The powers and responsibilities of the BIS in regard to the protection of major economic interests
- Section 5, paragraph 1, letter d) of Act No. 153/1994 Coll., on the Intelligence Services of the Czech Republic – the BIS secures information on activities the consequences of which may jeopardize the security or major economic interests of the Czech Republic
The BIS informs authorized state representatives about risks threatening major economic interests of the Czech Republic. The goal of the BIS is to provide information on the risks to relevant addressees in a timely manner and to ensure that they have all relevant information crucial for their key economic decisions – e.g. information on external attempts to influence these decisions, on the plans of entities posing threats or on covert interests tied to these plans.
A major economic interest is an interest in the running of systems impacting the economy as a whole (power engineering, transport, public health, telecommunications, banking, tax collection) and in the optimal administration of assets (finances, interests, real estate, intangible property) the loss of which may endanger or limit the basic functions of the state. Damages to economic interests of the state are caused by: direct financial losses, endangering energy security or other infrastructure impacting the economy as a whole (e.g. transport, telecommunications, public health, banking and capital markets) or endangering entities the damage to which has an indirect but provably negative economic impact on the state (environment, public health, support of export, economic competition, independence of regulation authorities, membership in international organisations etc.). The significance of an economic interest is given not only by the importance of the running of the economic field in question but also by the extent of possible financial losses to the state and mainly by the impact on the security of the state. These interests are specified by relevant Government resolutions that assign direct tasks to the BIS.
The aim of our activities is to inform authorized state representatives about risks and future threats (concealed intents) or about methods and motives of past events with analogies applicable to the future. This information aims to enable preventive actions and support appropriate decision- making of addressees. It must be stressed that economic interests penetrate all the areas within the powers and responsibilities of our Service.
The Act does not explicitly list activities of which our Service must inform in regard to the protection of major economic interests. Therefore, the BIS looks into all kinds of activities - both legal and illegal - endangering the major economic interests of the Czech Republic.
Economic interests of the state are mainly endangered by the following phenomena and activities:
- Weakness and negligence within the state (e.g. a negligent or inefficient approach of the state’s representatives not connected to illegal activities and carried out within an otherwise functional system; an insufficient and negligent representation of the state on the part of state institutions or officials; the violation of valid legal regulations of the Czech Republic or the European Union; the endangering of classified information through negligence)
- Legal business activities aimed against long-term economic and strategic goals of the state carried out by private entities or foreign powers (e.g. high-risk investors, business activities outside the common scope of the state endangering its interests, non-standard activities of parties interested in state holdings, non-transparent ownership structures, and unclear origin of funds)
- Incorrect lobbying (in its basic form + false information, covert clients, covert interests, significantly negative impacts of the lobbied decision)
- System deficiencies legally endangering economic interests of the state and/or preventing the state from inspecting and defending its interests effectively (deficiencies in legal regulations, the lack of a conceptual approach, the exertion of influence on legislation and strategic documents, non-transparent selection procedures, etc.)
- Illegal activities (corruption, clientelism, blackmailing, manipulation of public tenders etc.)