Control of special services of the Republic of Poland

The Head of the Foreign Intelligence Agency

Pursuant to Article 3 section 2 of the Act of 24 May 2002 on the Internal Security Agency and the Foreign Intelligence Agency (hereinafter: the Act), the Head of the Foreign Intelligence Agency reports directly to the Prime Minister.

Coordinator

By Ordinance of November 18, 2015, (Journal of Laws, No. 1921), the Prime Minister authorised the Minister – Member of the Council of Ministers – Special Services Coordinator to supervise, control and coordinate the special services referred to in Article 11 of the Act, who performs the tasks assigned by the Prime Minister.

Competence of the Coordinator

Direct supervision over the activities of the Foreign Intelligence Agency is exercised by the Minister – Member of the Council of Ministers – Special Services Coordinator, who performs the tasks assigned by the Prime Minister in the area of control and coordination of the activities of special services (Foreign Intelligence Agency, Internal Security Agency, Central Anti-Corruption Bureau). Supervision over the Military Intelligence Service and the Military Counterintelligence Service is exercised by the Minister of National Defence.

Council

The Minister – Member of the Council of Ministers – Coordinator of Special Services is a member of the Governmental Council for Special Services, which operates within the Council of Ministers and is chaired by the Prime Minister. It is an opinion-making and advisory body in matters of programming, supervising and coordinating the activities of the Internal Security Agency (Agencja Bezpieczeństwa Wewnętrznego), the Foreign Intelligence Agency (Agencja Wywiadu), the Military Counterintelligence Service (Służba Kontrwywiadu Wojskowego), the Military Intelligence Service (Służba Wywiadu Wojskowego) and the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (Centralne Biuro Antykorupcyjne), as well as the activities of the Police, the Border Guard, the Military Police, the Prison Service, the Government Protection Bureau, the Customs Service, tax offices, tax chambers, tax inspection authorities, financial information authorities and the services for recognising the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland, undertaken in order to protect national security. The Council is also composed of the Secretary of the Council and the following members: the minister in charge of internal affairs, the minister in charge of foreign affairs, Minister of National Defence, the minister in charge of public finance and the Head of the National Security Office. The meetings of the Council are also attended by the Head of the Internal Security Agency, the Head of the Foreign Intelligence Agency, the Head of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Head of the Military Counterintelligence Service, the Head of the Military Intelligence Service and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Special Services.

Powers of the Governmental Council for Special Services

In relation to the Foreign Intelligence Agency and its Head, the tasks of the Council are to draw up evaluations or to express its opinions on the following matters:

  •       the appointment and dismissal of the Head of the Foreign Intelligence Agency;
  •       directions and action plans of the Foreign Intelligence Agency;
  •       detailed draft budget of the Foreign Intelligence Agency, before its examination by the Council of Ministers;
  •       the performance by the Foreign Intelligence Agency of the tasks entrusted to it in accordance with the guidelines and action plans of the Agency;
  •       annual reports presented by the Head of the Foreign Intelligence Agency on the activities of his subordinate Agency;
  •       coordinating the activities of the Foreign Intelligence Agency, the Internal Security Agency, the Military Intelligence Service, the Military Counterintelligence Service as well as the Police, the Border Guard, the Military Police, the Government Protection Bureau, customs authorities, tax offices, tax chambers, tax inspection authorities, financial information authorities and the services of recognition of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland and their cooperation in the field of protection of national security;
  •       cooperation of government administration and local government bodies, state institutions and entrepreneurs operating in the field of public utility with the Foreign Intelligence Agency;
  •       cooperation of the Foreign Intelligence Agency with competent authorities and services of other countries;
  •       organisation of exchange of information important for the security of the external and international position of the Republic of Poland between government administration bodies.

Parliamentary Committee on Special Services (PCSS)

The scope of the Committee’s activities includes expressing opinions on draft laws, regulations, orders and other normative acts concerning special services, including those regulating the activities of these services, opinions on the directions of activities and examination of annual reports of the heads of special services, opinions on draft budgets in the area concerning special services, examination of annual reports on their implementation and other special services’ financial information, expressing its opinions on proposals for appointing and dismissing individual persons to the positions of heads of special services and their deputies, getting acquainted with special services’s information on the events which are particularly important for their activity, including suspicions of irregularities in the activity of special services and suspicions of infringement of law by these services, through access to and insight into information, documents and materials obtained as a result of performing statutory tasks, in accordance with the provisions of the Act on protection of classified information and the Acts regulating the activity of special services; evaluation of special services’ cooperation with other authorities, services and institutions authorised to perform operational and exploratory activities within the scope of the activities undertaken by them for the protection of state security, evaluation of special services’cooperation with the Armed Forces, government administration bodies, law enforcement agencies and other state institutions and local government bodies, competent authorities and special services of other states, evaluation of protection of classified information and examination of complaints concerning the activities of special services.

Annex to the Resolution of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland of July 30, 1992 – Rules of Procedure of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland

(consolidated text, Polish Official Gazette (Monitor Polski), 2012, item 32 as amended)