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Q21.

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

21a. Independence

Score

SCORE: 0/100

Assessor Explanation

Assessor Sources

21b. Effectiveness

Score

SCORE: NA/100

Assessor Explanation

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In Albania, the two largest agencies that conduct domestic and foreign intelligence gathering activities are the State Intelligence Service (SHISH) (formerly the National Intelligence Service) and the Defence Intelligence and Security Agency (DISA). According to the law, both agencies are subject to parliamentary oversight [1, 2].
According to the Law on SHISH, the agency is subject to control by the parliament and the SHISH Director is obliged to report at least once a year to the “permanent subcommittee on established for this purpose” [1].
The Law on DISA specifies that the “Minister of Defence or the Director-General of the Intelligence and Security Agency report on the activity of the Intelligence and Security Agency in the parliamentary commission or subcommittee on security and intelligence matters, at least once a year, and whenever required by them” [2].
The activity of the intelligence services is scrutinised by two parliamentary committees: the Committee on National Security (CNS) and the Committee on Economy and Finances (CEF) [3]. While the CNS has a broader role in the oversight processes, the role of CEF is limited to the scrutiny of the budget, mostly through the reporting on the implementation of the budget by the Supreme State Audit Institution (SSAI) [5]. Besides the permanent committees, the legislation provides for the establishment of investigative parliamentary committees on specific issues [3, 4].
Of all the oversight mechanisms and tools in its disposal, the Albanian Parliament has mostly been active in the use of ex-ante mechanisms, mainly the adoption of laws and budgets. The ex-post oversight has been limited to the hearing of the annual report of the SHISH Director while there has been no regular annual reporting of the DISA [6, 7].
This practice is mostly related to the politicisation of intelligence reform in Albania since the collapse of communism which has led to a polarisation along partisan lines and therefore has made it difficult for the parliament to be effective when it scrutinises the legislation or performance of the intelligence services [8, 9].
In addition to the political polarisation, another practical reason for the generally poor oversight is the lack of legislation to provide for clear competences and obligations of the parliament vis a vis the intelligence services. The 1998 Law on SIS provides for the establishment of a subcommittee on intelligence oversight with the mandate to control the activity of the SIS, including the spending of the budget. The committee was established in 1999, but it ceased functioning after the CNS was established in 2004 [10].
Trying to help to address the lack of legislation the CNS proposed in 2010 with the assistance of the OSCE a draft law for establishing a subcommittee for the control and oversight of the intelligence and security services [11]. However, the draft law was not adopted by the parliament. The issue was brought up in 2017 by the CNS during the discussions on the amendments to the Law on Interceptions of Communications, but there has been no legislation drafted or proposed yet [12].
While the CNS is designed to scrutinize the administration, budget, and personnel matters, the fact is that due the model of parliamentary democracy in Albania the CNS is dominated by the MPs from the political party (or governing coalition) in power. This exposes the CNS to the inherent influence of the party leaders, who as a rule become the head of the executive branch when they win the elections [13]. However, this may be an issue of political culture, and the political parties should address this weakness by allowing more independence to the MPs in their decisions, the fact that the MPs come from different political parties and abide by the party decisions is not per se an anomaly in a parliamentary democracy.
On the other hand, the size of the CNS with 18 members has made the intelligence services have become reluctant to engage in in-depth discussions on classified intelligence matters and have sided with the ruling majorities in the past, to thwart the pressure of opposition MPs to enter their premises for oversight purposes [14]. For these reasons, the intelligence community favours the establishment of a subcommittee on intelligence, where members would undergo a security vetting, to create the conditions for more trust and a better relationship between the parliament and the intelligence services [15].

CNS members have access to classified information, but the committee has no schedule of its own, rather it is determined by the executive agenda when laws and policies are proposed for adoption. This is shown by the relatively small and uneven number of meetings held annually.
The CNS meetings related to defence, police and intelligence over the last five years [1]:
2018 – 11 meetings;
2017 – 17 meetings;
2016 – 28 meetings,
2015 – 25 meetings;
2014 – 37 meetings)
Of these meetings, the regular agenda includes one or two meetings dedicated to discussing the budgets of security institutions in November each year, and one meeting dedicated to the hearing of the annual report of SHISH Director.
No findings or reports are produced and published from the hearings except for occasional pronunciations given to the media by CNS members [2]. While the general scope of CNS activity is limited to the legislative review rather than a more diverse and active use of ex-post oversight of the defence institutions, the scope of this sub-indicator is about the access of the parliamentary committee on intelligence oversight to classified information, the frequency of its meetings, and publication of findings, not about what types of oversight tools the committee uses. The evidence from the minutes of the CNS meetings suggests that the committee has access to classified information and meets more frequently than every six months [3], albeit not for ex-post oversight activities.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The National Intelligence Law, passed in 2001, provides that the Supervisory Committee of the Bicameral Intelligence Organisations and Activities (7 Senators and 7 Members of Congress, for two renewable years) controls the National Intelligence System. This is made up of the Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI), the National Directorate of Criminal Intelligence (DINICRI), and the National Directorate of Military Strategic Intelligence (DINIEM). This commission has the function of supervising that the operation of intelligence agencies strictly complies with the current constitutional, legal, and regulatory norms. Likewise, control reaches both budgetary management (including “reserved expenses”) and any other activity of those agencies. [1] Being part of the Congress, it is independent of the executive branch, but not therefore impervious to political influences. Ugarte further notes that, despite having investigative powers, such powers are insufficient according to international standards. Thus, under the current regulatory framework, the control commission to access classified matters must request authorisation from the AFI Director General, “which is equivalent to saying that in order to perform its function, the controller must request permission from the controlled body.” [2] [3] [4] [5]

Although the Bicameral Commission has extensive oversight functions for intelligence agencies, and is even able to carry out investigations and promote actions at judicial headquarters, it does not conduct proactive activities. According to the information available on the Senate website, the Commission has entered (from January 2016 to June 2019) into four projects, two of them citing the Director of the AFI. [1] No information is published on the Senate website for meetings or events. However, the recent participation (in a confidential meeting) of the Chiefs of the AFI in that Commission has been announced through the press to explain issues related to complaints of illegal espionage. [2] It is worth mentioning here that a federal judge’s complaint regarding an “illegal espionage network” was received and explained to the Freedom of Expression Commission and not the Bicameral Commission. [3] Faced with several episodes in recent years, the intelligence system is questioned from the media and CSOs. The civil society organisation, Vía Libre, held an event in 2018 and presented a work on the status of the National Intelligence System. [4] [5] Likewise, the citizen initiative for the control of intelligence agencies (ICCSI) presented a document that establishes the fundamental axes to get out of the crisis in which intelligence services are immersed in Argentina. [6]

Article 106 of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia [1] outlines the establishment of the standing committees at the National Assembly to perform its primary duties and parliamentary oversight among them. The Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly (NA) [2] that entered into force on May 18, 2017, accurately outline parliamentary oversight in a wide range of activities, such as budget implementation discussions, providing expertise for lawmaking, etc. It also anticipates all those cases when the Parliament is entitled to request more details both orally and in a written form, from the executive bodies to oversee the procedures and activities of public agencies. However, the intelligence services are entirely dependent on the executive. For instance, the National Security Service (NSS) is under the authority of the government and reports to the prime minister; it is not accountable to the NA. The NA cannot ask for reports from the NSS head [2].
Budget and expenditures of General Staff Intelligence Department of the RA Armed Forces are part of the defense budget and are subject to parliamentary scrutiny in the same manner as the entire defense budget.[3]

The designated Standing Committee has the right to request classified information containing state, service and trade secret or any other secret provided by laws. The members of the committees can also access the requested information on the spot, as provided by Article 122 of the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament [1]. The oversight by the members of parliament is also provided by the Law on National Security Bodies. [2] According to the last paragraph of Article 27 of the Law on the National Security Bodies, the deputies may send a request, but only about their parliamentary activities. They do not have the right to send inquiries about other classified information [2].

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has a mandate and matching powers to investigate the policies, administration, and budgets of intelligence services; while the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) has further independent review authority. The PJCIS is established and given an extensive mandate and powers over the 6 Australian intelligence agencies through the Intelligence Services Act 2001 [1]. However, PJCIS is limited in its ability to investigate actual intelligence policy (except as referred to it by the responsible Minister); rather, it engages in statutory reviews of legislation [2]. However, the PJCIS “is privy to detailed, largely classified, information about the administration and expenditure of agencies,” and can request documents and private hearings to this end [3]. A federal politician interviewee praised the effectiveness and independence of the PJCIS in overseeing the intelligence services [4]. The IGIS draws his or her authority from the Inspector‑General of Intelligence and Security Act 1986 [5]. He or she is appointed by the Governor-General, at the discretion of the Prime Minister who is required to consult with the leader of the Opposition in Parliament when advancing a candidate [5, s. 6(2), 6]. The IGIS monitors intelligence policy and intelligence community decision making through formal inquiries, complaint investigation, and reporting. It is granted and uses extensive powers to conduct these duties [6].

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) and Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) are active and generally transparent. The Parliament Sitting Calendar indicates that PJCIS, which is responsible for many oversight aspects of the intelligence services, meets often and are public when possible [1]. The PJCIS “is privy to detailed, largely classified, information about the administration and expenditure of agencies,” and can request documents and private hearings to this end [4]. PJCIS releases summary versions of completed inquiries to the public, including as much information as possible [2]. IGIS is continuously monitoring the intelligence services through inquiries and complaint investigations, and makes “many,” though not all, of their inquiry report summaries available in the IGIS Annual Reports [3].

In December 2015, President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree, setting up the State Security Service and Foreign Intelligence Service through the Ministry of National Security. In two separate executive orders, the president appointed Madat Quliyev as chairman of the State Security Service and Orkhan Sultanov as chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Service (1).
Investigations of senior officials of the former National Security Ministry continue. Nearly twenty former senior officers have been involved in the investigation. All of them are charged with the creation of a criminal gang, robbery, kidnapping and corruption. Former National Security Minister Eldar Mahmudov led the criminal group (2).
The role of parliament and its weakness has been demonstrated by a scandal at the Intelligence Ministry in which a number of top generals and dozens of employees were arrested and removed, including the minister, charged with abuse of power, arbitrary and illegal inspection of businesses, extortion, bribery, and entering into business by means of blackmail (3).
The activities of the intelligence and security agencies are not under any control. They only report to the president. Employees of this organization have not made any report at the parliament. The activities, policies, administration, and budgets of the intelligence services are not subject to independent oversight. The budget allocated to intelligence services in the state budget is under the name of “National Security” (4).

At present, the Prosecutor’s Office has a special investigative group investigating the crime of the former Ministry of National Security leadership (1); however, there is no institution to investigate the existing intelligence services.
The Chamber of Accounts also has the ability to monitor intelligence services (2), although, according to an expert, there is no real oversight (3, 4).

The newly established (2002) national security apparatus is the Bahrain Intelligence Agency [1, 2, 3, 4]. The king’s relatives mostly head it, and most of its staff are foreign nationals. The agency has no internal or external oversight [1, 2, 5]. The Council of Representative has no power to scrutinize its activities either [3, 5]. After an extensive online search and searching in various reports, no more available information was found.

This indicator has been marked ‘Not Applicable’, as there is no independent oversight over the intelligence policies and practices [1, 2, 3].

The Intelligence Directorate of the Armed Forces Division has three sections: military and special operations, internal and external affairs and media [1]. It has defined polices and is provided with a budget, as well as being subject to scrutiny by the Defence Audit Directorate. However, the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI), which reports directly to the Prime Minister, enjoys absolute freedom and its operational costs remain undisclosed and unaccountable. Dubbed as ‘a symbol of abuse, corruption and impunity’ [2], the DGFI has been discredited by its involvement in disappearances, extrajudicial killings [3,4], human rights violations [5] and the silencing of independent media voices.

This indicator is marked ‘Not Applicable’, as there is no evidence of an oversight mechanism.

Comittee I (Comité I, the Belgian Standing Intelligence Agencies Review Committee) is responsible for scrutinizing the military intelligence service’s policies, administrations and budgets [1].

The latter task is shared with the Court of Auditors. The latter scrutinizes most of the intelligence service’s budget, but only Committee I reviews expenditures of a sensitive matter, such as ‘special funds’ with expenditures for operations and informants) [2].

The Chair and the advisors of the Standing Committee R are appointed by the House of Representatives for a period of six years (renewable). The chairman must be a magistrate. He chairs the meetings of the Committee and is responsible for its day-to-day management.

The Committee can instigate investigations of its own accord, or upon request of the Chamber of Representatives, the competent minister, the competent government or another data-protecting authority [3]. The Committee reports to the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate. While the Committee meets behind clodes doors for security reasons, it does provide yearly reports of its activiites to the Commission of the Chamber Representatives. These are available online and are very detailed [4].

Equally, investigation reports into specific issues are published online as well. There is no evidence of undue influence from the executive or the military [5]. In 2019, Committee I had a budget of €4,211mil and was in the process of recruting more personnel.

Committee I meets when it deems necessary, although in practice this is generally at least every two months [1]. DIscussions within the committee include personnel issues, infrastructure, policies and budgets. A summerary of the findings of all audits of Committee I is published in their yearly report, which extensively publishes on all activities [2].

There is a Joint Committee on Supervision of the Work of Intelligence and Security Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina within the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina entrusted with the power to scrutinise the main aspects of the Intelligence and Security Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its competencies are [1]:
1) Supervising the lawfulness of the Agency’s work;
2) Discussing and providing opinions on the appointment of the Director General and Deputy Director General;
3) Considering the Chair’s reports on issues under her/his competence, including measures taken in order to resolve problems in the Agency, identified during an inspection control, audit or investigation;
4) Considering the Director General’s reports on the activities and costs of the Agency and especially analyses how funds budget are spent;
5) Providing opinions on the Agency’s detailed budget proposal;
6) Considering reports by the Chief Inspector;
7) Requests Agency employees to provide expert advice, with the assistance of the Chair, as required for carrying out supervision;
8) Conducting investigations on the work of the Agency [2].
The Joint Committee has 12 members (six from each of the Houses of the Parliamentary Assembly) and are appointed based on the proportionality of representation of political parties in the House of Representatives. To ensure independence from the executive branch, by law, the Chair of the Joint Committee must be from a political party that is not in the governing coalition [3].

Pursuant to Article 22 of the Intelligence-Security Service of Bosnia and Herzegovina, members of the Joint Committee for Supervision of the Work of the Intelligence-Security Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina have access to classified information [1]. The committee also has the following competences:
1) Generally supervision of the lawfulness of the Agency’s work;
2) Discussing and providing opinions on the appointment of the Director General and Deputy Director General;
3) Considering reports of the Chair on issues under her/his competence, including measures taken in order to resolve problems in the Agency, identified during an inspection control, audit or investigation;
4) Considering reports of the Director General on the activities and costs of the Agency and especially analyses how budget funds are spent;
5) Providing opinions on the Agency’s detailed budget proposal;
6) Considering reports by the Chief Inspector;
7) Requesting Agency employees to provide expert advice, with the assistance of the Chair, as required for carrying out supervision;
8) Conducting investigations on the work of the Agency.
In addition, the committee, in accordance with Article 19 of the Law on Intelligence-Security Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, has an obligation to meet at least twice a year [2].

The following institutions provide independent oversight over the budget of the intelligence services. Relevant authorities in preventing and countering corruption include the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM), Office of the Ombudsman, Independent Electoral Commission, Office of the President, Auditor General, Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB), Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MFED), Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA), Bank of Botswana, Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS), Non-Banking Financial Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), Police Service, Administration of Justice, Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Attorney General’s Chambers and Competition Authority [1,2]. The Portfolio Committee on Defence does not review the entire budget since some of the operations of the DISS remain highly classified. A parliamentary committee exists scrutinises the intelligence service’s policies,
administration, and budgets. Due to the secrecy of the Directorate of Intelligence Services and some of its operations that are classified , it is difficult to measure effectiveness. This is exacerbated by the absence of DISS Policy.

The meetings of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence, Justice and Security, specifically on DISS, are not scheduled or published. This makes it difficult for the public to appreciate the role and the extent of the Portfolio Committee on DISS [1,2]. Furthermore, the Portfolio Committee has very limited access to classified information. The nature of the information that the Committee has access to is not made public.

The Committee for Intelligence Control (CCAI – Comissão de Controle das Atividades de Inteligência), created in 2013, has powers to exert oversight of any intelligence activities, including visitations to intelligence facilities with no prior warning [1, 2]. To the extent of the research made by the assessor and a previous interview conducted with the secretary of the Senate’s Defence Commission and with the secretary of CCAI, in 2015, there is no undue influence between committees and the military – they tend to be aligned, and civilians generally do not know enough about defence to strongly disagree with military recommendations. Its mandate is matched by the body’s powers and resources [3, 4]. There is no evidence that these commissions work under external political influence – they work, however under the political pressure of their own leaders and party coalition dynamic – and its relation to the armed forces.

Since 2015, seven public hearings occurred [1], and none of them occurred in 2018 or 2019. The complete content of the meetings is not available online, but the lack of frequency might be a sign of ineffectiveness. According to the response of an FOI request sent to the Chamber of Deputies, committees have the right to ask for any documents, including classified ones. However, classified documents have never been asked by deputies and senators in the history of Brazil’s democracy [2].

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

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

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

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

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

A new agency – the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency – was announced in July 2019, which will have oversight of all intelligence activities carried out by the Canadian government. [1] This will complement (not replace) the existing House and Senate Committees on security that already carry out oversight activities of the intelligence gathering agencies of the Canadian government. [2] The National Security and Intelligence Review Agency has access to all activities and documents in agencies and departments related to national security. The exception is that a Minister could deny access on national security grounds. While oversight committees are able to draft reports and call expert testimony and act in an oversight capacity, they are not able to enact changes without legislating through Parliament. These committees (in the House of Commons) are constructed based on the existing seat proportions in the House of Commons, as such they are able to function without undue influence from the intelligence services as well as the executive, especially in the current circumtance of a Minority Government where opposition members outnumber government members on all parliamentary committees. [3]

The Parliamentary oversight committees have only limited access to classified information, and there are no standardised guidelines as to when and under what circumstances they may have access to operationally sensitive materials. [1] The House Committee meets frequently (some committees meet weekly and others less frequently based on their given mandates [4]) and releases reports regularly, but these reports seldom address matters related to the intelligence services, although it is unclear whether these issues are not dealt with or simply not publicly reported on. [2] Bill C-59 in 2017 created the role of an Intelligence Commissioner, who has access to classified material and must provide a yearly report to the Prime Minister, who must publish a redacted version of the report. [3] Therefore, reports are made available (although may be redacted in some way) to the public and are the result of regular committee meetings.

The intelligence services in Chile are organised in the National State System of Intelligence (SIE). In 2004, new legislation organised and ruled this system [1], creating the National Agency of Intelligence (ANI) and putting together two subsystems: the services of military intelligence and the services of police intelligence [2]. According to this framework, the external oversight of the SIE corresponds to the General Comptroller, the Courts of Justice, and the Chamber of Deputies, within the scope of their respective competencies [1]. Within the Chamber of Deputies, there is a permanent commission that scrutinises the acts of the intelligence service’s policies (Commission of Control of the State Intelligence System). The Commission of Control of the State Intelligence System and other special investigatory commissions have performed their functions without evidence of undue influence from the executive or the military. However, the law only specifies the responsibility of the coordinating agency, the ANI, of being accountable for the activities of the SIES, but it does not indicate the responsibility of particular military or policy services [3]. Moreover, analysts have highlighted the excessive autonomy with which these intelligence services operate, and the absence of a centralised direction in defining their operations [4]. The budget for the ANI is included in the general law of budget in the public sector, which is approved by Congress.

Although formal provisions for independent oversight exist, their effectiveness is limited. The Commission for the Control of the State Intelligence System has access to reports and information regarding activities of the intelligence service’s policies, and the director of the National Agency of Intelligence (ANI) must present an annual reserved report of the activities of the Agency and the functioning of the System of State Intelligence [1]. According to the Norms of The Chamber of Deputies [2], the commission shall have access to reports and documents of the intelligence services in the SIE by requesting them to the directors and chiefs of the respective bodies. Presentations to the commission are secret, and the content of monthly sessions are only described superficially. Special commissions organized to investigate particular cases do publish final reports along with background documents for the cases under study. According to the registers of meetings, the commission meets regularly (monthly). However, it must be noted that, from July 2016 to August 2017, there were only 20 sessions, and 12 were not held [3]. Authors have drawn attention to the partial expertise of the members of the commission, and their incapacity of holding the intelligence services to account in cases of the misuse of resources and other misleadings (Operation Huracán) [4].

As China is a authoritarian, single-party state, there is no independent oversight on any policy area, let alone on sensitive issues such as the policies, adminstration and budgets of the secret services. The Ministry of State Security has no published address or contact details. [1] The lack of any independent oversight also applies to the Second Intelligence Department of People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the PLA’s main intelligence department. [2]

This indicator is scored ‘Not Applicable’ as there is no independent oversight.

The entity responsible for carrying out strategic intelligence and counter-intelligence for the State is the National Directorate of Intelligence (DNI). [1] The DNI is supervised by six control and monitoring bodies. The Comptroller General of the Republic evaluates the internal control processes with regards to taxes, while the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation conducts investigations into the actions of public servants who incur disciplinary misconduct in the performance of their duties and/or present irregularities in the management of the public. The Ombudsman’s Office ensures the promotion, exercise, and dissemination of human rights. The Congress of the Republic has political control over the process through its legal commission to follow up on intelligence and counter-intelligence activities. The Committee was created by statutory Law 1621 of 2013 [2] in order to verify efficiency in the use of resources and respect for constitutional guarantees. [3] The minutes of meetings for this Committee are not published on the website of the Congress, so its actions and decisions made are unknown. It is therefore not possible to identify whether this Commission scrutinises the policies, administration, and budgets of the intelligence services. The members of this Committee are also unknown, as are the roles they have within it, their powers, and mandates. [4] Therefore this indicator is not scored and is marked Not Enough Information.

The documentation available by request through the control and surveillance assistance procedures is often reserved in nature, so the National Directorate of Intelligence (DNI) is not obliged to publish such documents on its website. [1] The General Inspection Reports related to intelligence and counter-intelligence are submitted to the Comptroller General of the Republic, the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation, and the Legal Commission for Monitoring the intelligence and counterintelligence activities of the Congress on an annual basis. Like the improvement plans and audit and fiscal accountability reports, these are delivered to control bodies but are not public. There is also the Report submitted annually by the Joint Intelligence Board, that groups all agencies that carry out intelligence and counterintelligence functions, to the Legal Commission for Monitoring the Intelligence and Counterintelligence Activities of Congress. [2] This report, like the other monitoring and control documents, is not public because of its reserved nature, so there is insufficient information to know whether the Committee assesses issues such as budget and expenditure, personnel issues, and intelligence policies. There are no records of the number of times the Committee meets, minutes of meetings of the Committee, nor of the topics covered in them, [3] so the effectiveness of the supervisory function is unclear.

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

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

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

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

The Danish Defence Intelligence Service is subject to scrutiny and oversight on three different fronts that are all independent: 1) As the DDIS is part of the state budget, The Danish National Audit Office scrutinizes the appropriations and budgets of DDIS [1, 2]. 2) By law, the body called the Supervisory Authority of the Intelligence Services (Tilsynet med Efterretningstjenesterne) conducts independent oversight of the DDIS’s treatment of personal data [3]. The members of the body are appointed by the government. The head is appointed on the basis of recommendations made by the supreme national courts. These are in turn made with a view to the person’s impartiality (“uvildighed”) and high personal integrity [4]. 3) The parliamentary committee called the Committee on the Intelligence Services (Udvalget vedrørende Efterretningstjenesterne) conducts parliamentary oversight of DDIS [5]. This is written into law [6]. The committee consists of five members from the parliament’s five largest parties. The incubent government is, among other things, obliged to orient the committee before it issues guidelines and instructions for the DDIS [7].

It is difficult to assess the effectiveness of the oversight mechanisms of the DDIS, since most information about the intelligence services is classified. The assessment is thus based on publicly accessible information from the relevant authorities’ websites and – where they exist – reports and news articles. For many years (2014 – 2020) information on DDIS’s web page was not updated; it was relaunched in 2021. [1] This was an issue because assessments like the present one can only rely on the information provided by the DDIS itself.

Now turning to assessing the effectiveness: the accounts of the DDIS is scrutinized by the Danish National Audit Office. The “normal” accounts of the DDIS (overall budget without specification) are audited like any other state account [2]. This revision is conducted by a specially appointed employee within the National Audit Office who has security clearance (however, the level of security clearance is unclear) [2]. The “special” accounts or means (“særlige midler”) of which further specification of the amount and use is classified, is subject to a special audit procedure. This audit is described as being much more “intense” than the normal process: the audit is made three to four times a year where all expenses of the current period are reviewed. This audit is done by a specially appointed employee within the National Audit Office with assistance from a head of department within the Ministry of Defence. This person is also specially appointed for the task [2]. The Auditor General (Rigsrevisoren) reports yearly to the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee in oral form. If the National Audit Office finds any considerable flaws in the presentation of the annual accounts from the DDIS (covering both rules, practices, keeping to budget etc.), the tasked Auditor General will present the findings of the classified accounts in a separate report and/or briefing [2]. The Supervisory Authority of the Intelligence Services can demand access to any information and material they deem necessary and also demand written statements from the DDIS. The body provides an annual report to the Minister of Defence and the parliamentary Committee on the Intelligence Services which is also made public [3, 4]. The annual reports of the Supervisory Authority of the Intelligence Services indicate effectiveness, where for example several points of critique of the DDIS were made and where critique of the supervisory body itself were taken into consideration and actions were made to remedy the critique [4, 5]. However, in 2019 the judicial think thank Justitia criticised the effectiveness of the Supervisory Authority of the Intelligence Services [6]. The critique was not aimed at the functioning and/or results of the body but rather in its (by law) highly limited scope and mandate, which only includes the DDIS treatment of personal data, and does not include other activities as for instance operations and use of agents. As for the parliamentary Committee on the Intellligence Services, it is unclear if its five members receive classified information either in the form of oral briefings or written reports. As mentioned in Q21A, the Committee is simply to be notified by the government on issues relating to the intelligence service guidelines, framework and activities [7]. The mandate of the committee is limited, in that it is the prerogative of the committee to express to the government its opinion on issues being dealt with in the committee either orally or in writing, while it can also report on the activities of the committee [8]. Any indications of the activities and/or effectiveness of the committee remain unclear as the parliamentary website does not contain much information. It is simply stated that, when the government notifies the committee, it should be done with consideration to the special circumstances that apply to the intelligence services [7]. Further, there is no public calendar of the committee and the news page does not contain any news [9]. While this assessment was under review, the Supervisory Authority of the Intelligence Services (SAIS) published a press release. It stated that the SAIS had conducted a year long special investigation of the DDIS due to information obtained from a whistle-blower [10]. Of interest to this assessment is the fact that the SAIS found DDIS to have been withholding central information and given “untrue” information to the investigators. The special investigation recommended, among other things, that the law governing the SAIS’s ability to conduct oversight should be evaluated with a view to determining whether the organ has the necessary competencies and resources to conduct an effective oversight of DDIS. Collectively, the press release made a big scandal in the public domain and the Minister of Defence chose to send off the very senior leaders of DDIS. Based on this single case, and only consulting the content relevant to this assessment (the very subject of concern of the SAIS investigation is not relevant), we may add that: 1) the SAIS does not, in reality, obtain the necessary information it needs; 2) it does not (according to itself) have the necessary legal framework or resources to conduct effective oversight; 3) the reports of SAIS can have an large impact if the political level choose to act on it.

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

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

Since 2017, the Security Authorities Surveillance Select Committee at the Riigikogu exercises supervision over the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service that is under the purview of the Ministry of Defence. [1] In accordance with the Security Authorities Act, [2] the intelligence service is required to give information related to the security of the state and national defence to the Security Authorities Surveillance Select Committee, the Government, relevant government authorities, the President, the President of the Riigikogu and relevant committees of the Riigikogu.
The Security Authorities Surveillance Committee [3] scrutinises the guarantee of fundamental rights and the efficiency of the work of the Foreign Intelligence Service. The Committee has the right to summon persons and request documents and information. The Committee debates the draft budget of security authorities concurrently with the deliberation of the draft state budget in the Riigikogu. If an offence is discovered, the Committee is required to forward relevant materials to an investigative body or the Chancellor of Justice.
Another Committee, the Security Committee, that comprises of the Prime Minister and other relevant ministers, coordinates the activities of the security authorities; it analyses and assesses the security situation in the state and determines the state’s need for security-related information.
Additionally, the Prosecutor’s Office has recently increased their scrutiny over the Foreign Intelligence Service. They are looking at how efficient and procedurally correct the Service is when it comes to deadlines and permissions. [4]

The Security Authorities Surveillance Committee of the Riigikogu, whose members have access to state secret information, is required to submit an overview of the activities and the results of the Committee to the Riigikogu at least once a year. [1] In addition, the Prime Minister and a relevant minister both inform the Committee of the Foreign Intelligence Service which supervises their activities, including the submission of an overview of such matters at least once every six months. [2] The Committee met with the Foreign Intelligence Service four times in a year (between mid 2017 and mid 2018): twice with the Director General, once with the Deputy Director, and the Committee visited the Foreign Intelligence Service once. The summaries of the meetings are published on their website. [3]
The head of the Foreign Intelligence Service appears in front of the Security Committee of the Government during the discussions of the annual budget. The Director General is required to answer all of the Committee’s questions. However, the staff of the Foreign Intelligence Service remains undisclosed. Only a limited selection of individuals of the Ministry of Defence are aware of the staff in the Service. [4]

The Military Intelligence community is an integrated part of the FDF, and the civilian intelligence community (functionally SUPO) is completely separate and sits under the Ministry of Interior. The Parliamentary Intelligence Oversight Committee serves as the parliamentary watchdog of civilian and military intelligence operations. The committee also serves as the parliamentary watchdog of the other activities of the Finnish Security Intelligence Service. As part of its parliamentary oversight role, the Intelligence Oversight Committee oversees the proper implementation and appropriateness of intelligence operations, monitors and evaluates the focus areas of intelligence operations, monitors and promotes the effective exercise of fundamental and human rights in intelligence operations, prepares reports by the Intelligence Oversight Ombudsman and processes the supervisory findings of the Intelligence Oversight Ombudsman. The Intelligence Oversight Committee may, on its own initiative, bring up any matter within its authority for processing and to prepare a report on the matter for processing at a plenary session if it regards the matter significant enough. [1] Like any Parliamentary Committee, the Intelligence Oversight Committee can discuss and issue statements on budget matters. The Intelligence Ombudsman supervises the legality of civil and military intelligence and the realisation of basic and human rights in intelligence activities. The Ombudsman is an autonomous and independent authority, who acts in connection with the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman. [2] The Parliamentary Intelligence Oversight Committee 2019 annual report suggests that the committee is content with the resources and access it is granted. [3]

The Parliamentary Intelligence Oversight Committee meets on a weekly basis and has access to classified information, for which reason its documentation is classified by default (only the agendas are available on the Committee’s website). The Committee itself can decide to make some of its documentation publicly available. It has the right to call expert witnesses and request additional information from the relevant ministries and other authorities. [1]

Several bodies exist to scrutinise the intelligence services :
The parliamentary intelligence delegation (DPR) was created by law n°2007-1443 of October 9, 2007. Shared between the National Assembly and the Senate, it is composed of four MPs and four senators. The chairpersons of the committees for defence affairs of the National Assembly and of the Senate are ex-officio members, the other members are appointed by the president of each assembly so as to ensure pluralistic representation.
The mission of the delegation is to follow the general activity and resources (policies, budgets, administration) of the intelligence services. For this purpose, it may hear the Prime Minister, the ministers concerned, the Secretary General of National Defence and the directors of these services.
Though its members have a “secrecy of national defence” clearance, they cannot access details on external operations (OPEX). Each year, it draws up a public report summarising its activities. [1] It may also make recommendations and observations to the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister.

A new law on intelligence was voted on July 24, 2015, Law n° 2015-912. [2] This was controversial due to the extended powers it gave to the intelligence services, namely regarding wire-tapping via telephone companies, spyware or IMSI-catchers, and was widely criticised by CSOs [3] and the press. [4]
But that law also granted the Conseil d’Etat with broader formal provisions towards intelligence services technical actions. It can be seized by any person wishing to verify that no intelligence technique has been unlawfully implemented to their detriment, as well as by the National Committee for the Control of Intelligence Techniques (CNCTR, see below). The Conseil d’Etat may also be seized by a judicial or administrative judge when questioning, in the context of an ongoing case, the regularity of information gathering by the intelligence services, [5] although, to protect “secret-défense”, the claimant cannot have access to any classified information, and no classified information can be published. Only the judge can look up classified intelligence.
The CNCTR was also created by the law on intelligence of July 2015. [2] CNCTR has extended prerogatives compared to the former National Committee for Security Interceptions Control (CNCIS) it replaced.
Even if it only issues advisory opinions, this independent administrative authority covers all requests for services using intelligence techniques, listening, sound, beacons, geolocation, collection of technical communications data, etc. “The CNCTR ensures, in “a priori” control, that these requests are correctly motivated and that the choice of the technique, and therefore of the intrusion, is proportional to the desired goal. It verifies, by means of a survey, “a posteriori”, the execution of the collection of information. But at the end of the day, it’s always the Prime Minister who authorises the placement under surveillance”. [6]
Although limited, it is a new evolution to be reckoned with in the French intelligence services, used to total secrecy and no counter-powers. The head of the DGSE, Bernard Emié, was said to complain using cautious words about “the significant and demanding control” of the CNCTR. [6]

DPR members have “secret-défense” clearance, which means they have access to classified information, though it was not possible to ascertain what level of classification they are entitled to access. It seems to de dependant on each specific issue discussed. They meet on average at least once a month (11 times over 9 months between July 2017 and April 2018 [2]) to review budget, expenditures, personnel issues and policies of the intelligence services. [1]
The DPR’s findings are published once a year, via a report posted on the National Assembly website, in a redacted version, [2] cleared of sensitive issues covered by the “secret-défense”.

Other controlling bodies such as the CNCTR and the judging entity within Conseil d’Etat are all relatively new, with two years of existence, so there is little data available to assess the effectiveness of their control over intelligence services actions. But they are all limited in their controlling functions by the secrecy of national defence.

Germany has three different intelligence services, two of which are civilian agencies – the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV). The other one, the Military Counter-Intelligence Service (MAD), is part of the Ministry of Defence. All of them are subject to parliamentary scrutiny (overseen by the Parliamentary Control Committee) and the latter is also controlled by a state secretary in the Ministry of Defence.

The work of the three intelligence services is defined in specific laws (the ‘Gesetz über den Bundesnachrichtendienst’ [1], the ‘Bundesverfassungsschutzgesetz’ [2] and the ‘Gesetz über den Militärischen Abschirmdienst’ [3]). While budget, administration, etc. are constantly monitored, they are only open to a relatively small group of parliamentarians in the committees, for example, a selected group within the Budget Committee.

The Parliamentary Control Panel (Parlamentarisches Kontrollgremium) conducts oversight over the national intelligence services [4]. Its role is enshrined in the Constitution [5] and the ‘Kontrollgremiumgesetz’ (Control Body Act – PKGrG) [6].

While there are designated oversight bodies to scrutinise the intelligence services’ policies, administration and budgets, their mandates do not fully match up with their powers and resources. The BND, despite being a ‘civilian intelligence service’, fulfils a range of military intelligence and reconnaissance functions. It also has a military vice-president. The cooperation between the BND and the Bundeswehr is extensive and well established. A new law on the functioning and oversight of the BND has passed and will be in effect soon. It includes a range of changes to the oversight architecture, as well as a provision allowing for the automated exchange of data between the military and the BND [7]. The question of whether there has been adequate oversight of the intelligence agencies was also the subject of a Federal Constitutional Court ruling [8]. It remains to be seen whether all shortcomings of the previous BND law have been eliminated by the new BND reform.

The Committee meets at least quarterly. It publishes activity reports and assessments on its website.

The government is required to inform the Committee comprehensively about the activities of the intelligence services as well as any issues that require attention. In response, the Committee can request additional information if needed, including classified information. The role of the Committee was further strengthened in 2016, e.g. allowing whistleblowers from the services to directly report concerns to the Committee. Since the reform, the Committee has conducted an annual public Q&A session with the heads of each service [1].

Opposition MPs have complained that the capacity of the Committee to impose sanctions is limited since the budgetary matters for the intelligence services are decided in a different committee (the ‘Vertrauensgremium’) [2]. Experts in the field have also criticised the fact that – since information is provided by the government – control is only exerted indirectly and the provision of information is moderated by the services and government itself. Finally, several MPs have complained about the pro-forma nature of some hearings [3]. Generally speaking, the Committee does not have comprehensive access to information [4], which significantly undermines its capacity to exercise oversight and makes it highly dependent on the government’s cooperation in providing it with information [5].

It is generally considered problematic that Committee members have to treat information as confidential and therefore have limited capacity to exert pressure. In addition, the Committee is dependent on the government’s cooperation in providing information [3].

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

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

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

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

Little is publicly known regarding the policies, administration and budgets of the three main intelligences services, including the National Intelligence Service (EYP), the Military Intelligence Directore (DDSP) and the Hellenic Police Intelligence Division (DIDAP). The Government is obliged to inform the Hellenic Parliament’s Special Permanent Committee on Institutions and Transparency about some policies of the National Intelligence Service [1]. The committee has the right to call for hearings on the policies and administration of the EYP by inviting its Director. Although the committee is independent, it does not have a regular oversight. Furthermore, the committee cannot scrutinise the budget of the EYP [2, 3]. Aside from this committee, there is no specialised committee dedicated to overseeing the policies, administration and budgets of the intelligence services.

There is no independent oversight of the intelligence services’ administration and budgets, aside from the superficial and irregular scrutiny of the Committee on Institutions and Transparency. However, a representative of Prosecutor’s Office is based within EYP to supervise the use of electronic surveillance. In fact, he or she must approve every relevant activity. However, the representative does not have oversight of other aspects of the intelligence service’s activities [1, 2]. The Hellenic Parliament’s Special Permanent Committee on Institutions and Transparency can only investigate certain policies, such as phone tapping.

Until 2018 the National Security Committee of the Parliament (i.e. the body responsible for the oversight of the intelligence services) functioned with considerable independence and effectiveness [1, 2]. However, in the first half of 2018, there were numerous cases when the governing party blocked the National Security Committee by simply not attending the meeting of the committee. Chairman of the Committee, MP Szilárd Németh claimed that one opposition member of the committee, Bernadett Szél, was part of the network of billionaire George Soros [3]. This committee could not exercise its core function of exercising oversight over the intelligence services in the whole spring of 2018.

The National Security Committee meets regularly, more often than every six months [1, 2], closer to monthly or bi-weekly. Members of the committee do have access to classified, even top-secret information. Most meetings are held either fully, or partially behind closed doors. Notes of the open meetings get published on the committee’s website [3]. Future ministers, as well as future leaders of the intelligence services, have to pass a committee hearing, and members of the committee may any time request information from the services [4]. Hence, according to the criteria of the present survey, the parliament is generally able to exercise effective oversight. However, the temporary blocking of the functioning of the committee in Spring 2018 (for details, see 21A) by pro-government politicians seriously hampered the oversight function and set a worrying precedent for the future.

India has a number of civilian and military intelligence agencies and most are shrouded in secrecy. The most publicly prominent are the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which is the country’s premier investigative agency; the Intelligence Bureau (IB), India’s internal intelligence agency; Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW), India’s foreign intelligence agency; and the newly-formed National Investigative Agency (NIA), the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency in India [1][2].

The intelligence services do not have constitutional authority and there are no independent oversight mechanisms. Executive oversight is currently carried out by the National Intelligence Board (NIntB) and the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC). There currently is no legal base for the intelligence agencies in India and they function on executive orders. Their policies and administration are not disclosed [3]. Budgets for some agencies are mentioned in budget reports. For the fiscal year 2018-2019, The IB has been allocated Rs 1,876.44 crores ($263.5 million) [4].

In 2016, the Supreme Court refused to admit a plea for greater scrutiny of the actions and funds of the country’s key intelligence agencies. The bench stated that auditing these agencies will create a dent in their functioning and security [5][6].

This indicator has been scored Not Applicable because, as stated above, there are currently no independent oversight mechanisms. There does appear to be executive oversight [1][2].

Oversight of intelligence is conducted by Commission I. The implementation of budget and oversight of intelligence is conducted in accordance with the annual cycle of government budget planning, execution and accountability. Commission I exercises its budgetary rights by reviewing the draft of the government budget with State Intelligence, determining how the budget will be allocated to different functions and programmes and eventually reviewing the audit report prepared by the BPK (Agency for Financial Audit). The Commission’s oversight is applied across the government implementation of the state budget and also in the follow-up of the audit report (June-July). As for legislative power, Commission I can initiate a draft law, accept a draft law from the government for further discussion and grant/refuse approval for the ratification of an international agreement. An interviewee confirmed that this oversight applies to the intelligence sector with no exceptions. A new addition to the Commission is the Intelligence Supervisory Team (Tim Pengawas Intelijen), mandated by the Law on Intelligence, established through DPR Regulation No. 2/2014 and sworn in in September 2016 [1]. The team, comprising 14 members, has the right to call upon state intelligence officers or anyone deemed relevant, access intelligence information and report their activity in closed-door meetings separate from Commission I meetings. The team only works when intelligence agencies are suspected of violating the law or in response to reports from the public [2]. The team does not have a special supporting body, other than a few members of expert staff. Half of the membership of the team changed within a year, due to MPs’ duties in other Commissions [3]. When it comes to to independence of oversight, interviewees are divided. One interviewee stated that the political culture in Indonesia, in which parliament has become a partner to the government instead of a form of opposition and conducts political deals in exchange for budgetary support, has undermined the effectiveness of oversight [4]. Another interviewee argued that conflicts of interest are not prevalent in Commission I and that oversight is quite effective despite constraints [5]. The constraints encountered were mainly caused by limited access to budget documents, which meant that the DPR was unaware of certain details, for example, what kind of weapons will be procured and where from. Another obstacle to carrying out effective oversight is caused by a lack of technical and cultural understanding of security institutions.

There is no written information on how often Commission I and the Intelligence Supervisory Team conduct meetings with the Indonesian State Intelligence Agency (BIN) but Interviewee 13 mentioned that there would be ‘occasional’ classified meetings between the members and specifically invited members [1]. One interviewee said that the House of Representatives (DPR) conducts at least three meetings with the head of the BIN throughout the budget planning cycle to discuss the following year’s budget and at least four to five more meetings to discuss any relevant issues as well as the implementation of the government working plan in the current year [1]. With the number of scheduled meetings totalling around seven to eight a year, parliament and the Intelligence Agency arguably meet more often than quarterly. While the meetings announced on the DPR website, the minutes of the meetings are not open to public [2].

Both the intelligence services of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Ministry of Intelligence are not subject to any independent oversight. Rights activists have called on the Rouhani government to tighten supervision of the Ministry of Intelligence [1].
The budget allocated to the Ministry of Intelligence is provided in the state budget, but it is not known to be subject to oversight thereafter by a parliamentary committee or independent body [2].

This indicator is marked Not Applicable, as there is no independent oversight of the intelligence service’s policies, administration, and budgets [1, 2].

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

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

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

The Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Finance as well as the State Comptroller are designated to scrutinise the intelligence service’s policies, administration, and budgets. Within parliament, the subcommittee on Intelligence and Secret Services of the Defence Committee is responsible for exercising oversight of the intelligence services (1). However, there is very little information available on its activities. In parallel, the State Comptroller also has the power to audit the intelligence services:
2a): “The State Comptroller shall carry out a review of the economy, the assets, the finances, the commitments, and the administration of the State, of the Government Ministries, of every enterprise, institution or corporations of the State, or the local authorities, and of other bodies or institutions, which were defined by law as subject to the review of the State Comptroller.
b) “The State comptroller shall examine the legality of the activities, the integrity, the proper management, the efficiency, and the frugality of the inspected bodies, and every other matter which he might consider necessary. Duty to provide information:
“3. A body subject to the review of the State Comptroller shall provide the Comptroller without delay, at his demand, with information, documents, explanations, and other material that in the opinion of the Comptroller he requires for the purpose of the review.”(2)
While the State Comptroller’s independence from the executive is ensured as it answers exclusively to the Knesset, a review of recent publicly available Comptroller audit reports has not revealed any assessments of the intelligence services (3).

The committee of defence and security has access to classified information and meet at least every 2 months (even more often) to review budget and expenditures, personnel issues, and policies of the intelligence services (1). Some of the meetings are held behind closed doors, some of them are public. In most of the cases there are summary of findings published (2) (3). Similarly, the State Comptroller has extensive access to information from audited bodies and publishes its reports and fingings online (4).

Parliamentary oversight of the intelligence service has been modified in 2007, by law n. 124/2007, when a dedicated Parliamentary Committee (Comitato parlamentare per la sicurezza della Repubblica) has been created [1]. The composition of the Committee is set by art. 30 of the aforementioned law and it is composed by 5 members for each Chamber of the Parliament, nominated by the Presidents of the respective Chambers, by taking into account the composition of the Parliament [2]. This composition ensures a wide degree of independence over undue pressure. Its oversight functions are delineated in art. 31 of law 124/2007 and include periodic hearings of the president of the Council of Ministers, Ministers of the Interministerial Committee for the Security of the Republic, and the general directors of the agencies composing the security services. It can also request hearings of personnel of the intelligence service or any other person that can provide information. Its oversight function is performed on any decree or regulation on the organisation and function of the security service. As a guarantee for its effectiveness, art.30.9 specifies that “In no circumstances can State-secret status or the need for confidentiality […] be invoked before the Committee when, by a two-thirds majority vote, it has called for investigations as to whether the behaviour of the Security Intelligence Services’ members corresponds to the institutional duties established by this Act” [3].

The budget of the Committee is determined in a way that is functional to the performance of duties of the Committee, which can also include the recourse to external support or assistance (art 37.5 of Law 124/2007) [4]. The independence of the Committee to undue parliamentary influence seems to be guaranteed [5], however it results difficult to assess eventual undue influence over the committee. According to art. 29 of law 124/2007, the budget of the intelligent service, together with the report of the Court of Auditors and a 6-month report on the single accounting voices are presented to the parliamentary committee for its scrutiny.

The remit of the Committee is indicated in art. 30.2 of law 124/2007: “The Committee shall constantly and systematically verify that the Security Intelligence System’s activities are carried out in observance both of the Constitution and of the law and in the defence and exclusive interests of the Republic and its institutions” [1].
In the performance of its functions, the committee reviews general service’s budget and expenditures, personnel issues, and policies of the intelligence services. It can also request access to classified information and audit personnel of the intelligence service (art. 31 law 124/2007) [2]. The committee oversight the six-monthly report of activities, approves the annual plan of activities of the intelligence services [3] and performes oversight functions on any aspect of the intelligence services whenever is deemed necessary [4].
On the webpage of the Committee, in section “activities of the committee” it is possible to access information, from summaries of meetings, to approved documents and to parliamentary hearings [5]. A list of the latter can be found for hearings requested by the committee of the previous legislation [6]. The Committee sits regularly more than twice a month [7].

Two pieces of legislation passed by the Japanese Diet in 2013 substantially reorganised the country’s intelligence services. An earlier law was revised to establish the National Security Council (NSC), comprising three cabinet committees that would deal with national security issues, as well as a National Security Secretariat (NSS) that would be its secretariat. [1] The NSS would also coordinate the intelligence gathering by Japan’s fragmented intelligence apparatus. Some of the important institutions in this apparatus are the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office (CIRO) in the Cabinet Secretariat, the Defence Intelligence Headquarters (DIH) in the Ministry of Defence and the Public Security Intelligence Agency (PSIA), subordinate to the Justice Ministry. [2] The second piece of legislation was the Designated State Secrets Law. [3] It introduced uniform guidelines for the classification of information in defence, diplomacy, counterespionage and counterterrorism. [2] Information oversight committees were then established to deal with the classification of secret information in each of the two houses of Diet [4] [5] and in the Cabinet Secretariat. [6] There is, however, no regular parliamentary committee that oversees the intelligence services. [7] [8] [9] [10] According to a recent book on the Japanese intelligence services, a proposal to introduce parliamentary oversight committees for the intelligence services was dropped in 2006. [2] On October 2, 2020, the proceedings from all meetings held in 2019 by the Security Committee of the House of Representatives, the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee of the House of Councillors and the Budget Committee in each house of the Diet were searched to see how often the five intelligence institutions referred to under this sub-indicator were mentioned. This covered the 198th, 199th and 200th sessions of the Diet, spanning the periods January 28-June 26, August 1-5 and October 4-December 9 in 2019. [11] This overview indicated that there is limited and sporadic oversight of the intelligence services by the Security Committee, Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, Budget Committees, Information Oversight Committees, Committees on Cabinet Affairs (for CIRO) and Committees on Judicial Affairs (for PSIA). However, as committees may hold closed meetings, the parliamentary scrutiny of the intelligence services may be more extensive than what appears from the proceedings that have been made public. [12]

The Japanese organisations that are closest to being parliamentary oversight committees for the intelligence services are the Information Oversight Committees of the two Houses of the Diet. For example, the House of Representatives’ Information Oversight Committee has access to classified information. Its regulations do not stipulate how often it should meet, [1] and it usually only meets when the Diet is in session, but in the period October 24–November 21, 2019, it met 6 times. [2] The mandate of the committee is to review classification of information, which would be expected to cover some of the same content as an assessment of the policy of the intelligence services, but not of an assessment of their budget, expenditures and personnel issues. The committee members must pledge not to reveal secret information that they receive, but the committee publishes an annual report. [1] The oversight conducted by the standing committees is limited and sporadic (see Q21A). In 2019, the Security Committee of the House of Representatives discussed a government sponsored bill that would increase the staff and assignments of DIH on April 2 and 9 and the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee of the House of Councillors discussed the same bill on April 16 and 23. [3] Beyond that, the five intelligence institutions (see Q21A) were mentioned at a total of 16 meetings of the Security Committee, Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee or the two Budget Committees in 2019, usually to describe political decision making processes in which they had been a part rather than to assess their capacity as intelligence services. [3]

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

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

There is limited information in the public domain about oversight of the National Intelligence Service’s (NIS) policies, administration and budgets. According to the National Intelligence Service Act (2012) the NIS is subject to internal oversight through the National Intelligence Service Council (NSC), parliamentary oversight committee and the National Intelligence Service Complaints Board. [1] The latter incorporates individuals from external governmental institutions such as, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, advocates, and public service.

The NSC is able to scrutinise intelligence services policies, strategies and expenditure budget without external influence. [2] However, due to the sensitive nature of the institution and security issues that it deals with, secrecy limits information that can be shared publicly about NSC and its activities. Furthermore, legal statutes such as Section 40 of the Public Audit Act of 2015 allows limited audit of NIS by external bodies such as the Auditor-General. [3] The Auditor-General has capacity, resources, constitutional mandate and independence to audit the institition.

According to the National Intelligence Service Act, oversight bodies such as the NSC and National Intelligence Service Complaints Board have access to classified information and meet (though not clear how often) regulary to review policies, budget, expenditures, complaints, personnel issues within NIS. [1]

There was a delay in establishing the NIS Complaints Board until early January compelled the institution to establish one. [2] Findings of oversight bodies are not published in the public domain. [3] Furthermore, it is important to note that, like the revenue accounts of Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), NIS accounts are not linked to the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS). [4] The processes are conducted on a Cash Basis Method of financial reporting. Although they are audited periodically, cash processes lack efficiency, transparency and are prone to fraud.

The Kosovo Assembly has put in place a Committee for the Oversight of Kosovo Intelligence Agency, and whose Chairperson has to be a member of the opposition party [1] to ensure no interference or influence from the executive or military. The Committee is responsible for overseeing the legality of the work of the Intelligence Agency; reviewing and adopting the Agency’s budget; reviewing reports of the Prime Minister on issues related to the Intelligence Agency, including all actions taken resulting in an audit or investigation; reviewing reports related to the Agency’s operations and expenditures; reviewing reports by the Agency’s Inspector General; suggesting amendments to the Agency’s budget; and analysing data relating to the the current Law on Agency [2].

According to the Law on Kosovo Intelligence Agency, the parliamentary body holds sessions at least twice a year [1]. That said, the Agency’s Chairperson is obliged to convene a session upon the signed written request of one third of the members of the parliamentary body [1]. As a result, the Committee usually meets more than bi-annually [2]. Classified information is always made available to the overseeing Committee, unless its disclosure would threaten vital national security interests linked to the protection of sources of a specific case [3]. Additionally, if the parliamentary body has grounds to believe that the Intelligence Agency is performing its duties in an unlawful, inappropriate or unprofessional manner, it may conduct an inquiry during the course of which the parliamentary body may question the Agency’s employees and have access to the Agency’s documents [3]. Parliamentary inquiries or interactions between the agency and the parliamentary body are closed to the public unless otherwise specified by the Chairperson; or these can be shared at his or her discretion, or following the recommendation and vote of a simple majority of the members of the parliamentary body [3, 1].

A brief overview of the meetings held by the committee are published on the Kosovo Assembly’s website [4].

However, in 2019, the European Commission criticised the still insufficient oversight of the Intelligence Agency [5].

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

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

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

There are three intelligence services in Latvia: the Security Police (DP), Constitution Protection Bureau (SAB) and Defence Intelligence and Security Service (MIDD). They operate according to the Law on State Security Institutions [1] and their specific by-laws. [2] [4] [5]
SAB is supervised by the Cabinet of Ministers, [2] coordinated by the Ministry of Justice. [3] DP is supervised by the Minister of the Interior. [4] MIDD is supervised by the Ministry of Defence. [5] All three are supervised also by the Parliament, specifically by the National Security Committee of the Parliament. Among the tasks of the committee are the vetting of recruitment principles of the state security services, as well as the vetting of budget projects of the state security services.
Mr. Māris Kučinskis (former President of Ministers) chairs the National Security Council. The State Security Service has overtaken the duties of the Security Police [4].

The committee of the 13.Saima is comprised of 6 members – one from each political group of the parliament. 5 of them have served the full time (since 20.11.2018). Even though the committee can be considered independent and politically balanced, its rather limited size and frequent rotations raise questions about its effectiveness. [1]
It is empowered to request information and explanations from the respective minister and subordinate institutions, as well as from local governments, and to ask respective officers to testify in front of it. [3]
The committee normally meets at least twice a month: it met 19 times in the first half of 2018 (January 1, 2018-June 18, 2018) [2]. During 13. Saeima, Committee has met 29 times during 2019 [4]. Meetings are closed and the agenda is not normally disclosed. The chair of the commmittee usually explains to the media the results of the meetings when the agenda has contained outstanding issues. The findings of the committee are not published.

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

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

The committee of National Security and Defence (within the Parliament) is responsible for scrutinising the intelligence services’ policies, administration, and budgets [1]. The director of the State Security Department annually reports on intelligence activities to the Committee, and on threats to national security. Based on reports, the Committee can provide recommendations how to improve policies of national security, State Security Department’s budget or administration allocations [1]. However, as mentioned in answer 2B, approximately half of the Committee’s members do not have previous experience related to defence sector, thus, its mandate might not be matched by the body’s resources.

The Committee meets once a week and their meetings are open to the public unless the agenda covers classified information (every member has access to it). Although the Committee does not review budget and expenditures, personnel issues, or intelligence services policies every two months, the director of the State Security Department annually reports on their activities to the Committee. During period from 1st of January 2018 to 30th of April 2018, the State Security Department updated the Committee on individuals, business groups and other interest groups that possibly impose illicit influence on government institutions and political processes [1,2]. Documents that are discussed during the meetings of the Committee are publicly available (unless they are classified) [3]. Meeting protocols or summary of discussions and reviews are not publicly available.

The Auditor General Office (AG) is the only independent body that oversees all budget expenses of government machineries, but it never issues public reports on the intelligence service’s policies or expenses. According to internal sources, any expenses for intelligence officers’ activities must be reported to the director of the Defence Intelligence Office. [1] But it was confirmed that intelligence policies and the budget of the Defence Intelligence Office are under the purview of the Chief of the Armed Forces. It could not be confirmed whether the budget expenses are also reported to the Auditor General Office. Furthermore, the Defence Ministry also does not reveal how much of its budget is allocated to the intelligence services as this is considered to be classified information. [2]

This indicator is scored Not Applicable. The Auditor General Office (AG) is the only independent body that oversees all budget expenses of government machineries, but it never issues public reports on the intelligence service’s policies or expenses. The effectiveness of the AG, therefore, cannot be ascertained since the intelligence policies and budget are under the purview of the Chief of the Armed Forces, and there is no clear evidence that it provides oversight of information related to the intelligence services. In some cases, the Prime Minister did allocate a special budget for defence intelligence for political purposes. [1] [2]

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

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

There are organisations in charge of the scrutiny of the intelligence services, such as the bicameral Commission of Congress, the Parliamentary Committee in charge of controlling and evaluating policies of the National Intelligence Center (CNI); [1] and the Superior Audit of the Federation, the technical inspection body of Congress, with the power to control the income and expenses of public resources of all Federal public entities, including the CNI. [2] The CISEN, an investigative organism within the Mexican government was dissolved by the current president and replaced by the SSPC (Secretariat for the Security and Protection of Citizens). CISEN was known for having implemented weak controls. [3]

It has not been possible to detect evidence of a lack of independence of the CISEN or the SSPC as a result of undue political influence, but journalistic investigations indicate that there is no information on sanctions, criminal proceedings, or disqualifications for the personnel of said intelligence body, [4] and yet there has still been indication of widespread corruption coming from Congress. [5] These sources indicate that, in practice, SSPC is not efficient in its oversight and inteligence services and either does not have real power to investigate and scrutinize, or has been restrained from doing so.

According to Art. 57 of the National Security Law, [1] the bicameral Commission of Congress in charge of oversight can request information from intelligence agencies. Art. 60 of the same law establishes that this Commission must protect the information it receives. There are limitations regarding confidential information in Art. 59 which states that reports and documents the Commission produces that are not periodical can only reveal information in specific cases once they have been concluded. It is unclear whether the CNI can choose not to send confidential information to the Commission.

Reports must omit anything that reveals information affecting national security and “no report or document must reveal reserved information.” The CNI has to report to the Commission whenever ordinary sessions begin in Congress. This happens twice a year according to the Regulation of Congress: once in September and once in February. [2] According to Art. 45 d) of this same Regulation, Commissions must be in session at least once every month. There do not appear to be any summaries or other kinds of information available to the public, particularly in the Commission’s website. [3]

The parliamentary Committee for defence and security is responsible for scrutinising the intelligence service’s policies, administration, and budgets. [1]
The Committee has limited resources and capacities: most of its members represent the governing majority and rarely engage in any meaningful oversight, while representatives of the opposition do not use the available mechanisms to properly scrutinize the intelligence services. [2][3][4][5][6]

All members of the parliamentary Committee have access to classified information and they meet at least twice a year to review the budget and expenditures of the intelligence services, while the policies of the intelligence services are reviewed usually once a year, when the annual report of the intelligence service is presented to the Committee. [1][2][3][4] The Committee very rarely organises additional hearings of the intelligence services and meetings are held behind closed doors, but a summary of findings is published. [5][6][7][8]

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

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

Intelligence services, such as the Office of Military Security Affairs, the Bureau of Special Investigation and the Special Branch are under the Ministries of Defence, Home Affairs and Border Affairs, which are headed by military personnel [1]. There is no parliamentary committee to directly oversee these intelligence services [2]. The 2008 Constitution empowered the military, including its intelligence services, to remain exempt from civilian oversight [3]. There is no civilian oversight mechanism.

This indicator is marked ‘Not Applicable’ as there is no oversight mechanism for intelligence services.

The Dutch Review Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services (CTIVD) oversees the legality of the Dutch intelligence services – the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) and the Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) [1]. This Committee consists of a supervision department and a complaint handling department, the latter of which is responsible for supervising the lawfulness of the actions of the intelligence services and subsequently providing solicited and unsolicited information and advice to relevant ministers [2]. If desired, the Committee may ask to bring this information and advice to the attention of one or both Houses of the States General [2]. The reports of the CTIVD (both topical and annual) show that they evaluate and critique the intelligence services on matters of policy, administration and legality, but not on matters of budget or effectiveness [3,4].

The independence of the CTIVD from the executive and the military is evident from the Committee’s selection and reporting procedures. The CTIVD is comprised of 7 members (3 members in the supervisory department and 4 in the complaints department) [5]. In the event of a vacancy, the Council of State, the President of the Supreme Court and the National Ombudsman assemble a recommendations list for the House of Representatives. The Permanent Committee for the Interior of the House of Representatives interviews the candidates and selects three people for the House of Representatives to rank in order of preference [6]. The list is then sent to the Ministers of General Affairs, Defence and the Interior and Kingdom Relations for the final candidate to be agreed upon and the King appoints the successful applicant [7]. As part of its function, the CTIVD is able to decide what to investigate and submits the resulting reports to the House of Representatives, as well as publishing them online for public viewing [8]. The various ancillary positions of the Committee members (both paid and unpaid) are listed publicly [9].

The CTIVD has resources to fulfil its mandate. The 7 committee members are supported by a secretariat consisting of 1 secretary, 9 researchers, 1 IT advisor, 1 data specialist, 1 cyber security specialist, 1 IT architect and 2 (part-time) secretaries [5]. The CTIVD annual budget is listed as an independent budget item for the Ministry of General Affairs [10]. There is no indication that there are insufficient human or monetary resources for the mandate of the Committee.

The General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) and the Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) are also overseen by the Parliamentary Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services. The members of the Committee are the leaders of the five largest political parties represented in the House of Representatives, which suggests it is independent from the intelligence services [11,12]. The Committee can exercise the following powers in pursuit of its mandate: enter into oral or written consultation with a minister, hold roundtable talks and hearings, conduct working visits, obtain information from an advisory body, call in external experts, appoint rapporteurs and propose to the House the designation of a major project [13].

The Dutch Review Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services (CTIVD) has access to classified information and releases reports with classified appendices so as not to expose ‘the current level of knowledge of the AIVD and the MIVD or the services’ sources’ [1]. The Oversight Department reports its findings and conclusions in public reports that are available online [1,2,3,4]. The methodological protocol followed for each investigation (and subsequent report) details a time schedule, exhibiting frequent meetings of members [5,6]. In addition, the activities listed in the 2019 Annual Report elude to a high level of engagement [7]. The Parliamentary Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services publishes an annual report showing the topics of discussion during meetings and also reports to the House of Representatives on a yearly basis [8]. In 2019, the Committee met 21 times in addition to two working visits [8]. The Committee is occasionally provided with confidential information and can question the leaders of the AIVD and MIVD on intelligence matters [8]. The Committee can ask ministers for the information they need to carry out oversight, hold hearings, conduct working visits and obtain external advice [9]. The Committee’s annual report provides an overview of meeting topics, which, in 2019, included discussions on the AIVD and MIVD budgets (and how to improve Committee oversight of budgets), personnel matters (namely the intended increase in numbers of personnel within each intelligence service), topics of public interest (terrorist financing, right-wing extremism) and policy matters (such as differing interpretations of the Intelligence and Security Services Act 2017 among the various sections of the intelligence community) [8].

Oversight mechanisms are set out in the Intelligence and Security Act 2017 [1]. The Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) is an independent body specifically legislated to ensure that intelligence and security agencies conduct themselves lawfully and with propriety. The IGIS also ensures complaints relating to the intelligence and security agencies are independently investigated and advises the Government on matters relating to oversight of the intelligence and security agencies [2]. The IGIS’ duties are complemented by the Intelligence and Security Committee, comprising a proportional representation of members of Parliament, including the Leader of the Opposition, the Prime Minister, and the Minister Responsible for the Intelligence and Security Agencies [3]. The Committee has a broad range of powers and can examine policy, administration, and expenditure, to include annual reviews and may request the IGIS to undertake an enquiry – to date no such request has occurred [4, 5]. The release of information disclosed to the Committee is tightly controlled [6]. This, together with the fact that the ISC for the 52nd Parliament (dissolved on 6 September 2020) included the Minister in Charge of the agencies, does raise concerns over independence since the Minister in Charge is essentially overseeing his/her own agencies.

The ISC has legislative powers to review the budgets, and scrutinises the intelligence and security budgets during the year, particularly the periods May-June and September-November. However, the efficacy of this remains unknown outside of the Committee, and Audit New Zealand, who conduct audits of the agencies’ end-of-year financial statements on behalf of the Auditor-General [7]. As the ISC’s annual review to Parliament are normally one page statements, the thoroughness of these remain publicly unknown [8].

According to the New Zealand Intelligence Community, the intelligence agencies’ classified annual reports to the ISC contain complete annual financial statements and show key areas of expenditure. According to Section 221 of the Intelligence and Security Act 2017 (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. Due to the classified nature of intelligence, the report released to Parliament omits detailed financial statements and are replaced with a broader statement recording the total expenditure incurred by each agency for the financial year against the agency’s appropriation for that financial year. This is done in accordance with Section 221 of the ISA, and Section 45(E) of the Public Finance Act [1, 2, 3].

Financial reporting provided to Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) within the agencies’ classified annual reports includes all standard financial reporting undertaken by government agencies, including capital costs and injections, and operating expenses broken down into cost categories. This reporting follows generally accepted accounting standards. No information that would be provided by other agencies is omitted by the agencies when reporting to ISC, only from publicly accessible documents. Regarding the Public Finance Act 1989, and reporting of financial and performance requirements to the House of Representatives, the intelligence and security agencies generally fulfil all reporting requirements required by other public sector agencies. The primary exception to this is that detailed information is not tabled publicly with the House of Representatives, and is instead provided to the ISC. This includes Statements of Strategic Intent, and full financial and performance reports. This is to protect sensitive information from becoming public, not to reduce the level of accountability and scrutiny applied to the agencies. This information is also reviewed by the Office of the Auditor General and available for review by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. [4, 5, 6, 11].

Thus, while “complete financial statements” are provided to the ISC, these omit some of the regular categories required of other government departments. For example, statements of forecast service performance are to be agreed by the minister responsible for the appropriation, and a statement of service performance is provided within their annual report.
A second layer of oversight may be provided by IGIS, which, in theory, has a right to access all information but practically they are mindful of the “right to know”. This means IGIS must proactively seek information to fulfil functions of the position [7].

On occasions there are difficulties for the office of the IGIS in identifying that relevant security records exist, or in accessing them, because they are subject to special administrative protections put in place by the agencies which permit only specified user access. On at least one occasion, the right to access was delayed due to privacy concerns when the IGIS requested access to staff email accounts related to an operational matter under investigation, as occurred during an inquiry into the role of GCSB and NZSIS in Afghanistan [8]. A measure that increases effectiveness over budget scrutiny is the Parliament Financial Scrutiny Cycle, which is a continuous cycle that goes for two and a half years. [9] However, as per the Public Finance Act Amendment 2004, and the Public Finance Act 1989, the Intelligence Agencies do not have to abide by all the steps of the Financial Scrutiny Cycle, namely in providing future spending processes. According to the IGIS, at present, they and the ISC meet twice a year, and outside of this the two do not normally meet. However, it should be noted that IGIS does meet with the Prime Minister and Minister Responsible, who are both on the ISC, but this does not occur in their committee capacity [10]. Lastly, unlike IGIS reports and reviews, there is limited evidence available in the public sphere to validate the ISC’s effectiveness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The policies, administration, and budgets of the intelligence services are surveyed by the parliamentary Committee for Supervising the Work of the Security and Counter-Intelligence Directorate and the Intelligence Agency (CSWSCIDIA) [1]. Following an extensive and illegal wiretapping in 2016, the Committee on the Oversight of the Implementation of the Special Investigation Measures for Interception of the Communication by the Ministry of Interior, Financial Police Management, Customs Management and the Ministry of Defence were also established as official bodies [2]. Eventually, in April 2018 the Law on Operational Technical Agency established an independent state body: the Operational Technical Agency (OTA). This is tasked exclusively with activating and creating conditions for monitoring communications for criminal investigations and for security needs; and providing access to the means for collecting data from the operators’ information and communication systems.
In particular, the CSWSCIDIA considers the following issues:
• respect of the freedom and rights of the citizens, companies and other legal entities by the Security and Counter – Intelligence Directorate (SCID) and the Intelligence Agency (IA);
• the legality of exercising their authority with regard to unauthorised activities, abuse and other adverse trends in their work, contrary to the rights stipulated by law;
• methods and means used by the SCID and IA, their financial, personnel and technical facilities regarding their work [3].
The Committee operates without undue influence from the military – there have not been noted cases of any pressure in this relationship. Since the SCID is part of the Ministry of the Interior while the IA reports directly to the President, any influence should remain strictly within these boundaries. The CSWSCIDIA is not tasked with overseeing the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) – instead, the MIS’ work is directly scrutinised by the Army Chief of Staff and the Minister of Defence [4].
The Macedonian Parliament is formally independent but in practice its independence is compromised [5]. As regularly noted by the European Commission, “Parliament failed to provide the necessary checks and balances regarding the executive’s power.” In this context, the independence of the individual Members of Parliament are jeopardised, and they tend to uncritically follow party policies without voicing independent thoughts [6]. The structural deficiency of the Parliament itself explains its poor performance. In practice, the Committee has nine full members plus eight guests. The Chair of the Committee always belongs to an opposition party, which enhances the Committee’s independence. However, the regularity of the Committee’s meetings are difficult to monitor.
In September 2019, a new National Security Agency (ANB) was established, to replace the Security and Counter-Intelligence Directorate. In contrast to Security and Counter-Intelligence Directorate, the new Agency is an independent state body separate from the MOI, with no police powers. Its status and operations are regulated with the Law on National Security Agency, adopted in May 2019 and its director is now appointed by the Government.
Subsequently, the Parliamentary Committee for Supervising the Work of the Security and Counter-Intelligence Directorate and the Intelligence Agency (CSWSCIDIA) is now called Parliamentary Committee for Supervising the Work of the National Security Agency and the Intelligence Agency.

The Committee for Supervising the Work of the Security and Counter-Intelligence Directorate and the Intelligence Agency (CSWSCIDIA) has access to classified information. Committee members must undergo a vetting process to obtain a state–level secret security clearance. The Committee discusses classified information in closed sessions [1]. Since 2018, the CSWSCIDIA has met only 4 times, and has discussed reports on the work of the Security and Counter – Intelligence Directorate (SCID) and the Intelligence Agency (IA) [2]. No more detail could be found on these meetings other than the broad subjects discussed and the frequency of the meetings.

The Committee on Oversight of the Implementation of the Special Investigation Measures for Interception of the Communication by the Ministry of Interior, Financial Police Management, Customs Management and the Ministry of Defence has met only three times in the past two years (2018-2020) and discussed administrative issues as well as a report on the performed controls within the application of the special investigative measure [3]. The report is not publicly available.

The Norwegian Intelligence Service is administered by the Ministry of Defence, which is overseen by the Parliament’s Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs and Defence. The committee is also responsible for reviewing the budget of the Norwegian Intelligence Service. The committee’s members are given full insight into the budget including classified items at a meeting which takes place annually behind closed doors [1]. The composition of this committee is determined by the Nomination Committee, which is itself elected by Parliament. In addition, the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Intelligence and Security Services (EOS Committee) is responsible for overseeing intelligence, surveillance, and security service carried out by, or on behalf of, public authorities in order to safeguard national security interests [2]. It focuses on the protection of civil rights and does not play a part in scrutinising secret budgets. A central aspect of the committee’s oversight activities is carrying out inspections. The committee inspects the Norwegian Intelligence Service twice a year and the committee’s primary concern is to make sure that the provisions of the Intelligence Service Act prohibiting surveillance and/or covert procurement of information on Norwegian natural and legal persons in Norway are abided by, and that the service is under national control. The EOS Committee does not have the mandate to order the services to take specific action on a matter, nor to make decisions to which the services are obligated to conform. However, the committee may express its opinion on matters or situations it investigates as part of its oversight duties and make recommendations to the services that a matter should be reconsidered or that a practice or measure ought to be changed. The EOS Committee is independent of both the Government and Parliament, and has 7 members as of May 2020. Its members are appointed by Parliament. It also has the necessary resources and budget to carry out these functions effectively.

Members of the Parliament’s Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs and Defence are given access to classified information at meetings which take place behind closed doors [1]. The committee holds regular meetings every month. It does not publish summaries of its meetings on the Norwegian Intelligence Service. All members of the EOS Committee have top level security clearance, in accordance with both national and NATO regulations [2]. In addition to carrying out regular inspections, the committee meets every month. The committee publishes both annual reports and specials reports on its activities and findings [3]. The latest special report on the Norwegian Intelligence Service concerned the legal basis for surveillance activities [4]. Reports from the EOS Committee are reviewed by the Standing Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs, which may submit recommendations to Parliament on any matters concerning the EOS Committee’s activities [5]. Note that the responsibility for scrutinising the Norwegian Intelligence Service is in practices shared by 3 bodies, which may affect effectiveness. Further, the EOS Committee could publish its findings more frequently.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Senate’s 18th Congress created a Select Oversight Committee on Intelligence and Confidential Funds, Programmes and Activities [1]. The committee’s powers and functions include: (1) to investigate the efficiency of government agencies in their use of intelligence and confidential funds; (2) to conduct hearings and investigations and receive testimonies and reports; (3) to summon by subpoena any witness; (4) to require all heads of departments and agencies involved in intelligence activities to keep the committee fully and informed and updated; (5) to secure from any government office any assistance it needs; and (6) to recommend the adoption of legislation and other legislative measures pertinent to its findings [2]. However, this mechanism is subject to some degree of political influence, especially over the past few years when the President has had strong legislative control, which was further buttressed in 2018 by the midterm elections [3, 4].

Though oversight exists, it is uneven and limited [1, 2]. The COA admitted it was having difficulty tracing intelligence budgets [3]. The Select Committee often references information from COA audit reports during its investigations [4]. In addition, the President has refused to inform Congress on how intelligence funds in the 2021 national budget would be spent, citing national security and public safety [5].

The Parliamentary Intelligence Oversight Committee has formal rights of scrutiny over the intelligence service’s policies, administration, and budgets [1]. Its members have access to classified data. According to paragraph 2 of Annex 1 to the Statute of Sejm of the Republic of Poland [2] the scope of activity of the committee includes providing its opinion on the draft budget regarding intelligence services, consideration of the annual implementation report, and other related financial information. The Supreme Audit Office may conduct audits of classified budgets items and how services have spent the allocated resources. The Supreme Audit Office performs an annual audit of the budget execution of all intelligence agencies [3, 4, 5]. The Supreme Audit Office is a constitutional body granted with formal and actual independence to carry out its work.

The Parliamentary Intelligence Oversight Committee meets on average 24 times a year [1]; it is active in the field of policy and activity oversight. It has adopted ten desiderata (formal postulations to government bodies) in the last three years. The exact number of recommendations is unknown, as the documents are classified [2].
The budget execution oversight is performed once a year based on annual reports of intelligence agencies and annual audit reports of the Supreme Audit Office on-budget execution of intelligence agencies. The committee does not carry out its own budget execution audits [3,4,5].
Effectiveness of oversight is limited due to political affiliations and party discipline of most of the committee members. The ruling coalition has a majority in the committee and nominates the committee chair. It is worth mentioning, that until 2015, to increase the effectiveness and independence of the committee, the chair used to be appointed by opposition MPs.

Intelligence services are subject to independent and partially effective oversight. The Portuguese Republic Intelligence System (PRIS) is overseen by the Oversight Council [1], while its data centres are overseen by the Data Oversight Council [1]. Further, the High Council on Intelligence Affairs provides decision support to the prime minister, who presides over it [1]. The Oversight Council’s members are elected by Parliament [1], and the most recent election required an agreement between the two largest parties in Parliament on pre-determined individuals [1]. The body’s mandate includes monitoring operations [2] and inspective visits [2], which result in mandatory draft bi-annual reports to be presented to Parliament [2]. Council funding is included in Parliament’s budget [2], but there is no evidence of such an operation in the last three parliamentary budgets made public [3, 4, 5]. There is no clear mandate on regular budgetary or policy oversight, and there is no publicly available evidence of oversight in these areas.

The Data Oversight Council’s members are designated by the attorney general; they then proceed to elect a president amongst members [1]. The Data Oversight Council is funded by the Attorney General’s Office and is charged with surveillance over intelligence data management [1].

The High Council on Intelligence Affairs operates as a consultative body to the prime minister [1]. There is evidence that some oversight is exerted, based on existing reports by the Oversight Council [6]. However, recent allegations about the Oversight Council’s inability and unwillingness to verify information sent by the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) and the Strategic Defence Intelligence Service (SDIS) prompted one MP [7] to question the body’s capacity. Furthermore, a recent report on metadata collection without Constitutional Court approval [8] led the Data Oversight Council to publicly approve collection without approval for national security reasons [9].

There is evidence that the PRIS Oversight Council conducts extensive inspective activity [1], but there are no published reports on these activities. The PRIS Oversight Council is known to advocate publicly for increases in budget and personnel, as well as technological upgrades for intelligence services [2]. As per Q21A, it has also advocated for continued metadata collection prior to Constitutional Court approval [3]. Allegations of poor oversight have emerged recently [4]. There is no evidence of Council members meeting every two months. Its 2019 Report states that 37 meeting minutes have been drafted [5], but these are not available publicly.

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

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

Articles 24 and 25 of the federal law ‘On Foreign Intelligence’ provide legal grounds for the oversight of intelligence services’ policies, administration and budgets [1]. 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 [1].

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 [2]. It is given access to secret information [2]. 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 [3].

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’ [1]. It oversees the Foreign Intelligence Service’s due management of the state-allocated budget [2]. 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 [3].

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 [4].

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’ [5].

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 [1] or budget plans [2]. 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’) [3]. The Committee has access to classified information and it publishes some findings. However, the regularity of its meetings is unknown.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

According to a Gulf affairs expert:

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

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

The Law on the Basic Regulation of the Security Services gives the mandate to the authorized committee of the National Assembly to conduct supervision over the security services. Rules of procedure of the National Assembly authorize the Security Services Control Committee (SSCC) and reiterate its oversight powers envisaged in the law [1, 2]. SSCC members can conduct field visits with access to the agencies’ premises and documents and ask senior officials questions about their work. Security services are obliged to submit regular reports on their work to the SSCC, as well as the extraordinary reports if it is necessary or on the committee’s request. According to the Law on Data Secrecy, members of the relevant parliamentary committees can obtain a security certificate necessary to access classified data, providing that they sign a statement pledging to handle the data following the law and other governing regulations [3].
Influence of the executive on the SSCC can be observed in the light of a general trend of capturing the National Assembly’s work by the ruling Serbian Progressive Party. The current convocation has been marked with different misuses of procedures and obstructions of the parliamentary debate, which have disabled constructive dialogue and silenced the critical voices within the National Assembly [4]. However, inactivity of the opposition committee members is also noticeable and further deteriorates its control role. Many SSCC sittings have gathered solely ruling coalition members, as well as the committee delegations during field visits [5, 6].

The SSCC assembles regularly (20 sessions during the current convocation) and formally exercises its powers by discussing and adopting draft laws, reviewing the budget and agencies’ reports [1]. According to the Law on Data Secrecy, members of the relevant parliamentary committees can obtain a security certificate necessary to access classified data, providing that they sign a statement pledging to handle the data following the law and other governing regulations [4].However, SSCC does not make the full use of the legally envisaged powers to conduct comprehensive control over the security services work, which fits within the overall trend of the Assembly’s work degradation. The practice of adopting draft laws during very short sessions, without accepting any amendments has been present both in the DIAC, and the SSCC since a set of crucial laws in the field of defence and security entered the parliamentary procedure at the end of 2017. In that manner, draft amendments and supplements to the Law on Security Information Agency were discussed and adopted on a session which lasted less than ten minutes without accepting any of the submitted amendments (40 in total) [2]. During the current convocation, the committee members have conducted several field visits to the SIA, MSA and MIA centres in Belgrade and regional centres in northern and central Serbia. Delegations comprised of the ruling party MPs have conducted control visits and provided only general conclusions that the services perform their work in accordance with the legal provisions [3].

The policies and administration of intelligence services are supervised only by the executive, and there is limited judicial and parliamentary oversight of certain aspects of their operations [1, 2, 3]. The highly aggregated defence budget is examined by the Parliament, and there is no specific information on the funding provided to intelligence services [4].

There is not enough evidence to score this indicator,. This is due to the lack of public information on the extent and effectiveness of executive or parliamentary oversight on intelligence services (if any) beyond what is likely to be heavily censored insights shared by retired intelligence officials [1, 2].

The Intelligence Services Control Act 40 of 1994 empowers a Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI) to perform the oversight function concerning the intelligence services [1]. Section 7 of the Intelligence Services Control Act 40 of 1994 also empowers an Inspector-General of Intelligence (IGI), tasked with monitoring “Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence activities of the State Security Agency and the Intelligence Divisions of South African Police Services and National Defence Force” [2].

Considerable influence over the JSCI and IGI was reported in the 2019 ‘High-Level Review Panel Report on the State Security Agency’ which was roundly critical of the State Security Agency (SSA) and intelligence services for having been deeply compromised by successive waves of politicisation during factional contests within the ruling ANC party over the past 15 years, and especially during the Zuma administration. “However, it did seem to the Panel that the JSCI played little role in recent years in curbing the infractions of the SSA and that no effective oversight on its part was carried out. In fact, it would seem that the Committee, with an ANC majority, was itself affected by the politicisation and factionalisation seen in the ANC, in Parliament, in the intelligence community and in other arms of government” [3].

In 2018, then Director-General of the State Security Agency, Arthur Fraser, withdrew the security clearance of the Inspector General of Intelligence, Setlhomamaru Dintwe, forcing Dintwe to take legal action to regain those clearances [4]. This incident illustrates the lack of independence of the IGI, a point of concern dating back to the 2006 Report of the Task Team on the Review of Intelligence-Related Legislation, Regulation and Policies, and the 2008 Matthews Commission Report, which both recommended steps to secure the independent status for the Inspector General [5]. An additional concern noted in the High Level Panel Report related to long periods that the IGI post had simply been left vacant: “Between 1995 and 2004 there had been two short-lived IGIs – one for six weeks and one for six months” [6].

The Auditor-General automatically gives a qualified audit opinion of the SSA (State Security Agency) due to the inability to reveal financial, procurement, or performance activities or targets.

The auditor-general has also noted significant internal control environment concerns pertaining to a lack of verification systems or internal review mechanisms, or consequence management for non-compliance. That problematic internal control environment can be partly attributed to a fundamental problem in delineating ‘open’ and ‘covert’ activities and budgets. This in turn reportedly manifests, for example, in tensions between the SSA’s chief financial officer and operational management regarding restricted access to covert structures [1].

The Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI) over the past few years has been largely ineffective and impacted by the factionalism of the ANC; it is divided and unable to articulate a coherent collective response on the state of intelligence in the country; it has been rendered dysfunction due to the absence of/changes to the chair of the committee coupled with a lack of institutional memory [2]. There is no information as the regularity that JSCI meet and their access to classified information.

The Intelligence Committee and Special Committee on Budget and Account at the National Assembly are responsible for scrutinising the budget, administration and policies of the National Intelligence Service (NIS). [1] The Board of Audit and Investigation of Korea (BAI) is another independent body, which has the power to audit the accounts and administration of the NIS. [2] While the budget planning of other government agencies is reviewed twice by the Standing Committees and the Special Committee on Budget and Account respectively, the budget planning is exempt from review by the Special Committee on Budget and Account. [1] Independence of both oversight mechanisms is protected by the Constitution, and the executive or the military cannot influence them [3]. Their mandate is matched by the body’s powers and resources [1] [2]

A chief of staff from the Intelligence Committee said that the NIS is the most privileged government institution and its privilege is protected by law. [1] The NIS provides limited information to the National Assembly due to its dealing with national security issues and intelligence on North Korea. The NIS can refuse to submit the information requested by the National assembly if it is related to state secrets. [2] The Intelligence Committee at the National Assembly holds meetings at least once a month. [3] In 2018, the Committee’s meeting was held 21 times, but the frequency of the informal meetings remains unknown. [4]
Despite the right to audit the accounts and administration of entire government institutions, an audit of the NIS had never been conducted. In 2019, the first audit aimed at the NIS was conducted by the BAI, and the historical audit was covered by many media outlets. However, audit findings were not published due to the confidentiality of the information. [5]

The Committee of Security, Defence and Public Order oversees the National Intelligence and Security Service (NSS). The independence of this Committee is questionable. All its members are from the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party. The selection of the head of the Committee is subject to the President’s approval (the President is also head of the SPLM). [1] The position of Committee head comes with perks such as a government issued luxury vehicle, a driver, a stipend and an office. The President usually approves nominees that are subservient to him. Appointed heads are therefore indebted to the President.

Independent oversight is also hampered by these two factors: a) Budgetary allocations to the NSS originate in the office of the President and not the Ministry of Finance. [1, 2] The budget of the office of the President is not disclosed for national security reasons. The Committee therefore has no knowledge of this budget and cannot offer oversight on it; b) The NSS is invested in several lucrative businesses, including in the oil sector. Akol Koor, the head of the NSS, has sat on the board of the country’s national oil company, NilePet. NilePet has in the past resisted audits on the basis that there was no office space for external auditors. [2, 3, 4]

Since 2012, the NSS’s role has evolved and deviated significantly, from its original constitutional mandate of information gathering and analysis, into a heavily militarised organ that is only answerable to the President. [1] This evolution could have been stopped in its tracks if the Committee of Security, Defence and Public Order had any influence on NSS policies. The phenomenon of the so-called “unknown gunmen” believed to be NSS agents involved in the killing of dissidents and kidnappings seem to show that the Committee has no power or influence over the NSS, or is unwilling to reign in its activities. [2] A recent academic paper argues that effective oversight of the intelligence service is stymied by the preponderance of excess power in the office of the President. [3]

Intelligence services in Spain are regulated by Law 11/2002, which specifically contemplates the principle of parliamentary control of the activities of the National Intelligence Centre (CNI). This law, while respecting parliamentary autonomy, foresees that the commission that controls the credits destined for secret expenses is the one that controls the activities of the CNI [1].
The National Intelligence Centre has a budget that is public knowledge, it is subject to an efficiency control, which will be carried out by the Minister of Defence, the General Intervention of the State Administration, and to the Court of Accounts by the General Budgetary Law [2]. Thus, there is a parliamentary committee in charge of oversight intelligence services from CNI and the budget called 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) [1], its members are representatives of all parliamentarian groups, but every term controversies appear in relation to the members that should be part of this committee [2]. It is common to reach agreements between some parties to block the presence of some minority parliamentarian groups that nevertheless could have access to the Official Secrets Committee [3].

Intelligence services policies, administration, and budgets are explained regularly to the Parliamentarian Commision on Official Secrets and Reserved Funds. In a legislative term, meetings are held with regularity, at least every six months [3], but uncertainty and controversies surrounding the Commission’s composition at the beginning of terms delay its configuration, thus reducing its effectiveness [1]. Members of the Commission have access to classified information regularly, to budget and expenditures, personnel issues, and policies of the intelligence services [3]. Recently a proposed law was accepted for debate to open slightly the level of secrecy of its deliberation, which has remained at total secrecy. This is due to the Law of Official Secrets of 1968, which was supposed to be amended to give more open access to old deliberations of this Commission [2].

During Bashir’s presidency, the NISS itself was actually tasked with anti-corruption investigations, but no separate entity was empowered to oversee the NISS. While Sudan’s intelligence services had, in the few years prior to March 2020, been restricted to conducting foreign intelligence, an interview with an expert on Sudan’s defence sector revealed that the entity’s authority to conduct domestic intelligence activities was reinstated after a failed assassination attempt against the transitional Prime Minister in early 2020 [1]. This interview, along with an internet search for more news about the reinitiation of domestic intelligence, yielded no evidence that there is any independent oversight of the intelligence services’ activities and policies. Under the transitional government, the NISS has been renamed the General Intelligence Services (GIS), which now falls under the direction of the SAF [2], which – as discussed elsewhere in this assessment – is not, in practice, currently subject to any independent oversight of its policies, administration or budgets [2].

This indicator is marked Not Applicable as there is no evidence of the existence of an independent oversight function that can influence the intelligence services. However, it is notable that, as of early 2020, personnel who formerly worked for the operational branch of the General Intelligence Services (before it was reformed from the former ‘National Intelligence and Security Services’ in July 2019) have not been disarmed since being let go from their positions; many have showed their frustrations through violent means; in January 2020, the BBC reported that former intelligence service personnel who were disgruntled with their severance pay unleashed heavy gunfire in Khartoum [1].

Oversight of intelligence agencies in Sweden has been split between a number of bodies, both parliamentary and expert. The parliamentary Committee on Justice [1] and Defence [2] oversees the budgets and drafts the legislation and policies of the Swedish intelligence agencies. The Swedish State Inspection for Defence Intelligence (SIUN) [3] is an independent body of experts appointed by the government which is tasked with scrutinising the practices of the Swedish Armed Forces, the National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA), the Defence Materiel Administration Agency (FMV) and the Defence Research Institute (FOI) are in accordance with the rules set by parliament and the government [4]. SIUN functions without undue influence from the executive or the military, and its mandate is matched by the body’s powers and resources. Finally, the Defence Intelligence Court (UNDOM) [5] is a special court tasked by the government to regulate the signal intelligence practices of FRA, SAF, and the security services (SÄPO). Oversight bodies’ resources are adequate for them to exercises their duties, and their budgets are all listed in the annual defence budget [6].

The oversight bodies meet regularly to review the budget and expenditures, personnel issues, policies, practices, and legal compliance of the intelligence services. The parliamentary committees convene at least every two weeks. SIUN and UNDOM convene when necessary (i.e. when FRA’s signal intelligence operations need to be approved and/or reviewed), and both have their own secretariats. Though meetings are held behind closed doors, a summary of findings is published online [1] [2] [3] [4].

The Federal Council decides on the basic mission of the Nachrichtendienst des Bundes (NDB). The Federal Council also elects the chair of the independent supervisory authority Unabhängige Aufsichtsbehörde des Nachrichtendienstes (AB-ND) as well as the members of the UKI. It also approves collaborations with foreign intelligence services [2]. The AB-ND is tasked with overseeing “the intelligence service activities carried out by the [Federal Intelligence Services] FIS, cantonal executive authorities and third parties and other agencies delegated these tasks by FIS. It shall audit these activities to confirm their legality, expediency and effectiveness” (Article 78.1 NDG) [2]. The budget for 2020 for the AB-ND was 2.4 million Swiss Francs, of which 1.9 million were for personnel. This covers about 10 full-time positions [3]. The AB-ND was only created in 2017, and although the mandate, staffing and budget seem adequate it is too early to assess its effectiveness. The Unabhängige Kontrollinstanz für die Funk- und Kabelaufklärung (UKI) is charged with oversight of telecommunication surveillance activities. It has three to five members and DDPS cannot provide the chair or the majority (Article 7.3 VAND). However, the members are elected by the Federal Council but proposed by the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) (Article 7.4 VAND) [1]. The Federal Assembly also has supervisory authority for the Intelligence Services. The Control Committees appoint three members to the Control Delegation (CDel) each. The CDel has oversight responsibilities in matters of state security and intelligence services. It is mandated to supervise “activities in the field of state security and the intelligence services and supervises state activities in matters that must be kept secret because their disclosure to unauthorised persons may be seriously detrimental to national interests” (Article 53.1 ParlA) (Article 53, ParlA) [4]. The CDel also receives the reports of the AB-ND [5]. There is an annual budget control of the FIS by the Federal Financial Control (FFC), mandated by the Financial Delegation (FINDEL) [6].

CDel (Article 169, Swiss Constitution) [1, 2, 3], as well as AB-ND (Article 78.4 NDG) [4], have access to all relevant documents. AB-ND is publishing a yearly report on its activities and can publish reports on “focus activities” (Schwerpunkte der Prüfungstätigkeit, Article 18 of the order of business of the AB-ND) [5]. AB-ND also has access to all localities and relevant data. The Independent Oversight Body has access to relevant delegations of the Federal Assembly (Article 78.2 NDG) [4]. The AB-ND is a permanent institution with its own staff and budget (Article 77, NDG) [5].

Taiwan’s intelligence services are comprised of the National Security Bureau, Military Intelligence Bureau of the Ministry of National Defence, Communication Development Office of the Ministry of National Defence, and the Military Security Brigade of the Ministry of National Defence [1]. The National Security Bureau and the three subordinate intelligence agencies under the Ministry of National Defence are all under the inter-governmental oversights of the LY’s Foreign and National Defence Committee and the CY’s Committee on National Defence and Intelligence Affairs [2, 3].

Both LY’s Foreign and National Defence Committee and the CY’s Committee on National Defence and Intelligence Affairs are equipped with parliamentary power to be designated to scrutinise the intelligence service’s policies, administration, and budgets [2, 3]. Annual budgets of the National Security Bureau are subject to LY’s review and approval [4, 5, 6, 7]. In addition, NSB has obligations to appear at the Legislative hearings for either budget reviews or policy reviews [8].

All intelligence agencies are subject to LY’s regular reviews and revision every six months, and to CY’s inspections on a project-by-project basis [1, 2]. The oversight function of LY’s Foreign and National Defence Committee has access to classified information and meets at least every six months to review budgets, expenditures, and policies of the intelligence services from either the MND or NSB [2].
Records of committee meetings on review of intelligence agencies are published in redacted form (classified information from closed parts of the meetings are excluded). [3].

There is not enough information to score this indicator, due to a lack of information on whether parliament exercises oversight on the intelligence services. The policies, administration and budget of the intelligence services are matters of national security and documents concerning these issues are classified. Howerever, the budget of intelligence in its general form is dealt with under vote 20, President Office, state house. The budget is partially presented in the Ministry of President’s Office, Public Service Management and Good Governance. [1]

There is not enough information to score this indicator, due to a lack of information on whether parliament exercises oversight on the intelligence services. The policies, administration and budget of the intelligence services are matters of national security and documents concerning these issues are classified. Howerever, the budget of intelligence in its general form is dealt with under vote 20, President Office, state house. The budget is partially presented in the Ministry of President’s Office, Public Service Management and Good Governance. [1]

According to the National Intelligence Act, B.E. 2562 (2019) (‘Act’), which was passed and came into effect on April 17, 2019, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) is authorised to obtain data or documents that impact national security. The NIA has the authority to order any person or government agency to submit data or documents that impact national security and then report the matter to the Prime Minister to seek further orders [1]. According to the Act itself, this agency is accountable solely to the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the National Security Council. There is no independent oversight body or committee (that can assess its policies, administration and budgets) officially identified in the Act either. In other words, the agency is not subject to any external or parliamentary scrutiny from any oversight body [2].

There is no independent oversight of the policies, administration, or budgets of the National Intelligence Agency in Thailand [1]. As such, this indicator is marked as ‘Not Applicable’.

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

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

Besides presidential executive oversight and legal investigation in extreme cases, the intelligence agency in Turkey is practically immune to any legislative, judicial and executive oversight/monitoring [1]. Since Presidential Decree 694 was published in the Official Gazette on August 15, 2018 [2], the National Intelligence Organization (Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatı, MİT) has been directly attached to the presidential palace. Law No. 2937 on State Intelligence Services and National Intelligence Organization, as well as its being attached to the presidential palace, has made the MİT a virtually untouchable State institution, kept away from legislative oversight and civil society monitoring.

In April 2014, the Grand National Assembly adopted the Law Amending the Law on State Intelligence Services and the National Intelligence Organization [3]. The amending law greatly expanded the powers of the MİT by allowing it to access personal data without a court order and by granting MİT agents immunity from prosecution for violations of laws they might commit in the course of their work [4,5].

According to Article 27 of Law No. 2937 on State Intelligence Services and National Intelligence Organization, it is a severe crime to report on or acquire information about the MİT, punishable by a prison term of up to nine years for media workers convicted of publishing information leaked from intelligence sources [6]. In 2020, the MİT published its activities report [7]. According to this report, internal audits are conducted by the inspection units in line with the principles of the Public Financial Management and Control Law No. 5018 [8], while the external audit is conducted by the CoA. However, there are no publicly available reports on these examinations. Moreover, the CoA has limited power to audit MİT expenses.

This indicator is marked ‘Not Applicable’ as there is no independent oversight of the intelligence services. It is almost impossible to publish anything about the MIT. For instance, in early March 2020, Ferhat Çelik and Aydin Keser from the daily newspaper Yeni Yaşam, Baris Pehlivan, Baris Terkoğlu and Hulya Kılınç from the OdaTV news website and Murat Ağırel from the daily newspaper Yeniçağ were arrested simply on the grounds that they had published reports on the funeral of a National Intelligence Organization (MİT) officer who lost his life in Libya [1]. In late April, the prosecutor asked for an 18-year prison sentence for all of them, claiming that what they had done was spying [2]. Their trial is still ongoing. There has been an increase in the organisational capacity of the MİT. The agency’s massive complex in Ankara, dubbed ‘Kale’, or ‘The Fortress’, was built on a 5,000-acre plot and is fitted with a state-of-the-art security system to prevent unauthorised access, infiltration and wire tapping. The MİT’s new Istanbul Regional Directorate opened in July 2020 [3]. For the government, the MİT is a key actor in its cross-border operations. As the capacity of the organisation grows, effective and independent oversight becomes more necessary, but it is lacking [4].

The Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs considers policies and budgets of the defence sector, including the intelligence services. However, it may be subjected to undue influence from the executive and the military because it is easy to control a small group of people. The Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs also approves the proposed budgets for classified expenditures. Classified budgeting is good for security purposes, but the process could be abused by MPs and sector players who want kickbacks to ensure there are no leaks. The Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs recommends that the Parliament approve the defence budget, which incorporates the other intelligence services as well [1]. The Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs’ report also noted that although the classified budget is critical, outputs for the same classified items were not indicated. However, the sector has other pressing needs that require public funding [2]. There are cases when the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs is under pressure to pass “friendly recommendations” to not damage the image of the government.

The oversight of the committee has little to no influence over intelligence services, so it is not effective. It rarely rejects proposals, policies, budgets of intelligence services. So it is seen as a rubber stamp. When the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs (MoDVA) wants money for their hidden projects, they request for supplementary classified budget [1]. According to one MP, the government hides huge sums of money under classified budgets and uses it to undertake “dubious projects” like the case was during the removal of the age limit [2]. These funds are then used to bribe MPs to vote in a certain direction. The oversight committees are not very effective because the majority of the MPs are from the ruling party, so they toe the party line.

The VRU Committee on National Security and Defence is only authorized to provide legislative support of the security services, intelligence and counterintelligence activities [1]. This means that the committee can amend corresponding policies, bylaws, and can adopt corresponding budgets. However, its effectiveness suffers from resource constraints, including the involvement of experts to the committee, and it needs external support (both national and international) to further develop its competence and expertise [2]. Additionally, there is a draft Law On National Security currently being debated by the VRU (as of May 3, 2018), if adopted it could also change the civilian democratic control over the intelligence [3].

The MPs, including members of the VRU Committee on National Security and Defence, have access to classified information at all levels of secrecy, which is granted after a written commitment to maintain state secrets [1]. There is evidence that the VRU Committee on National Security and Defence meets more or less every six months to discuss some issues and policies of intelligence services’ activities [2, 3, 4] but it is not empowered to scrutinize intelligence services [5].

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

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

The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC) was first established by the Intelligence Services Act 1994 to examine the policy, administration and expenditure of the Security Service, Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) [1]. The Justice and Security Act 2013 reformed the ISC making it a joint (i.e. Commons and Lords) Committee of Parliament; providing greater powers; and increasing its remit (including oversight of operational activity and the wider intelligence and security activities of Government) [2].

Other than the three intelligence and security Agencies, the ISC examines the intelligence-related work of the Cabinet Office including: the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC); the Assessments Staff; and the National Security Secretariat. The Justice and Security Act also removed the power for Agency heads to withhold information from the ISC on the basis of its sensitivity, significantly increasing the committee’s reach [1]. The Committee also provides oversight of Defence Intelligence in the MoD and the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism in the Home Office [3]. There is no indication of any shortage in resources and/or powers that would prevent the ISC from effectively exercising its mandate. Committee members are appointed by Parliament upon nomination by the Prime Minister, in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition [1: Section 1]. However, there have been instances of attempted undue influence by the government over the appointment of the ISC’s chair, although those efforts proved unsuccesful [4, 5]. This poses pressing questions about the strength of the committee’s independence.

The Members are subject to Section 11b of the Official Secrets Act 1989, and have access to highly classified material in carrying out their duties. The Committee takes evidence from Cabinet Ministers and senior officials – all of which is used to formulate its reports [1]. The Committee meets at least every 2 months and reports containing summaries of findings is published [1]. However, there have been questions raised about the Committee’s effectiveness, following an unprecedentedly long delay in appointing it in the summer of 2020 [2]. Important ISC inquiries, as well as publication of the Committee’s ‘Russia report’, were also held up [2].

The United States Intelligence Community (IC) is made up of 17 intelligence agencies; two of these are independent – the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Central Intelligence Agency; and eight are under the Department of Defence: the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), plus the intelligence elements of the four DoD services (Army, Navy, Marine Coprs, Air Force) [1]. Congress is mandated to monitor and regulate the activities of the IC and there are two parimary intelligence oversight bodies: the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) [2]. Given that these two bodies are situated in Congress, they are independent from the Executive. The two committees are mandated to review and approve the budget appropriations in conjunction with the Defense Subcommittee under the House Committee on Appropriations [2,3]. Both the oversight bodies can subpoena witnesses and documents [4,5]. The committees pass the annual Intelligence Authorisation Act and a classified accompanying annex, to which most of Congress does not have access.

According to its website, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) meets twice a week in closed sessions to discuss intelligence policies, agency activities and other issues [1]. These meetings are disclosed on the HPSCI website, with time, date and location, but no summary of findings is published [2]. The committee members have access to intelligence sources and methods, programmes and budgets. By law, the President is required to ensure that the Committee is informed of intelligence activities [1]. The hearings specifically related to the budgets appear only to take place annually [2]. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) meets a minimum of once a month on every first Thursday [3]. Budget hearings appear to take place annually and are closed-door with no summary or other documentation made public [4]. The majority of the work of the two committees on intelligence is classified and only a subset of the committee staff has access to certain information [5]. There are concerns that the committees are unable to effectively conduct oversight of the intelligence committees, for example, HPSCI members do not have committee staff [6]. Moreover, the staff members that do support these committees do not always have the necessary security clearance to undertake their work [7]. Finally, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which is part of the legislative branch, only has very limited access to intelligence community activities and is therefore restricted in its ability to support the work of the committees [8].

The intelligence services have no parliamentary controls nor any specific body with oversight functions; they depend on and are exclusively supervised by the executive.

Since the 2008 repeal of the Law on the National System for Intelligence and Counterintelligence, no other regulation has been issued for the oversight of intelligence systems. Following the restructuring of the National Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services (DISIP), the National Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN) [1] and the Directorate General of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) were created. The former is attached to the Vice-Presidency of the Republic and the latter is part of the Ministry of the People’s Power for Defence (MPPD) [2]. Each service operates at the discretion of these entities, which respectively manage their budgets, which have not been approved by the National Assembly (AN) nor made public since 2015.

The 2010 decree establishing SEBIN states the objective of investigating threats from external and internal enemies. The ambiguity of this assignment has been criticised, especially within the context of the recent political crisis, as a key force for detaining and carrying out actions against the political opposition [3]. Likewise, not only is the budget unknown and implemented without the approval of mechanisms established in the constitution, but no particular entity is responsible for monitoring it [4]. Through unofficial sources, it is possible to find some evidence on budget allocations for strengthening the intelligence activities of both services in recent years [5, 6]. However, no entities of the executive branch have submitted any accountability reports, so it is impossible to assess the origin and implementation of these resources.

The lack of oversight over the intelligence services has remained consistent over time; however, since the reforms that created the current SEBIN and DGCIM, the political use of the intelligence services has been criticised [7]. Even as the political crisis has deteriorated in the last few years, the DGCIM has been identified as the main body responsible for the torture of political prisoners. These accusations have not led to increased controls or to the publication of any kind of information by authorities seeking to prove otherwise [8]. Currently, the directors of these two intelligence services, both military officers, have been identified as responsible for human rights violations and political persecution [9].

This indicator is marked ‘Not Applicable’. There is no independent oversight of the intelligence services in Venezuela.

Studies carried out by civil society organisations and academics not only highlight the lack of oversight over the Venezuelan defence sector, but also the discretional nature of the functioning and administration of Venezuelan intelligence and counterintelligence [1]. According to academic studies, compared to other intelligence systems in Latin American countries, Venezuelan intelligence has no kind of auditing or supervision of its actions or administration [2].

There is no independent oversight of the intelligence services (i.e. the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO)). Though Section 224 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for the establishment of intelligence services, no law establishes and guides the operations of intelligence services [1, 2]. Budget allocations for the CIO are not transparent as they are lumped under the budget allocation for the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC). This makes it very difficult for Parliament to scrutinise the budget allocations for intelligence services.

This indicator is marked “Not Applicable,” as there is no independent oversight of the budgets and operations of the intelligence services in Zimbabwe [1, 2].

Country Sort by Country 21a. Independence Sort By Subindicator 21b. Effectiveness Sort By Subindicator
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
Tanzania NEI NEI
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

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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