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OVERSIGHT


In democracies, the work of security and intelligence services is under constant oversight, especially as far as the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, legality and professional competences are concerned. As the Republic of Slovenia is one of the members of the community of democratic countries, the work of its intelligence and security services is scrutinized by several institutions.

In the discharge of its work, SOVA is overseen by the Human Rights Ombudsman, the Supreme Court, the Parliamentary Oversight Commission, the Government, , the Court of Audits and Budget Supervision Office, the public, and the Information Commissioner. Apart from the external oversight, the Agency is overseen also internally.

The Human Rights Ombudsman, who is accountable for the protection of human rights and basic freedoms in relation to state bodies, may request from SOVA to provide all data and information which fall within his competence and enable him to carry out the investigation.

The judicial oversight is exercised mostly by the President of the Supreme Court, who authorizes the use of special forms of information collection by a written order as defined in the SOVA Act. The Agency has to inform the President of the Supreme Court when the use of special forms of information collection has ceased.

The oversight of the Agency is conducted by the Parliamentary Oversight Commission according to the Parliamentary Supervision of the Intelligence and Security Services Act. The Commission has been given special powers to oversee the implementation of special forms of information collection, since it has the access to the documentation about the implementation of such forms and may also see the technical devices and facilities used by the Agency. The Commission exercises the oversight also by examining the comprehensive report on the Agency's work and expenditure in the previous year and the work programme for the current year. Both documents are laid before the Commission by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. The Agency reports to the Commission about its general activities every four months or more frequently if necessary.

The Government performs professional oversight of SOVA's work by following its activities and the results of its work. The Agency informs the Prime Minister about its findings and, when the matter concerned is within their prerogatives, also the President of the Republic, the President of the National Assembly, and the relevant ministers. The Agency provides its findings also to the relevant ministries and other state administration bodies in order to enable them to propose or adopt certain measures for discharging their functions as defined by the law. The Agency provides intelligence and analyses from its area of work also for the needs of the National Security Council and the working bodies of the National Assembly.

The oversight of the expenditure of the budgetary means allocated to SOVA is conducted by the Budget Supervision Office of the Ministry of Finance and by the Court of Audits. The Agency's budget is of public knowledge.

The public oversight has not been specifically defined, but it finds its expression mainly in the public opinion about the Agency, in the resonance of its work in the media and in the commentaries of the public on some of the Agency’s procedures. The web site, too, allows the public to have an insight into SOVA's work.

The basic task of the internal oversight is to determine whether all procedures have been carried out and recorded in the manner as required by the law, executive regulations and other directives.