Multiple laws for the same supervision

Multiple laws for the same supervision
The supervision of security intelligence services should be packaged in a single law and submitted to Parliament after the presidential elections, the Commission for Communications Supervision should work in accordance with NATO and European standards, to invest in the so-called soundproof room and regulate the use and archiving of classified documents - were some of the topics of the meeting between Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Bujar Osmani and members of this Parliamentary Commission, led by its President Emil Dimitriev. The meeting was held on the eve of March 19, when a Stabilization and Association Council meeting is scheduled, which is considered the first preliminary test for the dynamics of the reform agenda, while reforms in the security-intelligence system are the focus of that agenda.

According to Dimitriev, the legal regulatory supervision is currently very general, scattered in several laws, compared with EU and NATO member states, where it is organized differently and on a more qualitative level.

-We have come to the conclusion that Macedonia needs a new special law on the supervision of security services. I am already working on that law and starting with the work of the Parliament after the presidential elections will be put into parliamentary procedure. We used this meeting to get the support of the Government. Our intention is to pass the law by a vast majority because it would build a system that does not depend on who currently heads the Commission. Political change is a natural process. This system will be used by political parties in the future, Dimitriev said.

The Commission is still operating without experts, and on the question whether they received funds for their engagement, Dimitriev said that a job ad has been published to which seven applicants have applied. The commission will hold a session tomorrow, which will have an administrative revision of the applicants, after which followed by a security check, and Dimitriev expects the Commission to get the experts in an optimum period.

-They are essential for its operation. I am sorry that we lost a year in convincing the authorities in the Parliament that it is a necessity for the Commission, that without these experts all its controls will be reduced to statistical operations, said Dimitriev.

So far, they have supervised with the members of the Commission, five in total with the majority coming from the opposition. They were in control of the OTA, UBK, and for the first time in the financial police and the customs administration. On Thursday they will go to OTA again. The legal solution prescribes supervision once a quarter, and Dimitriev pointed out that the goal is to have at least two inspections each quarter of a year.

Without experts, they controlled in areas known to the MPs. Dimitriev says control is not only a technical aspect, but a legal, legislative one. Irregularities in the work of these institutions have not been identified from the controls so far.

Asked whether during the supervision of the UBK they noticed a wiretapping technique and whether the new UBK, which will be called the National Security Agency, will own such equipment, Dimitriev said that at present UBK has technical equipment in accordance with its competencies, and the intention of the law is to purchase new equipment for UBK.

-One of the issues that are the subject of discussion is whether the new agency can be allowed to access materials without OTA. There are different opinions on this issue. The proposers have their own stance on why there should be such an possibility, tactical equipment to be used with permission from a public prosecutor, but there are other views that are expert and who believe that this will mean direct bypassing of OTA, which was established to be a mediator for connecting with the phone numbers to be listened, Dimitriev pointed out.

Laws for the new agency, which will replace the UBK, as well as others that are part of the reforms of the security-intelligence system, were passed in first reading in the Parliament, and Dimitriev stressed that they will now start negotiations at the level of political parties for improving the text, and that he believes that in the final form these laws will undergo changes.