Are the policies, administration, and budgets of the intelligence services subject to effective and independent oversight?
Russia score: 25/100
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.
Articles 24 and 25 of the federal law ‘On Foreign Intelligence’ provide legal grounds for the oversight of intelligence services’ policies, administration and budgets . Surprisingly, no unit or committee is defined to have the mandate over the federal law ‘On Foreign Intelligence’. The closing article of the law, Article 26, fails to name a unit in the place where it traditionally specifies the mandate-holder .
Within parliament, the Regulations of the State Duma Committee on Security and Corruption Control reviews and prepares legal documents regarding the legal regulation of the foreign intelligence, as detailed in Article 6 . It is given access to secret information . However, according to Interviewee 1, the parliamentary bodies practically gave up their power to control or review the executive branch, especially the Ministry of Defence .
Another parliamentary control mechanism is a special supervisory unit within the Accounts Chamber (AC) and made of the Chamber’s members, as detailed in Article 24 of the federal law ‘On Foreign Intelligence’ . It oversees the Foreign Intelligence Service’s due management of the state-allocated budget . The Accounts Chamber is believed to be independent from both the military and the executives. Interviewee 1 confirms that the AC is independent from those .
In addition, the Prosecutor General’s Office controls the intelligence services’ compliance with federal laws. In particular, section 3 of the federal law ‘On Prosecutor’s Office’ entitles the prosecutors to oversee all intelligence, investigation and questioning operations .
The Federal Security Service – one of intelligence agencies – is overseen by the president, the government, parliament and the Chief Prosecutor, as detailed in Articles 23 and 24 of the federal law ‘On Federal Security Service’ .
 Foreign Intelligence Service. ‘Федеральный закон “О внешней разведке”‘ [‘Federal law “On Foreign Intelligence”‘]. Accessed on October 16, 2019. http://svr.gov.ru/svr_today/doc02.htm
 State Duma Committee on Security and Corruption Control. ‘ПОЛОЖЕНИЕ о Комитете Государственной Думы Федерального Собрания Российской Федерации по безопасности и противодействию коррупции’ [‘Regulations of the State Duma Committee on Security and Corruption Control’]. Accessed on October 16, 2019. http://www.komitet2-16.km.duma.gov.ru/Polozhenie-i-voprosy-vedeniya
 Interview with Interviewee 1: Alexander Goltz, military analyst and journalist, August 22, 2019, via phone.
 ConsultantPlus. ‘Федеральный закон от 17.01.1992 N 2202-1 “О прокуратуре Российской Федерации”‘ [‘Federal law: “On Prosecutor’s Office”‘]. Accessed on October 16, 2019. http://www.consultant.ru/cons/cgi/online.cgi?from=315090-485&rnd=0CA99BF8AF5C7F730377D6D8946102BE&req=doc&base=LAW&n=372862&REFDOC=315090&REFBASE=LAW#2mm1a1y0yr8
 ConsultantPlus. ‘Федеральный закон от 03.04.1995 N 40-ФЗ “О федеральной службе безопасности”‘ [‘Federal law: “On Federal Security Service”‘]. Articles 23 and 24. Accessed on October 16, 2019. http://www.consultant.ru/cons/cgi/online.cgi?req=doc&base=LAW&n=292749&fld=134&dst=100198,0&rnd=0.18684646188792642#0826975201127162
Russia score: 50/100
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.
The above-mentioned agencies have access to classified information. However, there is no information available about the regularity of their meetings, which are held mostly behind closed doors. The only information published is the reports on non-classified findings, such as amendments to the laws  or budget plans . Comment: the intelligence services can share information with members of parliament via the State Duma Committee on Security and Corruption Control, whose members have to be formally given access to secret information, in compliance with the federal law ‘On State Secrets’ (see Article 24 of the federal law ‘On Federal Security Service’) . The Committee has access to classified information and it publishes some findings. However, the regularity of its meetings is unknown.
 State Duma Committee on Security and Corruption Control. ‘Законопроекты, находящиеся на рассмотрении в Комитете’ [‘Bills under consideration in the Committee’]. Accessed on October 16, 2019. http://www.komitet2-16.km.duma.gov.ru/Zakonoproekty-nahodyashhiesya-na-rassmot
 Federal Security Service. ‘ФЕДЕРАЛЬНАЯ СЛУЖБА БЕЗОПАСНОСТИ РОССИЙСКОЙ ФЕДЕРАЦИИ ПРИКАЗ “О внесении изменений в Методику прогнозирования поступлений в федеральный и местные бюджеты доходов, администрируемых ФСБ России”‘ [‘Federal Security Service Order: “On Budget Income Regulation’]. Accessed on October 16, 2019. http://www.fsb.ru/fsb/npd/more.htm%21id%3D10438302%40fsbNpa.html
 ConsultantPlus. ‘РОССИЙСКАЯ ФЕДЕРАЦИЯ ЗАКОН: “О ГОСУДАРСТВЕННОЙ ТАЙНЕ”‘ [‘Federal law: “On State Secrets”‘]. Accessed on April 29, 2020. http://www.consultant.ru/document/cons_doc_LAW_2481/
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|