THE OVERSIGHT AND CONTROL OF SHISH
SHISH is subject to external and internal oversight and control over lawfulness of its activities, budget, financial expenditure and application of the procedures approved by the Prosecutor General.
The external control of SHISH
The external oversight and control of SHISH is exercised by three entities: the Assembly of the Republic of Albania, the Prime Minister, the Prosecutor General.
Pursuant to Law no. 8391, dated 28.10.1998, “On the National Intelligence Service”, revised, the oversight of the activities of SHISH is exercised by the parliamentary Subcommittee of the National Security Committee, on behalf of the Assembly. Based on the Constitution of the Republic of Albania, the Director of the Service reports to the parliamentary subcommittee periodically or whenever the subcommittee deems it necessary.
Control exercised by the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister exercises control of SHISH through the General Inspector. The General Inspector is appointed by the Prime Minister and is directly subordinated to the Director of SHISH. The General Inspector has the right to conduct inspections and exercise controls over the lawfulness of intelligence activities, over financial expenditures for special operational activities of the service.
The control by the Prosecutor General
This control is conducted over the lawfulness in the implementation of specific procedures approved by the Prosecutor General. SHISH is also controlled by the Ombudsman and the State Supreme Audit.
The internal control of SHISH
SHISH has its own internal control mechanisms used for the implementation of legal obligations, from the highest to the lowest level.
This control is conducted by the internal audit unit, in implementation of Law no. 114/2015, “On the internal audit in the public sector”. The mission of internal audit is to check the financial management, provide reasonable assurance to the Head of the Service, independently and objectively, as well as advice on improving the activity and effectiveness of the internal control system.
The Director of SHISH has the right to authorize the exercise of controls in the structural units of SHISH. The Director authorizes ad hoc groups/individuals to exercise controls in the structural units of SHISH, for various issues, he deems necessary.
The principles of internal control are:
- The principle of lawfulness;
- The principle of the periodicity of controls;
- The principle of on the spot controls;
- The principle of recognizing and rejecting/opposing the outcome based on evidence and facts.
Upon the completion of the controls, in accordance with the procedures determined by Law no. 9357, date 13.07.2005, “On the status of the employee of the State Intelligence Service”, disciplinary measures might be given to the SHISH employees, in accordance with the legal framework.
PROCEDURES OF THE INTELLIGENCE AND OPERATIVE ACTIVITY
SHISH is an intelligence agency. It does not have executive powers/competencies and does not conduct military or police activities. SHISH has the legal right to collect information, implementing the procedures approved by the Prosecutor General.
1. SHISH collects information from human assets inside and outside the territory of the Republic of Albania.
2. To gather the necessary information, relevant to national security, SHISH uses the techniques of: Physical Control, Electronic Control, Postal Control, Telecommunication Interception and Recording.
In implementing the abovementioned procedures, SHISH carries out its activities guided by the principle of lawfulness, principle of objectivity and it maintains a fair balance between the need to gather the necessary information for national security and the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Interception of electronic communications
Interception of electronic communications is based on Law 9157, dated 4.12.2003 (revised by law 9885, date 3.3.2008, by law no. 10/172, date 22.10.2009, revised by law 116, date 13.12.2012, revised by law 60/2017, date 27.4.2017).
1. The law defines the procedures followed for the interception of electronic communications by state intelligence institutions, as well as the procedures to be followed by persons charged with the duty of interception.
2. The basic principles for the interception of electronic communications are respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, necessity and proportionality, confidentiality and objectivity.
3. No public institution, legally entitled to request the interception of communications may submit such requests for cases or activities not defined by law, as the subject of their investigative tasks and activities.
4. The approval/rejection of the request for the interception of electronic communications is carried out by the Prosecutor General, or his authorized prosecutor.
5. With the establishment of the Court of Appeal against Corruption and Organized Crime, the request for interception is submitted to the President of the Court of Appeal against Corruption and Organized Crime.
6. The granting of the right of interception, after the review of the written request is approved or rejected by the President of the Court of Appeal against Corruption and Organized Crime or the Vice President.
7. No citizen in the Republic of Albania can be subject to interception of electronic communications without the approval of the Prosecutor General and the President of the Court of Appeal against Corruption and Organized Crime.
The factual budget of State Intelligence Service for 2017 has been nearly 1.477 million ALL.
This value is approximately 238.8 million ALL more than in 2013, while for 2018 the budget is nearly 1,548.1 million ALL
or 71.1 million higher than the budget expenditure in 2017. In the chart below are shown the tendencies of budget execution from 2013 up to 2018.
As it is shown in the chart, the budgetary trend is on the rise, meeting the higher financial requirements of the service, in response to more sophisticated activities that affect national security. Every year, most of SHISH budget is spent for personnel salaries, social and health insurance with a decreasing trend by 1% every year. Data regarding the budget, material and financial operations of SHISH are confidential, in order to protect intelligence activities and operations from disclosure. Budget is part of the total of the operations conducted by the service and therefore requires protection for operational and security considerations. Its elements (financing and procurement) might expose means, procured equipment and providers having a negative impact in the accomplishment of its mission.
Budget execution from 2013 to 2018 is shown in the chart below:
As it is shown in the chart, the increased trend of investments expenses is evident up to 2015. Starting from 2017 up to 2021 (planned budget), the investments stands almost at the same levels.
The factual expenses in these years are focused on purchasing information technology equipment, aiming to modernize technology, operative technical devices and vehicles.
DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN COOPERATION
For the accomplishment of its mission, SHISH cooperates with other state institutions and law enforcement agencies, at home and abroad. SHISH cooperates with General Prosecutor’s Office, Ministry of Interior, General Directorate of the State Police, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, The High Inspectorate of Declaration and Audit of Assets and Conflict of Interests, State Supreme Audit, Defense Intelligence and Security Agency, etc. Upon the order of the Prime Minister, the Director of SHISH is a member of the Inter-Institutional Committees or State Committees, while representatives of SHISH are members of the inter-institutional working groups.
Globalization, dynamics of current and future developments, continuous changes in the security environment, have made necessary the coordination and cooperation between the intelligence and security partner services. In order to have a fuller and more professional intelligence picture of the current and future security challenges, SHISH cooperates at different levels with the partner services.
Given the international character of such phenomena as terrorism, violent extremism ,organized crime, complex development of technology and communications, cybersecurity, freedom of movement, strengthening the regional stability, activities of hostile intelligence services against our country and NATO, etc., no country alone can take measures and counter them effectively without international cooperation. The membership of Albania in NATO, the EU accession process, regional security and stability, have increased the responsibility and expanded the fields of activities of SHISH. The valuable contribution as a NATO member, commitments and tasks in the framework of EU membership are very important factors in the context of Euro-Atlantic integration as well as in strengthening national defense and security.
To prevent risks and threats against national and regional security, SHISH collects, processes, analyses and disseminates intelligence for the decision making authorities and cooperates with intelligence and security structures of NATO, the EU and their member states.
SHISH, as the primary intelligence and security organization of Albania, in the context of national, regional and a wider security has established bilateral and multilateral relations with many foreign intelligence agencies and security services. SHISH cooperates with these services at different levels, from exchange of information, analyses and expertise to joint operational activities. Cooperation is mainly established with the intelligence services of EU and NATO countries, with regional and other intelligence services, in the framework of mutual benefits and reciprocity.
SHISH is an active contributor to the NATO Civilian Intelligence Committee (NATO/CIC), and to the NATO Intelligence Production Unit (NATO/IPU).
The levels of cooperation with foreign intelligence services/agencies are approved by the Prime Minister.
Bilateral cooperation is developed via joint meetings, bilateral agreements, staff training, exchange of mutual visits, as well as information sharing and joint operations. With the aim of enhancing the bilateral relations, SHISH has attached liaison officers in some foreign countries, whose duty is to strengthen the relations with the intelligence services where they are accredited.
SHISH is also a member of various multilateral security formats and initiatives, either regional or international, such as “SEEIC”, “MEC”, “Adria Club”, etc., where it is discussed and exchanged expertise, on the security challenges and issues. SHISH attends various international platforms which discuss and treat different intelligence and security issues.
Given the approach taken in the region, SHISH has played and continuous to play a constructive role in regional stability and has continuously received positive feedback by the partner services.