Overseeing Intelligence Services: A Toolkit
Editor(s): Hans Born, Aidan Wills
DCAF Handbooks ()
DCAF’s toolkit on overseeing intelligence services is a compendium of booklets (tools) written by leading experts on intelligence governance from around the world. It provides policy-relevant information on the establishment and consolidation of independent bodies to oversee state organisations involved in the collection, analysis, production and dissemination of intelligence in the national security domain. The toolkit’s principal innovation is its provision of detailed guidance on the oversight of specific areas of intelligence services’ activities (please see below for a full list of the tools). Acknowledging that there is no single “best” approach to organising and conducting oversight, the toolkit’s guidance is based on examples from almost twenty countries.
The toolkit focuses primarily on oversight by parliamentary committees and expert non-parliamentary bodies (e.g. supreme audit institutions and data protection commissions) and, to a lesser extent, on oversight by (quasi)judicial bodies. The toolkit is, however, likely to be of broad interest to the following groups:
- persons involved in the design and establishment of oversight systems;
- civil society organisations and media that monitor and evaluate the work of oversight bodies;
- members of organisations that are subject to oversight by these bodies; and
- members and staffers of oversight bodies.
This publication has been made possible by the generous support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
The toolkit can be downloaded in its entirety in the following languages:
It contains the following tools, all of which can be downloaded individually:
Tool 1: Introducing Intelligence Oversight (Hans Born and Gabriel Geisler)
Tool 2: Establishing Effective Intelligence Oversight Systems (Stuart Farson)
Tool 3: Intelligence Transparency, Secrecy, and Oversight in a Democracy
Tool 4: Conducting Oversight (Monica den Boer)
Tool 5: Overseeing Information Collection (Lauren Hutton)
Tool 6: Overseeing the Use of Personal Data (Ian Leigh)
Tool 7: Overseeing Information Sharing (Kent Roach)
Tool 8: Financial Oversight of Intelligence Services (Aidan Wills)
Tool 9: Handling Complaints about Intelligence Services (Craig Forcese)