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Management, coordination and oversight of intelligence services

Round Table – June 20th 2011 – Hotel Tirana International

Institute for Democracy and mediation launched, in a round table with high representatives from different public institutions, academia and civil society, the policy brief “The need to reform the intelligence system in Albania”. This paper analyses Albania’s intelligence system and tries to make an assessment of the main problems is faces. The paper calls for the need of a comprehensive reform which should bring the intelligence system in line with the international norms and standards.

Over the last few years Albania has witnessed an expansion of the intelligence activity which has been accompanied by an increase in the number of agencies, mainly domestic intelligence. By and large this process has been driven by the need for fighting terrorism and organized crime but the fact that intelligence is no longer an exclusive activity of the traditional agencies poses several problems with regard to their governance and accountability.
Albania lacks central management and coordination mechanisms to ensure full and efficient cooperation among the intelligence and security and law enforcement agencies. Increasing the intelligence activity and number of the agencies with no coordination mechanisms in place has made the process of management and control more complicated. Another feature of the recent developments is the blurring of lines between law enforcement and intelligence. Lack of oversight provisions in the legislation of the newer agencies and poor practice have led to an incongruous oversight of agencies carrying out similar activities.