Intelligence Governance in Albania



The gathering of intelligence is a basic function performed by every state to safeguard its national security, economic wellbeing, and public safety. So that these goals can be accomplished, states invest their intelligence services with substantial powers. If misused, these powers can endanger the fundamental rights and liberties of citizens, distort the political process, and undermine democracy. To prevent this from happening and also to ensure that intelligence services, like other public institutions, operate in an efficient, effective, and accountable manner, oversight is required. That is, every state needs to have an intelligence oversight system in place to guarantee that intelligence services perform their tasks lawfully and within the mandates established for them by the government while maintaining their political neutrality and providing taxpayers with good value for the money spent. This paper analyzes intelligence oversight in Albania. The first section provides some background on the intelligence system, describing the historical forces that have shaped its evolution. The second section examines the country’s intelligence services, identifying weaknesses and strengths in the legal framework used to establish them and paying close attention to the roles the services play in the area of counterterrorism, as well as their cooperation with foreign intelligence services. The third section analyzes the bodies that conduct intelligence oversight, focusing on the legal framework that defines their mandates and powers as well as in its implementation. The final section offers some recommendations for the strengthening of oversight of the intelligence services in Albania.