenses etc. The expenses are introduced to the parliamentary Security Authorities Surveillance Committee.

The use of expenses and the budget related to the defence and military issues is introduced to the Riigikogu’s Defence Committee during the process of planning the budget and if necessary, special meetings are organised.

In both commissions, the information is presented in a “reasonable level of generalization”. It doesn’t include very specific operational and tactical information. The members of the parliament receive an overview about different intelligence gathering disciplines or the military capabilities, plans and focus points. [5]

Both the Parliamentary Defence Committee and the Parliamentary Intelligence Oversight Committee are obliged to classify their documents when they deal with classified military and intelligence information. The Intelligence Oversight Committees documentation is classified by default. [1] An example is when the Constitutional Law Committee investigated the realisation of the right of access of the Parliamentary committees in 2020, the Intelligence Oversight Committee abstained from giving a statement. [2] Committee members of each committee do not have full access to information regarding secret expenditures.

The controlling entity of the special funds is the Special Funds Verification Committee (CVFS), a special commission within the Parliamentary Delegation on Intelligence (DPR).
The CVFS is composed of two MPs and two senators, members of the DPR, appointed to ensure a pluralistic representation. The chairman of the audit committee is appointed each year by the members of the delegation. [1]
This work is covered by the secrecy of national defence. All the members of the CVFS and of the DPR have a “secret-défense” clearance, so one can assume they have full information access, though one cannot be sure that they have access to all the information they want or need regarding the spending of secret funds. At interview, a co-administrator of the Defence Committee of the National Assembly [2] could not clarify on which basis access to classified information is granted or not to members of the DPR and CVFS.
There were previously three layers of “secret défense” classification. “Confidentiel défense”, then “secret défense” and “très secret défense”. Their publication can “harm”, “heavily harm” or “very heavily harm” defence and national security. This changed in 2019, keeping only “secret défense” and “très secret défense”. [3] Although the members of the CVFS have access to secret défense classified information, it was not possible to confirm that they do always have access to “très secret défense” or “X secret-défense” information (nuclear deterrence force, encryption, proliferation, etc.).
The executive authority will decide on a case by case basis whether they can be granted access or not, with no form of external scrutiny or possibility to contest.

The appropriate legislative committee or members of the legislature are provided with extensive information on all spending on secret items, which includes detailed, line-item descriptions of all expenditures, and disaggregated data. While the Federal Audit Office oversees secret expenditure, based on Article 10a of the Federal Budget Code, only a limited group of parliamentarians (a subcommittee of the Budget Committee referred to as the ‘Confidential Committee’) has access to the full information on secret expenditure items relating to national security and military intelligence [1]. This subcommittee is comprised of members from all parties of the Bundestag and publishes a short bi-annual report on its activities, which is publicly available online. According to Section 10a(2) of the Federal Budget Code, the German Bundestag can delegate the task of approving expenses that are subject to confidentiality to the so-called ‘Confidential Committee’ (‘Vertrauensgremium’) [1]. This affects the economic plans of the Federal intelligence services, which the Confidential Committee decides on during budget consultations. In the Federal Government’s public budget, the responsible ministries only list the final amounts of these economic plans without any further breakdown. Specifically, the tasks of the Confidential Committee essentially consist of deciding the economic plans for the three federal intelligence services – the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) and the Office for the Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD) – during the course of the annual budget procedure, while maintaining confidentiality, and of monitoring how the intelligence services handle the budgetary resources made available to them during the current year. For the MAD, the following applies: The legislature receives complete information on expenditure in the form of the ‘closed budget’ [2].The oversight activity of the Confidential Committee is independent of that of the Parliamentary Control Panel, which monitors the Federal Government with regard to the activity of the federal intelligence services. There is mutual consultation as well as participation rights in place, so that there is no oversight gap between the two committees. Together, the two committees enable parliamentary control of the Federal Government’s intelligence activities, which goes beyond what can be guaranteed through other parliamentary mechanisms – for example, small inquiries [3].

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

There is no evidence available that states that the legislature is provided with information on spending on secret items (1), (2), (3), (4).

The legislature is provided with no information about spending on secret items [1, 2].

The competent committees of the parliament are given provided with information on all spending related to national security and military intelligence [1]. This takes place almost exclusively in closed sessions. Certain details, i.e. exact numbers are not provided, even to the National Security Committee of the parliament [2]. They receive only aggregated numbers. The reason is not to circumvent the parliament but to ensure the safety and security of the ongoing intelligence operations [3].

There is no information publicly available regarding the depth of information provided to the Standing Committee on Defence regarding secret items related to national security and defence. There is some information publicly available on intelligence agencies’ outlays so one can deduce that the Committee could have access to this information [1]. As alluded to in Q.14, India is guarded when it comes to defence budgetary disclosures. The degree of parliamentary oversight cannot be ascertained [2].

In theory, parliament must be provided with information regarding spending on secret items, but this information is only presented in aggregate form. This limitation was set following the Constitutional Court’s decision to dismantle parliament’s authority to access budget details, such as programmes and types of spending, in order to reduce the potential of collusion and corruption [1]. This decision has been in effect since 2014. Previously, parliament was able to access a budget document called ‘satuan tiga’, which contains programme descriptions and details of budget allocation per programme, based on Echelon I units and the scope of satker (working units) within ministries/agencies [2]. Article 17 of Law No.14/2008 also excludes from public access any information deemed to pose a potential danger to state defence and security [3]. While this limited access arguably forces parliament to focus on state financing strategy that serves people’s best interests, instead of dwelling on numbers, it also presents a dilemma with regard to oversight [4]. In reality, however, this is difficult to confirm because the meetings held between parliament and intelligence bodies are always closed, without any accompanying minutes provided for public scrutiny [5].

Although the legislature can look at classified information, it is unknown if it is provided with information on spending on secret items. No secret item provision is provided for in the budget [1]. In February 2018, MP Mohammad Reza Badamchi said that the legislature votes only for thirty per cent of the national budget and it has no chance to vote for the rest [2].

A former auditor said in an interview (1) that information relevant to secret defence expenditure items/allocations should be tabulated within the earliest draft of the federal budget law. Full information on secret and publicly disclosable allocations are made known to the budgetary committee, which is headed by the minister of finance, for the objective of reviewing the draft, must be presented before the law is deferred to parliament for ratification (2), (3) As Article 78 of Iraq’s Constitution (paragraph 17) stipulates (4), the CoR is charged with formulating the final draft budget (3), following consultations and sessions with the relevant ministries. Preparations involve the gathering/collation of relevant information and figures that are disclosed to Iraqi ministries only (5), (6), (7). The distribution of this information among the parties involved in formulating and reviewing the Budget Law is impossible to verify.

The joint committee of the Finance and Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee is responsible for defence budget oversight (1). The Subcommittee on Intelligence and Secret Services is directly responsible for overseeing the work of the intelligence services. It is generally provided with extensive information on spending on secret items, which includes detailed, line item descriptions of expenditures, and disaggregated data. In order to strengthen its ability to monitor compliance with budgets, in 2018 the FADC approved some changes in the budgets of the secret services and intelligence, by separating the Mosad and GSS budgets. This was done in order to increase parliamentary control over intelligence spending and to better disaggregate spending information to enhance legislative scrutiny (2).

The extent of information given to the member of the Parliament over spending on secret items for national security is provided by art. 33 of law n. 124/2007. Members of the Committee for the Security of the Republic are provided with a 6-month report on the financial management of the agencies composing the intelligence service. This kind of information is aggregated [1]. Oversight on spending for secret items related to military intelligence is aggregated too. Information on this item is included in the allocations of the estimated budget [2].

The Designated State Secrets Law, established in 2013, introduced uniform guidelines for classification of information in defense, diplomacy, counterespionage and counterterrorism. The law states that the head of an agency is to provide such secrets to either House of the Diet, to a committee of either House, or a research committee of the House of Councillors when they request it for consideration or investigation. [1] Some of the conditions for providing the secret information are that the scope of persons who are to use or know the information is limited [2] and that Diet members are to view the information in closed meetings. (1) The head of the agency is not to provide the information if doing so risks causing severe damage to Japan’s national security. (2) A Board of Oversight and Review of Specially Designated Secrets was established in each of the Houses to investigate how the system of managing specially designated secrets operates and to review the appropriateness of decisions made by heads of agencies in response to requests for disclosure from the Diet. [3] An examination of the most recent annual reports of the Board of Oversight of each of the Houses shows that the boards have been most concerned with investigating and suggesting improvements to the system of management of state secrets, introduced as recently as 2013, and have not given priority to examining information on spending on such items. [4,5] The boards receive summarised reports of state secrets from the government and may request that files are submitted to the board. [6,7] A decision to request submission of a file is made by a vote by the board, [8,9] and as the government parties make up a majority on the boards, [10,11] motions by opposition members to request submission of files have been voted down. [12] While the annual reports of the boards describe several categories of state secrets that the boards have been provided access to, government agencies have also turned down requests for submission. [13,14] The boards have never reviewed the appropriateness of a decision by the head of an agency in response to a request for disclosure from the Diet. [15,16] Regarding the intelligence services discussed in Q21, their budgets are found on Japanese government websites. PSIA is covered over six pages in the detailed budget of the Japan Ministry of Justice. [17] The budgets of the NSS and CIRO are given separately in the budgetary request of the Cabinet Secretariat. [18] Specific expenses (for example wages of employees and a compensation fund) are included in the detailed budget of the Cabinet Secretariat. [19] A few of the items in the budget request of the MoD refer to the DIH, [20] and although DIH is not mentioned explicitly in the detailed breakdown of the budget for the MoD, one would assume that activity at DIH is included in the items that are listed in the budget. [21] A case in point is information on the use of the Cabinet Secretariat’s Compensation Fund (see the answer to Q26), which has been classified. Following a Supreme Court ruling on November 20, 2018, some information on the use of this fund by three Chief Cabinet Secretaries in the 2000s and 2010s was declassified, and this increased the information held by MPs somewhat. It was revealed that this money is used for policy promotion, compensation for providing information and gifts given in exchange for information collection. [22] On the other hand, the mainstream newspapers Asahi Shimbun [23] and Yomiuri Shimbun [24] were searched, but no articles on the disclosure of the budget for the secret services to members of the Diet were found during the timeframe of this research. However, given the right of Diet members to request information from the Government, [25] and the provision for Diet committees to hold closed meetings (28) one would expect that they have access to budgets for the above agencies in disaggregated form. Nevertheless, evidence that the Diet has access to budgets in disaggregated form has not been found, and as explained above, the boards of oversight do not have full access to state secrets either.

The legislature in Jordan is expected to receive forecasted budgets by the end of the year to approve spending for the next financial year, and there is evidence that the Jordanian Parliament has received forecasted budgets for 2018, also known as the Budget Law for the Fiscal Year 2018 [1]. There is also evidence that the Audit Bureau provides the Parliament with an annual audit report by the end of the year [2] and that the Ministry of Finance also provides annual financial accounts to justify expenditure from the previous financial year [3, 4]. Those reports, however, are lacking in detail whenever military or defence expenditure is listed, and in some instances, they do not include any information on defence sector expenditure at all, let alone information around the spending on secret items by national security and military intelligence. The budget of the ministry of defence is presented in a lump sum without any details, and many members of Parliament avoid discussing the MoD budget as it is sensitive, and its budget is closely linked to the King [5]. The legislature is provided without information about spending on secret items.

Disposal of secret items in the Ministry of Defence is under the control of the procurement and disposal division of the ministry. The provision in Section 90(2) of the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act considers that national security organs manage their own procurement and disposal of classified items. [1] However, the Public Audit Act No. 34 of 2015, section 40 controls the extent to which the legislature can access audit reports in the Ministry of Defence. [2] The MOD has the right to redact information from audit reports to safeguard national security, which means that parliament does not have access to information about expenditure on secret items because such information is tied to national security. [3]

The Rules of Procedure of the Kosovo Assembly state that the overseeing committee for the Kosovo Security Forces is responsible for reviewing the budget Forces’ budget prior to it being presented to the Assembly for adoption. Furthermore, the Rules outline that this committee is responsible for reviewing all supply projects that cost Eur1m or above, including those financed by the Government and donors. However, the Rules of Procedure do not address whether the committee should be given full disclosure on secret items affecting the national security and military intelligence [1].

The defence committee receives the full budget for secret items, but it is generalised into vague categories and with few explanations, both a lawmaker and officials said (1, 2, 3 and 4).

the defence committee, and Parliament, has the right to be provided with extensive information on all expenditure by the security agencies without any redacations, however, the officials and activists (5 and 6) say they rarely attempt to exercise that right — and when they do, they do not follow up on it.

This is because most members, especially the ones on the defence and security committee, are pro-government and have ties to the royal family, they said. As a result, they do not push the security agencies into revealing information, even though they could threaten to cut funding for their projects and can call for a no-confidence vote on the ministers. In part, this is because there is an element of fear in their decision-making process given that the Emir can easily dissolve the Parliament if they insist on exercising their rights, using article 107 of the constitution (7).

Even if the lawmakers demand the information, the security agencies can easily ignore their requests because the Emir can dissolve the Parliament.

The Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee has full information on the defence budget, including secret items related to national security and military intelligence. [3]
The commission authorises and supervises the use of budgetary funds allocated for national security purposes, as well as evaluating draft budgets of state security institutions. [1]
At the same time, this information is protected by Article 3 of the Law on state secrets, which specifies several categories regarding the secrecy levels of state secrets. [2]

The state budget law proposal includes the defence budget, which indicates the amount of expected spending on secret items (1). Under the parliamentary rules of procedures, the Parliament has to approve the state budget (2). Thus, the Parliament is provided with very limited information, merely the total expected amount, on secret item spending (1).

The national security and defence committee consists of parliamentarians who have the right to access secret and classified information or state secrets, including information about classified budgets and spending (although this right must be approved by intelligence services). The committee also considers annual reports of institutions responsible for national security and evaluates budget allocations relating to those institutions [1]. In addition, the Committee has the right to require all necessary additional secret information from the Ministry of Defence, military and other national security institutions. According to the interviewee [2], the Ministry of Defence provides information about the acquisitions if requested by a member of the committee. However, the regularity and the scale of information depends on the Head of the committee and how active he/ she is, how much involved he/ she wants to be [2].

Members of Parliament are not informed of the breakdown of the budget that is allocated for security and military intelligence. The intelligence budget is put under the operational budget of the Defence and Home Ministries, as well as under the Prime Minister’s department. [1] [2]

The published budget of the armed and security forces does not include the intelligence service, whose annual spend is kept entirely secret.¹ 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
Moreover, the World Bank’s 2013 study notes that the maintenance of a special account for operations in the country’s “Northern Zone” is a major source of vulnerability.¹ Parliamentary oversight of this special account is non-existent. This account has no de facto spending ceiling, the purpose and operating conditions of the special account are not adhered to, budget charges display anomalies and lack transparency, and the controls performed on expenditures from the special account are less rigorous than the country’s normal budget procedures.¹
Even these do not always function as they should. For instance, in 2016, Mali’s authority for regulating public sector contracts and spending (ARMDS) found that it was wholly unable to audit the Ministry of Defence’s finances for 2014 because of the lack of documents provided by the ministry.⁶ The controversial off-budget purchase of a new presidential jet for USD35-40 million without parliamentary approval demonstrates the National Assembly’s irrelevance when it comes to extra-budgetary spending.⁷
The military sector in Mali holds a highly privileged position compared with other sectors when determining the allocation of resources. Arms acquisition requests need include neither justification nor full costing. Hence why it was possible for the government to overspend on military equipment by about CFA40 billion in 2014.⁷ This glaring example highlights that SIPRI’s analysis from more than ten years ago still holds true.
SIPRI’s study from 2006 notes that “the legislature frequently receives even less information on the defence budget than on budgets for non-security activities, and input from the public on spending priorities is actively discouraged or ignored”.¹ It asserts that the main reason for producing a comprehensive budget is that it allows the National Assembly to have a complete picture of government income and expenditure in a single document, so as to be able to exert control over spending. “However, regular resort to extra-budgetary spending has left the National Assembly uninformed about true government financial operations. The various sources of off-budget income described above are beyond the reach of the legislators as they have little or no say in the management of the armed forces, including policy development”.¹
A member of the CDSPC confirmed to the assessor that the committee has no oversight function over the activities or the budget of the intelligence services.⁸

There is no evidence to show whether the legislature has received information on spending on secret budgets. As the items are secret, they have been spent with absolute discretion, as stated in press releases. [1]

Experts on the subject point out that there is little transparency in defence spending and there are difficulties in knowing where budgets are spent or will be spent. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] Given that there is no access to the activities of the committee, this indicator is cannot be scored and is marked ‘Not Enough Information.’

The Parliamentary Committee for Security and Defence reviews annual reports of the Ministry of Defence, reports on budget expenditures as well as audit reports of the State’s budget and of defence and intelligence institutions. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] However, these documents do not provide information on spending on secret items, and, according to the reports of the Committee, no special hearings on that subject were held, therefore the legislature is not informed about spending for secret items. [11][12][13]

In general, no evidence was found suggesting that the legislature is entitled to receive information on spending on secret items was found (1).

No evidence was found to suggest that the Parliamentary Commission on Foreign Affairs, National Defence, Islamic Affairs and Moroccan Residents Abroad was given access to information on spending on secret items : the only case in which defence-related issues were discussed was the approval of a military cooperation agreement between Morocco and China (2)(3).

There is no parliamentary committee tasked with directly overseeing these intelligence services [1]. MPs have criticised the fact that Parliament cannot effectively scrutinise defence spending and the MoD’s expenditure lacks transparency, according to the Office of the Auditor General’s annual report [2]. Parliament is not allowed to intervene because of Article 20(b) of the Constitution, which grants the military the power to manage its affairs independently [3].

There is no evidence that the House of Representatives, the Standing Committee on Defence or the Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services has access to spending information on secret items beyond the aggregate total offered to the general public [1]. Article 7.20 of the Government Accounts Act stipulates that the board of the Court of Audit, rather than the legislature, is given full information on secret items in order for checks and balances to occur [1]. It is possible that the Standing Committee on Defence or the Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services might receive information on such spending upon request, but due to the classified nature of the Committees’ proceedings, it is not possible to confirm this.

The Intelligence Agencies’ classified annual reports contain complete annual financial statements, which show key areas of expenditure. Under section 221 of the Intelligence and Security Act 2007 (ISA) both agencies are required to provide copies of their annual reports to the Minister Responsible for the GCSB/NZSIS, and in turn to the members of the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), as soon as practicable after the end of the financial year [1, 2]. It should be noted, however, that the ISC does not have the same powers as a regular select committee [3]. Elected MPs, including members of the ISC, do not (and are not required to) receive national security clearances in the same manner that public servants or other citizens do. In practice ISC members also have access to all material, regardless of classification, required to fulfil their statutory functions (noting this may exclude specific operational details) [4]. Consequently, there is a vague public understanding of the degree of oversight exercised by the ISC, especially considering that the ISC’s annual review for NZSIS and GCSB 2018/19 comprised only title pages, stating the committee had “heard evidence in public from the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service and received advice from the Office of the Auditor-General” [5, 6]. An “Activities Report” is also provided to the ISC by the Directors of the two agencies, and the uncorrected transcripts are available on the parliamentary website [7, 8]. The focus of these reports, as the title suggests, are operational, and very few, if any, financial details are provided. As such, it is difficult to discern the financial detail provided to the ISC, despite “expenditure” being one of the areas of oversight of the Committee [9]. Nonetheless, annual audits are independently conducted by the Office of the Auditor-General, or on behalf of by Audit NZ [10]. The Treasury and the Public Service Commission are also responsible for reviewing the expenditure and performance of public service agencies, and a number of officials in these organisations hold appropriate security clearances to be able to scrutinise financial information [11]. These must comply with New Zealand accounting and general practice standards as well as the Code of Conduct for the Public Sector.

The legislative framework formally allows members of the National Assembly to have oversight over the defence budget, even though this oversight is limited due to the nature of the data provided. The National Assembly has a Security and Defence Committee that is formed at the beginning of each legislative cycle (Art. 30 of the National Assembly’s Internal Rules) (1). Composed of 24 members from various political parties, the committee is responsible for overseeing the work of the ministries in charge of national defence and security policy (1). It is competent in, “general organisation of defence and security; defence cooperation policy; state of emergency and state of siege; status of military personnel and of the security forces; subjections imposed in the interest of national defence and public security on citizens in their person and their property; laws of programs and military plans, national service; military service; military justice” (1). 
According to its mandate, in law, the committee may be granted full information access for the budget year on the spending of all secret items related to national security and military intelligence. However, in practice, the committee members are provided with limited information on secret items, and the expenditure on secret items is aggregated (2).

The legislature is provided with limited information concerning secret items of spending. Secret items are given limited descriptions which are used for security purposes. Although the Ministry of Defence and the security agencies are mandated to appear before the legislature to defend their budgets, the members of the National Assembly do not have sufficient information to question department heads effectively (1).

The 2015 Difi report notes that Intelligence Services report to the Parliament. These hierarchical relationships are clearly stated in the Laws on Intelligence Agencies and on the Police. Also, the Directors of the Intelligence Agency and the Security and Counterintelligence Directorate within the Ministry of the Interior are required to provide the Committee on the Security and Counter-intelligence Directorate and the Intelligence Agency (CSWSCIDIA) with all the information and data necessary within the realms of capability of the Committee [1]. A similar relationship should be in place with the Service for Military Security and Intelligence in the Ministry of Defence, which answers to the Committee on Defence and Security. However, no public information on this relationship can be found. Over the last two years, minutes from both CSWSCIDIA and Committee on Security and Defence meetings show no traces of debates relating to spending on secret items debate [2]. It would therefore seem that information relating to this was not shared with the legislative powers or other relevant committees. However, both the current president and vice-president of the CSWSCIDIA have been repeatedly contacted by Transparency International in order to meet and discuss these issues, but both members ignored the calls without justification. This secrecy on behalf of the Committee thus questions its true transparency.

Members of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence and the President of the Norwegian Parliament are given full insight into the budget, including classified items during a meeting held annually behind closed doors. Members of the Standing Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs may also be given access to relevant information if necessary [1].

The consultative body, the al-Shura has no authority to discuss any military and security issues. Therefore, information on secret spending is not available for institutions outside the sultan’s office (1), (2). The semi-legislative bodies the al-Shura and the al-Dawla cannot address issues of national security, according to the BTI report (3). News articles highlight the al-Shura’s discussions on the annual state budget; however, no reference is made to discussions around defence and security or scrutiny of defence expenditure (4), (5). In light of the BTI report, and other factors discussed previously, it is highly unlikely that the al-Shura receives information about annual spending concerning secret items relating to national security and military intelligence. Moreover, the clear demarcation of the Omani intelligence services under the Royal Office hint that the service has a separate budget under the sultan himself (6). It is paramount to stress, as laid out in sub-indicator 1A-C, the legislative body is severely limited and lacks the power to draft law, which lies with the sultan, who is both head of state and government (7). Due to the lack of information provided to the legislative branch on secret items and defence generally, this sub-indicator has been scored at zero.

As the legislature has been inactive since 2007, and the executive took over legislative roles, no committee or any member of the legislative are informed or receive reports on the budget. The budget is usually ratified by the executive without having public consultations or debates (1). According to an Aman report, the Human Rights Center reports that the executive has taken the role of the legislative unconstitutionally (2). More recently, an HRW report criticised the actions taken by the executive concerning arbitrary and HR violations by military/security agencies (2).

While general information is provided on defence-related issues, information on secret items related to national security and military intelligence continue to be restricted due to stated national security reasons, even from the House and Senate committees that deal with these matters. This is the case even in the face of legislative or wider public scrutiny. The lack of disclosure of secret information has intensified under the administration of President Duterte, where additional questions have been raised not only concerning secret line items but also concerning the amount being budgeted and the concentration of power in the office of the president [1, 2, 3].

The parliamentary Intelligence Oversight Committee has formal rights of scrutiny over the defence budget [1]. Its members have access to classified data. According to paragraph two of Annex 1 of the Statute of Sejm of the Republic of Poland [2] the scope of activity of the committee includes giving an opinion on the draft budget regarding intelligence services, the consideration of the annual report regarding its implementation and other financial information on intelligence services. This is based on received aggregated information, and possibly inquiry from representatives of agencies for comments and clarifications [3].
Assessments of budget expenditures are based on the reports of the Finance Ministry and the Supreme Audit Office; the latter usually contains more detailed information. There is no evidence to suggest; however, that the committee has access to “line item descriptions of all expenditures” [4].

The Budgetary Framework Law states that budget outlays allocated to secret items are automatically nullified, and all exceptional national security expenditure is to be proposed by the Government and approved by Parliament [1]. There is no evidence that secret items, if they exist, are reported to the legislature, which holds no record of discussing them either openly or in private sessions. While no specific procedures with regard to defence and security are publicly available, there is evidence that such changes to the State Budget law, which include defence and security expenditure, are extensively discussed in Parliament before approval [2]. The Directorate-General of Budget (DGB) publishes quarterly information on budgetary changes, which include defence and security institutions [3].

The Qatari Advisory Council, as a semi-legislature, does not have authority over the budget, which ensures the defence budget remains confidential. The Council does not have access to information on the annual budget, annual expenditure, or secret items purchased for national security and military intelligence. Additionally, matters related to the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of the Interior, and security are considered highly confidential, and are mostly handled by the Emir, who has direct control over these governmental bodies. No information is provided to legislative bodies or committees on defence expenditures [1,2].

Article 209 of the Russian Budget Code states that ‘secret articles of the federal budget are reviewed at the closed hearings of [two] chambers of the Federal Council. Details of the secret articles are provided solely to the Chamber’s heads and special commissions’ [1]. According to Interviewee 2, a certain circle of parliament does have a full budget with spending on secret items and can request additional details [2]. Interviewee 1, however, suggests that parliament recently gave up its power to control or review the executive branch, especially the Ministry of Defence, and may not use its capacities to monitor the secret parts of the budget [3].

According to our sources, the Consultative Council’s Committee on Security Affairs is not given any information relating to spending on secret items for national security and military intelligence. No committee or body has the authority to review secret items or the budget of the secret items (1), (2). Though the council technically has powers to review laws and question ministers (3), (4), including those of the defence sector, it does not have oversight or scrutiny powers over military budgets. National security and defence policy are directly under the purview of the Crown Prince, Minister of Defence and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman, who also heads key security agencies such as the Council of Political and Security Affairs – which replaced Saudi Arabia’s National Security Council in January 2015. Under the highly centralized and unilateral structure in place in the current regime led by bin Salman, it is unlikely that sensitive information such as budget allocations for secret items in the military would be shared with the Consultative Council. According to regional expert Neil Patrick, the authority has become “highly centralized under Mohammed bin Salman’s almost exclusive leadership” (5).

Contracting authorities which carry out procurement in the field of defence and security [confidential procurement] are required to submit annual reports on such procurement to the National Assembly by 31 March of the following year [1]. A precondition for this requirement was created with the adoption of the adequate regulation that entered into force in 2015 [2]. However, the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior have not submitted any report to the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee so far [3]. On the other hand, the civilian Security-Information Agency (BIA) regularly submits reports to the Security Services Control Committee. Nonetheless, these reports are said to be partial, i.e. entail only information about implemented procurement in the field of defence and security exempt from the Law by the Government decision (in line with Article 128, Paragraph 1, Item 5 of Public Procurement Law) and not about procurement in the field of defence and security implemented based on other legislative provisions (foremost procurement for intelligence activities, in line with Article 128, Paragraph 1, Item 2 of Public Procurement Law) [3]. An overview of the Security Services Control Committee’s activities between April 1, 2016, and June 26, 2018, shows that none of the BIA’s procurement reports was ever on the agenda [4]. A concerning development is that in the draft of a new law on public procurement (October 2018), contracting authorities no longer have obligation to report either to the government or to the National Assembly about implemented procurement in the field of defence and security [5].
Regular quarterly reports submitted by the MoD to Defence and Internal Affairs Committee (DIAC) in 2016 and 2017 contain information about the number of contracts signed in the reporting period in the field of defence and security procurement as well as their total value and percentage of the planned spending [6, 7, 8]. However, the last reports submitted by the MoD were discussed in the DIAC in October 2018 at a session which was closed for the public for the reason of secret data protection [9]. Not even summaries of these reports or the DIAC session were made available to the public, so it is not possible to know if any information about contracting in the field of defence and security was submitted. On the other hand, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) does not submit such information in its quarterly reports to the DIAC [10]. Finally, it is not known if Security Intelligence Agency (BIA) provides the Security Services Control Committee (SSCC) with any data on its executed spending, as their reports to the SSCC are classified and the SSCC sessions tend to be closed for public.

There is no evidence that audit reports on secret items have been provided to the legislature for debate. The annual budget estimates for 2019 released for parliamentary debate, for example, provides highly aggregated and opaque line items such as ‘Military Expenditure’ (S$14.8 billion) and ‘Development Expenditure’ (S$504 million) with no details as to what has been included within these entries [1].
Moreover, public versions of annual AGO reports, which are passed by the President to the Parliament, do not contain information on sensitive defence and security audits, as matters of defence and security of Singapore may be excluded form presentation to the parliament. [2]

This indicator is scored ‘Not Enough Information’ because there is no public access to the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI) meetings.The Parliamentary Monitoring Group recording all meetings as “closed.” According to interviewees, there is no confirmed level of openness on budget information relating to the JSCI’s portfolio. Thus there is no verifiable source indicating any accurate level of information. There is presumably some level of budgetary information provided by virtue of having a committee to oversee this in the first place [1].

This indicator is scored ‘Not Enough Information’.As the National Intelligence Service (NIS) has the right to refuse to submit detailed information to the National Assembly, the National Assembly is provided with very limited information regarding the spending on secret items. According to Article 12 of the National Intelligence Service Act, the NIS is exempt from Article 40 of the National Finance Act, stating the legal duty for independent government bodies to submit the budget planning and expenditure to the National Assembly. [1] [2]
The NIS has the right to refuse to submit data or to reply to the National Assembly if the information requested by the National Assembly is related to state secrets, which may cause serious harm on national security when it is disclosed publicly (Article 13 of the NIS Act). Besides, the NIS’s budget for covert operation costs which had not been planned initially may be included in the total budget of other government entities. [1] The NIS’s budget review by the Intelligence Committee of the National Assembly is conducted confidentially, and members of the committee cannot disclose the details of budget. [1] [3]
An interview with the Chief of Staff at the Intelligence Committee at the National Assembly shows that the deliberation on the NIS’s budget by the Intelligence Committee is confidential. [1] [2] [3] “Even congressional aides are not allowed to attend the meeting with the NIS so there is no knowledge of the extent of the information given to members of the committee”. [2] That is why there has been widespread criticism regarding the extensive power of the NIS, which is exempt from budget scrutiny. [4] [5] Between 2016 and 2019, 15 of parliamentary bills were proposed to increase the transparency of the NIS’s budget, by imposing a statutory duty to disclose full information of the budget planning, including the spending on secret items to the National Assembly, [6]

Information on classified items, including expenditure, is usually given in general terms, and documents outlining this information that are presented to the legislative committee may be redacted. [1]

The Spanish secret services, among them the National Intelligence Centre (CNI) and some military units, enter into the logic of national security, and there is no regular parliamentary control of their activities and functions, although they report to the legislative branch through the Commission on Secret Officers [1]. Intelligence services in Spain are regulated by Law 11/2002, which specifically states the principle of parliamentary control of the activities of the National Intelligence Centre (CNI). Consequently, a parliamentary committee is in charge of oversight of intelligence services from CNI and the budget of secret funds in accordance with parliamentary regulations, which state that the members of this commission are also those who know the official secrets (Art. 11 of Law 11/2002) [2]. This law, while respecting parliamentary autonomy, foresees that the commission that controls the funds destined for secret expenses is the one that controls the activities of the centre, and the secret nature of the deliberations of the aforementioned commission prevents access to the detailed information provided therein [3].

Beyond the Official Secrets Commission, the budget of the secret services is published once a year through global data, disaggregated in some of its main items (for example: personnel) or reserved funds [4]. There is no access to more detail by the bulk of the Parliament or the Defence Commission [5]. Consequently, the Transparency Portal does not provide detailed information on the funds used by the secret services. However, there is public information by CNI budget items on the website [6].

This indicator is marked Not Applicable. Former President Omar Bashir dissolved Parliament, which formerly had oversight of defence policy by law (pursuant to Article 91 of the Interim National Constitution, 2005 [1]) but not in practice, when he declared a state of national emergency in February 2019 [2]. Since then, no transitional legislature has yet been appointed in Sudan. The 2019 transitional Constitution requires a legislature to be appointed upon the conclusion of peace agreements with armed elements in Darfur and the states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile [3]. However, the Juba Agreement of October 2020 led to a resetting of the transitional timeline set forth in the 2019 transitional Constitution [4], with an unclear impact on the timeline for establishing a legislative body. Therefore, no legislative entity receives or reviews spending information on secret items relating to national security and military intelligence. However, even in the past, Parliament did not have good visibility into defence spending; in effect, nearly all spending by defence forces was ‘secret’, since they did not typically release information about their spending or revenue generation activities [5].

The parliamentary Defence Committee [1], consisting of 17 MPs representing all parties in parliament, receives all the necessary information on classified spending. According to the regulation of annual reporting and budgets [2], the National Audit Office has the right to review all the items of any government agency.

The Swiss Federal Audit Office oversees and audits all public expenditures done by the federal administration with only a few exceptions. This includes military procurements (Article 8 FKG). The office works closely with the Parliament and supports the Parliament in its oversight functions (Article 1.1 a KFG). [1] The Parliament exercises supervisory control over the government and the Federal Administration including the legality of the business its conduct (Article 52 of ParlA). In principle, the Control Committees “exercise supervisory control over the conduct of business in accordance with Article 26” (Article 52 ParlA). These Control Committees appoint three members as delegates to “supervises activities in the field of state security and the intelligence services and supervises state activities in matters that must be kept secret” (Article 52 and Article 53 ParlA). The delegations submit reports to the Control Committees (Article 53.4 ParlA) [2]. In 2011 the Parliament broadened the definition of what information the delegation can access; because in practice it often went beyond the oversight of the intelligence services and concerned larger matters of national security. The Parliament decided that the definition was therefore too restricted and expanded it. It also put the Finance Delegation (FinDel) on the same footing as the GDel [3]. In 2007 the Control Committee was tasked with a report on the efficiency and legal aspects of military expenditures [4]. In 2016 the office published a review on the implementation of the recommendation of the 2007 report. It concluded that the government implemented the recommendations, to a large extent satisfactorily, and hence improved the process [5].

Compilations of annual defence budgets for both the defence and the security sectors are governed by the Budget Act, and the Guideline for Compilations of Annual Budget of the Central Government [1, 2].

However, secret budgets, where national secrets are involved, are compiled separately and reviewed by members of LY’s Foreign and National Defence Committee in secret meetings with limited information provided in aggregated forms [3, 4, 5]. The secret budgets are subject to the governance of the Classified National Security Information Protection Act, and the Enforcement Rules of the Classified National Security Information Protection Act [6, 7]. Taking the 2019 Defence Budget as an example, MND was asked for clarifications on the 800+ items while the Legislators were reviewing the budget in October 2018 [8].
313 budget items were cut or frozen after substantive examination. Among them 23 cases relating to national security and military intelligence. [9].

The legislature is provided with wholly aggregrated expenditure figures, which may contain secret items, but cannot be disaggregrated. [1] [2]

According to the Regulations of the Prime Minister Officer on the Public Secret Budget 2004, the secret budget is secretly allocated, requested and reported directly to the Prime Minister by the internal committee within a state agency (in this case, the MoD). This expenditure involves funds required for secret items or missions in the following areas: national security, prevention and suppression of illegal drugs, information and public economic, social and technological interests [1].

There is therefore no appropriate legislature responsible for overseeing the secret items. Considering the fact that the NCPO government and the current pro-junta government are led by General Prayut, it is dubious that it does matter if the legislature (the Prime Minister’s Office not the State Audit Office) receives full information on secret budget. According to Preecha Suwantat, an expert in the field of public finance, the secret budget amount can be found in appendix documents in the expenditure budget, which are not considered laws, unlike an act [2].

According to our sources, the Parliament has the power to ask for information on secret items and defence purchases. However, there has not been any cases where the legislative were provided with reports on secret items (1,2). Theoretically, the Defence and Security Committee or the Finance Committee within the Assembly of People’s Representatives can ask for explanations if it considers that it is necessary (3). However, it is unlikely that this committee would ask for information about secret items – none of its reports mention such requests (4). The legislature is only given general information about the budget (5).

As explained in the ‘Political Risk’ section, the Turkish parliament has the National Security Council for defence and the Security and Intelligence Committee for law enforcement-related issues, financial and cyber security and intelligence. Interviewee 1 emphasised that, from the bills, amendments and law proposals delivered to the committee since summer 2018, it is easy to see that this committee has nothing to do with the intelligence sector during the budgeting process, the conduct of operations or the oversight of spending for any secret items. He then asserted that this committee can neither conduct performance oversight nor control spending for intelligence items [1].

Interviewee 1 then suggested that there is no formal communication mechanism between the committees and the Ministry of Defence and the National Intelligence Presidency (MIT) [1]. He said that it is only through personal connections that the committee members can obtain information about defence and intelligence spending.

The only detailed, publicly available report about the 2020 budget is Dogrulukpayi’s report [2]. There is not a single news or think tank report in the past two years published online about the secret items of the budget relating to national security and military intelligence.

Only three legislators (the speaker, the chairperson of the budget committee, and the chairperson of the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs are provided with the information on secret items [1]. Given the fact that these are all ruling party legislators, their scrutiny is superficial, and their reports are pro-government

All defence and security expenditures (both classified and open) are provided by the annual Law of Ukraine on State Budget. At the same time, classified expenditures are included in the State Budget of Ukraine without any breakdown [1], therefore the information provided is very general. As a result, the State Budget of Ukraine for 2018 provided to the MPs (as well as the previous annual Laws of Ukraine on State Budget of Ukraine) contained comprehensive but not disaggregated information and had a superficial breakdown on expenditures across functions [2]. Classified expenditures items are procured through the State Defence Order, which was developed by customers (including ministries) and adopted by the CMU without the VRU scrutinizing it [3].

As the country does not have a functioning legislative council (the FNC is not a functioning parliament that has oversight committees), there is no committee or any similar institution or entity that could exercise any scrutiny on military expenditures, budget or forecast (1), (2).

The Intelligence and Security Committee is provided with the individual figures for each intelligence Agency (MI5, SIS, GCHQ, NSS). This represents extensive information on all spending on secret items, which includes detailed, line item descriptions of all expenditures, and disaggregated data [1]. The Members of the Committee are subject to section 1(1)(b) of the Official Secrets Act 1989 and are routinely given access to highly classified material in carrying out their duties, including full information on the spending of all secret items [1, 2]. Figures for the combined agencies are published as the Single Intelligence Account [3].

According to recent research on the ‘Black Budget’, the colloquial term for the NIP and MIP budgets, there is a set of individuals in government or the military with access to the classified budget figures [1]. This group is known as the ‘Super Users’ or the ‘Gang of Eight’, and includes the party leaders of the House and Senate, as well the ranking Democrat and Republican on each intelligence committee. Only the ‘Gang of Eight’ has access to the most classified issues relating to national security [2,3]. Although no source has been found to support this, it is assumed that the Gang of Eight has full access to the secret intelligence spending items.

The MIP and NIP are justified to Congress separately and overseen by congressional committees separately. The DNI Chief Financial Officer creates the NIP Congressional Budget Justification Books and the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)) works on the MIP Congressional Justification Books. Both sets of books are classified. They are submitted to the congressional authorising and appropriating committees each year as part of the President’s budget [4]. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has jurisdiction over both the NIP and the MIP, however, the Senate Selection Committee on Intelligence only has jurisdiction over the NIP [4]. Beyond the ‘Gang of Eight’, there is no evidence that Congress receives unclassified access to the intelligence budget.

Taking into account the executive’s lack of awareness of the legislative function of the NA, as of 2017 the NA had not received information about the budget allocations for discussion and approval [1]. Therefore, it has recently received no information on resource allocations to civil and military intelligence agencies.

Although in 2019 the ANC, which is the legislative branch recognized by the Maduro government, approved the Budget Law for that year [2], detailed information on budgetary allocations was not made public in the Official Gazette.

The legislature has a Committee on Defence and Security established in the Constitution, its proceedings are open to the public [1]. On paper, they have the powers to summon individuals in the security sector to account for or testify before it concerning any of the issues that the committee may deem fit to interrogate in an open setting. However, the legislation, unlike in some other jurisdictions does not provide for a classified setting where information can be shared in greater detail. There is no legal obligation to disclose secret information to Parliament. The Office of the Auditor General Zimbabwe’s (AOG) Report of 2017 revealed a general failure to submit the returns of the expenditure of the Ministry of Defence [2]. The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament relies on the reports of the AOG in their oversight role. A failure to submit these returns means Parliament is also unable to properly follow up on compliance issues. It follows, therefore, that the public will be unable to access the information.

Country Sort by Country 27. Sort By Subindicator
Albania 25 / 100
Algeria 0 / 100
Angola NEI
Argentina NEI
Armenia 75 / 100
Australia 75 / 100
Azerbaijan 0 / 100
Bahrain 0 / 100
Bangladesh 0 / 100
Belgium 100 / 100
Bosnia and Herzegovina 75 / 100
Botswana 25 / 100
Brazil 25 / 100
Burkina Faso 0 / 100
Cameroon 0 / 100
Canada 50 / 100
Chile 25 / 100
China 0 / 100
Colombia 25 / 100
Cote d'Ivoire 0 / 100
Denmark 25 / 100
Egypt 0 / 100
Estonia 75 / 100
Finland 75 / 100
France 25 / 100
Germany 100 / 100
Ghana NEI
Greece 0 / 100
Hungary 25 / 100
India 25 / 100
Indonesia 25 / 100
Iran 0 / 100
Iraq 25 / 100
Israel 75 / 100
Italy 25 / 100
Japan 75 / 100
Jordan 0 / 100
Kenya 0 / 100
Kosovo 25 / 100
Kuwait 25 / 100
Latvia 100 / 100
Lebanon 25 / 100
Lithuania 75 / 100
Malaysia 0 / 100
Mali 0 / 100
Mexico NEI
Montenegro 0 / 100
Morocco 0 / 100
Myanmar 0 / 100
Netherlands 25 / 100
New Zealand 75 / 100
Niger 25 / 100
Nigeria 25 / 100
North Macedonia 75 / 100
Norway 100 / 100
Oman 0 / 100
Palestine 0 / 100
Philippines 25 / 100
Poland 50 / 100
Portugal 0 / 100
Qatar 0 / 100
Russia 50 / 100
Saudi Arabia 0 / 100
Serbia 25 / 100
Singapore 0 / 100
South Africa NEI
South Korea NEI
South Sudan 25 / 100
Spain 75 / 100
Sudan NA
Sweden 100 / 100
Switzerland 100 / 100
Taiwan 75 / 100
Tanzania 0 / 100
Thailand 0 / 100
Tunisia 0 / 100
Turkey 0 / 100
Uganda 25 / 100
Ukraine 50 / 100
United Arab Emirates 0 / 100
United Kingdom 100 / 100
United States 75 / 100
Venezuela 0 / 100
Zimbabwe 0 / 100

With thanks for support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have contributed to the Government Defence Integrity Index.

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