the Report on the Importance of Parliamentary Control over the Security Sector and the Relating Challenges
On September 12 the Democracy Research Institute held a presentation of the Report The Significance of parliamentary oversight of the security sector and ongoing challenges. The document represents an interim report on the observation of parliamentary control over the State Security Service of Georgia, as well as the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Defence of Georgia. The report covers the period from January 1 to June 30, 2023.
According to the report, parliamentary control over the security sector is ineffective. The main reason behind the weakness of parliamentary control is the lack of political will. In order to implement effective supervision, Members of the Parliament of Georgia should more actively use the oversight mechanisms provided for by the Rules of Procedures of the Parliament of Georgia.
The Significance of parliamentary oversight of the security sector and ongoing challenges
- Parliamentary oversight mechanisms are limited when it comes to the parliamentary opposition. In many cases, the implementation of oversight mechanisms depends on the approval of the parliamentary majority;
- The role of the opposition in the activities of the Trust Group is limited;
- The Parliament of Georgia is not in a position to assess the activities of the Trust Group, since the sessions of the group are closed. The Trust Group is not obliged under the Rules of Parliament to inform the parliament about its activities;
- The level of accountability of officials of security agencies is low. Despite the request to attend committee sessions under the Rules of Parliament, the officials fail to appear before the committees;
- The parliamentary opposition is not entitled to summon independently the Head of the State Security Service to a parliamentary committee’s sessions;
- In the reporting period, only two members of parliamentary majority submitted questions to the security agencies (two questions in total);
- Analysis of the questions submitted by members of parliament reveals that there is a need to have a group of qualified specialists working with the committees of the parliament, who would advise and help members of parliament to expand substantive area of oversight;
- In the reporting period, the interpellation mechanism was used for the first time with regard to a security agency;
- A number of important issues are omitted or formally mentioned in the 2022 activity report of the State Security Service, without presenting any concrete analysis or activity results;
- After the presentation of the report of the State Security Service to the parliament, the Parliament of Georgia, as per its established notorious practice, continued the Q&A session behind closed doors;
- Despite the amendments made to the Rules of Parliament of Georgia, the 2022 activity report of the State Security Service was again presented to the parliament by the deputy head of the service in violation of the Rules of Parliament.