Are the policies, administration, and budgets of the intelligence services subject to effective and independent oversight?
Niger 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.
Niger’s intelligence services are connected in various ways to security and defence institutions. Among others, they include the Central Service for the Fight against Terrorism (Service Central de Lutte contre le Terrorisme et la Criminalité Transnationale Organisée, SCLCT). Operational since September 2009, it comprises representatives from Niger’s three primary law enforcement organizations: the National Police, the National Guard, and the Gendarmerie (2). The SCLCT is described as “essential” in the fight against terrorism, but there is no mention of independent oversight (2):
“The Internal Security Service (ISS) of the French Embassy has supported the SCLCT since its creation in training and equipment (Project FSP JUSSEC SI ‘Justice and Security in the Sahel-Saharan region’). With its own budget, and has led to more than one hundred operations relating to major terrorist groups in West Africa, including the dismantling of networks, the SCLCT can now be considered to be a key player in the fight against terrorism.”
(Consultant translation: French to English)
As per a French Senate report from 2014, the SCLCT is an autonomous entity under the direct authority of the General Director of Niger’s National Police. But there is no mention of independent oversight. The Security and Defence Committee (Commission de la Défense et de la Sécurité) of the National Assembly is an oversight body that has the mandate to oversee the security and defence policy (5). The IGSS and the IGA (see question 8 for details) may also play an oversight role. Yet, given funding problems (especially for the IGSS), effective independence does not seem to be possible.
1. “Country Reports on Terrorism 2016: Niger,” United States Department of State, July 19, 2017, accessed May 17, 2018, http://www.refworld.org/docid/5981e426a.html.
2. “Mali, Niger: paix, sécurité et développement, trois défis à relever. Une coopération et une intervention militaire françaises sans voix discordante,” (Mali, Niger: peace, security and development, three challenges to be met), Sénat: République Française, http://www.senat.fr/ga/ga125/ga1254.html.
3. “Carthographie et présentation de la gestion des frontières au Niger,” (Mapping and presentation of border management in Niger), Organisation Internationale des Migrations, 2016, https://publications.iom.int/system/files/ibm_sahel_report_niger.pdf.
4. “Loi n° 2017-82 du 28 novembre 2017 portant loi de finances pour l’année budgétaire 2018,” (Act no.2017-82, setting out Finances law for the 2018 budget year), Journal Officiel de la République du Niger, 29 December 2017, p.847; 1062-1096.
5. “Internal rules of the National Assembly of Niger,” National Assembly, March 2017,
Niger 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 practice, the committee cannot control policies, administration and budgets of the intelligence services. Therefore this indicator has been marked Not Applicable. The IGSS could also act as an oversight body with limited powers, according to interviews (this does not include expenditure control over some units of intelligences services) (1).
1. Interview with senior Ministry of Interior official, May 31, 2018.
Compare scores by country
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|Country||21a. Independence||21b. Effectiveness|
|Algeria||0 / 100||NA|
|Angola||0 / 100||NA|
|Burkina Faso||50 / 100||NEI|
|Cameroon||0 / 100||NA|
|Cote d'Ivoire||0 / 100||NA|
|Egypt||0 / 100||NA|
|Ghana||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Jordan||0 / 100||NA|
|Kuwait||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Lebanon||0 / 100||NA|
|Mali||0 / 100||NA|
|Morocco||0 / 100||NA|
|Niger||0 / 100||NA|
|Nigeria||50 / 100||25 / 100|
|Oman||0 / 100||NA|
|Palestine||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Qatar||0 / 100||NA|
|Saudi Arabia||0 / 100||NA|
|Tunisia||0 / 100||NA|
|United Arab Emirates||0 / 100||NA|