DRI: Consideration of the activity report of the State Security Service in the Parliament failed to ensure effective parliamentary oversight
On October 19, the Head of the State Security Service presented an annual report at the Parliament’s plenary session. As in previous years, the Parliament refused to make the session public and closed the question-and-answer part after the presentation of the report.

The report of the Head of the Security Service meticulously repeated the text of the annual activity report of the Service, which has long been published on the websites of the Parliament of Georgia and the State Security Service and is publicly available. Accordingly, by closing the discussion part of the report of the State Security Service, the public was not given the opportunity to receive information from the Head of the State Security Service on recent issues, which had not been reflected in the extremely general report. While reading the publicly available report at the parliamentary session, the Head of the State Security Service repeated vague and contradictory terminology that made it difficult to understand who he meant by the source of danger and destabilization - civil organizations or pro-Russian far-right groups. The assessment of the State Security Service seems even more ambiguous and vague due to the summoning of representatives of civil society organizations for questioning by the Service, initiation of the so-called "agents" law by the ruling political force and the uncontrolled and unpunished violent actions of Alt Info and other far-right groups. By closing the question-and-answer part, information about the investigation ongoing into the ties of former Prosecutor General Otar Partskhaladze with the Russian special services remained unavailable to the public.

Taking into account that the consideration of the activity report of the State Security Service at both the committee and plenary sessions was not public, it is impossible to meaningfully review the efficiency of the parliamentary discussion and parliamentary oversight. Conducting the discussion process in a completely closed manner makes the effectiveness of democratic oversight questionable, as the public was not given the opportunity to evaluate or receive information on any direction of the State Security Service’s activities. The Democracy Research Institute calls on the Parliament of Georgia, instead of completely closing the question-and-answer process, to discuss the issue in a differentiated manner and partially publicly conduct the question-and-answer process with the participation of Members of Parliament relating to questions that do not require disclosure of secret information.