|BIS (CZECH COUNTER-INTELLIGENCE SERVICE) AFTER 2012|
|Sunday, 07 August 2011 16:13|
(Lecturer, Institute of Political Studies, Charles University in Prague
The BIS (Bezpečnostní Informační Služba) stems from the Czech secret police—StB (Státní tajná Bezpečnost) is in charge of domestic security and counter-intelligence activities; unlike the StB, the BIS is pure counter-intelligence agency to combat every espionage conspiracy coming from the third countries, and has no authority to practice law enforcement. The key missions of the BIS are Democracy and Constitution Protection, Espionage Activities Prevention, and Law Enforcement Collaboration, and one more task assigned to this agency is counter-terrorism after the 911 terrorist attack with accordance with the USA request in the name of the NATO treaty.
The predecessor of the BIS was under the Ministry of Interior, and it still enjoyed the power of law enforcement, but the 527/1992 Bill makes the BIS independent from the ministry and withdraws this power; by the reason, the BIS is always to cooperate with Czech Police to combat illegal activities. Besides crime, the BIS is responsible for counter extremists, terrorists, proliferation of weapons, gray economy, energy security, spy rings, organised crime, human-trafficking and illegal immigration, and anti-corruption. Obviously, the Czech government relies on the BIS to cope with security issues, but this counter-intelligence agency does not enjoy enough budget, and the top officers of the BIS believe that the budget issue will damage the agency function soon or later. In addition, the Czech government considers that corruption issues sometimes happens in the BIS, and gets ready to create another institution to supervise it. It is believed that the BIS will face new challenge after the new bill enforcement.
Multilateralism in complex of situation
Nevertheless, the BIS is in the centre of multilateralism to cooperate with home and foreign security and police units to deal with any illegal activities; for example, the BIS has started to cooperate internationally to counter terrorism since 2001, and also provide help to solve the Norwegian Massacre in July 2011. The BIS has already known that more and more illegal activities are connected internationally, and it is impossible to cope with alone.
New Face After 2012
In early 2011, the Czech government delivers the Proposal (Návrh zákona o Generální inspekci bezpečnostních sborů) in order to create the General Inspectorate of Security Services (GIBS) to prevent every Czech police and security agency from power abusing and corruption. The most importance for the GIBS is to stop any violation of human rights coming from any Czech security and police agency.
According to the Proposal, the Czech government will nominate Ivan Bílek—the former deputy president of Czech Police and recruit 335 employees to watch every security and police unit, and the GIBS will have the annual budget of around Kč 300 million ($17.7 million); currently, Mr. Ivan Bílek serves as chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission of the Czech Police. However, the Military Intelligence Service (Vojenské zpravodajství) has immunity from the GIBS.