The legal, proportional, and necessary character of SRI activities is always under scrutiny. This means that competent authorities permanently assess whether SRI activities are compliant with legal provisions, proportional to risks, and necessary in the prevention and countering of national security threats.
1. Legal Oversight
The legal oversight is provided via a complex mechanism. Internally, it is carried out by the Legal Department. External oversight is carried out by Parliament and competent judicial bodies.
The Legal Department of SRI must ensure the observance of legal provisions as well as of the principles of proportionality and necessity during all Service’s activities. At the same time, it is its mission to defend the interests of the institution in common law cases, and to cooperate with judicial bodies.
Enforcement of Temporary Restriction Measures on Fundamental Civil Rights and Freedoms
If the temporary restriction of fundamental civil rights and freedoms is required for the protection of national security, the Legal Department provides the legal argumentation for SRI’s requests before judicial bodies.
In such cases, the external mechanism of legal oversight is ensured by the High Court of Cassation and Justice, respectively the Prosecutor’s Office by the High Court of Cassation and Justice.
These institutions are authorized:
- to assess SRI’s proposals to authorize the temporary restriction of constitutional rights and freedoms, in terms of legality and in correlation with the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights;
- to exercise control over the actions performed by SRI to enforce authorized measures;
- to be informed about the result of authorized activities and measures taken.
2. Parliamentary Oversight
As in most European countries, the legality of SRI activity is ensured, according to the Constitution, by parliamentary oversight.
- Parliament appoints the Director of SRI at the proposal of the Romanian President;
- Annually or whenever Parliament decides, the Director of SRI submits reports on the activity of the Service to Parliament;
- In order to ensure civilian oversight, Parliament established the Standing Committee of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies for Parliamentary Oversight of the SRI Activity.
3. Financial Oversight
Internal financial oversight is carried out by structures responsible for monitoring and assessing the collection, management, and use of financial resources.
External financial oversight is carried out by the Romanian Court of Accounts, the Committee for Parliamentary Oversight of the SRI Activity, and the Ministry of Finance.
The Court of Accounts conducts its activity autonomously and audits SRI’s annual budget execution accounts.
CSAT also approves annual budgetary costs of SRI’s operational spending.
The legal framework governing SRI activity is given by the following laws:
- the Romanian Constitution
- the Law no. 51/ 1991 on the National Security of Romania
- the Law no .14/1992 on the Organization and Functioning of the Romanian Intelligence Service
- the Law no .535/2004 on Prevention and Countering Terrorism
- the Law no .544/2001 on Free Access to Public Information
- the Law no .182/2002 on the Protection of Classified Information
- the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and Additional Protocols to the Convention ratified by Law no.34/1994.