The Significance of Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector and Ongoing Challenges
On February 28, the Democracy Research Institute held a presentation of the Report on The Significance of Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector and Ongoing Challenges. Effective oversight of the security sector is an important indicator of the quality of democracy in the country.
The Democracy Research Institute prepared a report based on the results of almost a year of observation of the implementation of parliamentary control over the State Security Service of Georgia, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Internal Affairs by the Parliament of Georgia. The report covers the period from 2020 to December 1, 2022.
The document analyzes publicly available, proactively published public information requested by the organization, the regulatory legislative framework of parliamentary oversight, and the results of interviews with Members of Parliament.
Based on the materials studied, the mechanisms of parliamentary oversight of the security sector were evaluated critically: the Trust Group is not able to carry out real oversight of the security sector; parliamentary control mechanisms are limited for the parliamentary opposition; the opposition does not have the opportunity to independently summon the head of the State Security Service to the parliamentary committee session; the mechanism of mandatory hearing of officials at parliamentary committees sessions does not actually work at the moment; the number of letters sent by MPs is increasing, however, the analysis of questions shows the need for a group of qualified specialists, who would advise and help Members of Parliament to expand the content area of oversight; the Ministry of Internal Affairs sometimes gives different answers to the identical questions asked by representatives of the parliamentary majority and the parliamentary opposition; the State Security Service avoids answering the questions of MPs sometimes for formal reasons, and sometimes through a broad interpretation of state secrets; submission of reports to the Parliament of Georgia by the accountable agencies, as well as their consideration by the Parliament, is formal; a number of important issues are either omitted or only formally mentioned in the annual reports of the State Security Service, without specific analysis or presentation of activity results.