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Audit and Oversight

External Oversight

Act No. 153/1994 Coll., on the Intelligence Services of the Czech Republic provides for the legal basis of intelligence service oversight. This Act stipulates that intelligence services are overseen by the Government and Parliament.

The Act defines neither the scope nor the manner of government oversight. It is based on the Government´s entitlement to assign tasks to the BIS within the Service´s legal powers and responsibilities and to assess their fulfillment; and on the fact that the BIS is accountable to the Government, which also coordinates its activities and appoints and dismisses the Director of the BIS. Government oversight focuses on all BIS activities, e.g. on evaluating the BIS budget - the BIS being a specific chapter of the state budget - and assessing whether funds are efficiently used to fulfill BIS tasks. Furthermore, the Government approves the BIS Statute, monitors compliance with the Statute, and oversees the legality of intelligence activities.

Under Act No. 154/1994 Coll., on the Security Information Service, the responsibility for overseeing the activities of the BIS lies with the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic, which sets up a special oversight body (the Standing Oversight Commission). Sections of the said Act provide specifically for the powers of the Oversight Commission.

Further means of external oversight:

Judicial Oversight

Judicial oversight focuses mainly on the use of intelligence technology (warrants to use intelligence technology are granted by the Chairman of the Panel of Judges of the respective High Court - depending on the place of residence of the Security Information Service). The judge is entitled to request information from the BIS in order to assess whether the reasons for the use of intelligence technology are still relevant.

Supreme Audit Office Oversight

Under specific legislation the Supreme Audit Office oversees the management of state assets and the allocation of funds from the state budget.

Public oversight

The public does not have any specific powers regarding BIS oversight. Nevertheless, it plays an important role in overseeing BIS activities. Usually, the public oversees BIS activities indirectly - through mass media or the BIS website containing e.g. annual reports and various announcements.


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