4 JANUARI 194210 JANUARI 2006




Intelligence in Kosovo – Looking ahead
Establishing an intelligence service for Kosovo
Proposition written by Jérôme Mellon with guidance from the SafePlace project team at the Forum for Civic Initiatives and Saferworld

Although the decision to establish an intelligence service for Kosovo would be politically sensitive and probably controversial, such an organisation would serve an important role by providing Kosovo’s decision-makers with timely, relevant, accurate and predictive advice, allowing them to make informed decisions for the benefit of the population of Kosovo and its neighbours. The UN Special Envoy, Martti Ahtisaari, recommended in

his official proposal that Kosovo, "…establish a domestic security agency to monitor threats to Kosovo’s internal security", and this new agency be, "…professional, apolitical, multi-ethnic and subject to parliamentary oversight and civilian administration."

Numerous organisations and stakeholders also favour this idea.

The establishment of such an organisation would take time, particularly for it to become fully operational, effective, and capable of delivering the type of advice decision-makers need to ensure security and stability in Kosovo. Therefore, the debate on the establishment of the Kosovo Security Service (KSS) should begin so that if the decision is indeed made to create such an organisation, some useful discussion and debate would have already taken place.

The paper, along with an accompanying backgrounder, Understanding Intelligence Services, is intended as a contribution to this discussion, prior to a final decision on the establishment of an intelligence service for Kosovo.

Although a final decision has yet to be made on Kosovo’s future status, it is useful to discuss the establishment of an intelligence service for Kosovo.

The following recommendations are based on democratic principles and international best practices which should guide decision-makers in the process of creating the KSS.

Mandate and tasking

Like any other government agency, the KSS should be placed under the oversight of the Assembly of Kosovo. However, to be effective, the KSS needs to be professional, non-partisan and independent of any political party. The role of politicians should therefore be limited to monitoring its activities on behalf of the population in order to ensure that it is not used as a tool of state oppression or of any one political party.

In this context, and in order to provide appropriate direction for the KSS and delineate the scope of its mandate, the Assembly of Kosovo should debate, vote on and approve a law on the Kosovo Security Service. This law should:

*Officially establish the KSS as an independent agency, positioned at the same level but without the same attributes as the ministries, and under the authority of the Prime Minister;

*Define the KSS as a purely domestic intelligence service which is responsible for gathering information and producing intelligence relevant to the internal security of Kosovo and to the maintenance of public order and safety;

*Describe every special power granted to the KSS, such as surveillance in non-public places, interception of communications and electronic surveillance, as exceptional measures requiring a judicial warrant prior to their use, and subject to a judicial review following their use;

*Limit the jurisdiction of the KSS to the official boundaries of the Kosovo territory, prohibiting any KSS intelligence activity, including the interception of communications, to be undertaken outside these boundaries;

*Define the concept of threat by limiting its meaning to those activities or individuals which may threaten the security of Kosovo through espionage, sabotage, political violence, terrorism or clandestine activities directed by foreign governments;

*Explicitly prohibit the KSS from investigating acts of lawful advocacy, protest, or dissent, unless these acts are clearly linked to threats to Kosovo’s security;

*Strictly prohibit any covert action aimed at influencing the political, military, social or economic conditions of a foreign country through means such as, but not limited to, propaganda, support to foreign political or military factions, assistance to foreign governments, sabotage, assassination or disruption of activities on foreign soil;

*Establish safeguards to prevent the misuse of the KSS by individuals, political parties or interest groups; and

*Explicitly state that all KSS actions without exception should respect and conform to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its Protocols, as well as to the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.

In addition, the Kosovo Prime Minister should, once a year, prepare and publish a document presenting Kosovo’s intelligence and security requirements.

These requirements should constitute a binding document for the KSS to guide its activities and set its objectives. Any deviation from these requirements by the KSS should be investigated promptly by the Assembly of Kosovo and unless proper justification for such deviation is provided by the KSS Director, the KSS should be instructed to revise its activities and objectives in accordance with the requirements.


To fulfil its role and mandate, the KSS should bring together the most qualified staff possible, but the law establishing the KSS should also establish some requirements and guidelines related to its staffing. To ensure the quality, impartiality and professionalism of the staff, the KSS should, through internal rules and policies:

*Set minimum age and education requirements for the recruitment of new staff;

*Impose a stringent and thorough vetting procedure to be undertaken for any potential new staff in order to assess the risk of the candidate becoming a threat to the KSS, divulging sensitive information to third parties, endangering other KSS staff, engaging in illegal activities, or compromising the reputation of the KSS;

*Establish the requirement for all new staff to undergo a comprehensive, in-house training programme at the start of their employment;

*Establish an internal code of conduct for all staff, addressing issues such as respect for the rule of law, discrimination, harassment, conflicts of interests and relations with the public, along with explicit disciplinary process in cases of improper or illegal conduct;


*Prohibit staff from being members of, or affiliated with, any other organisation outside the KSS where such membership or affiliation has the potential to harm the work, reputation, respectability, impartiality or efficiency of the KSS, the KSS staff or the Kosovo authorities.

Parliamentary oversight

Parliamentary oversight is the mechanism by which the members of the Assembly of Kosovo should debate and oversee the mandate, methods, structures and budget of the KSS and investigate its effectiveness in meeting the needs of Kosovo, as well as its compliance with national and international law and human rights standards. The law establishing the KSS should therefore:

*Call for the creation of a Sub-Committee on the Kosovo Security Service within the existing Committee on Security;

*Define the oversight mandate of the Sub-Committee as assessing and investigating the legality, efficacy, efficiency, budget and accounting, conformity with relevant human rights standards, and policy and administrative aspects of the KSS;

*Task the Sub-Committee with the responsibility, shared with the Ombudsperson of Kosovo, to receive and process complaints from citizens against the KSS and to investigate such complaints;

*Grant the Sub-Committee the power to make legally binding orders which can provide an effective remedy to a complainant who has a justifiable case, including the award of compensation and the destruction of material held by the KSS;

*Grant the Sub-Committee the authority to establish temporary, ad hoc commissions of inquiry to investigate specific public complaints or incidents involving the KSS;

*Task the Sub-Committee with the responsibility to prepare oversight and monitoring reports containing specific recommendations for implementation at least once a year, which should be published and debated in the Assembly of Kosovo;

*Refer to the internal rules of the Assembly of Kosovo for matters related to the vetting, appointment, removal and replacement of members of the Sub-Committee, with an emphasis on the need for the membership to be proportionally representative to the membership of the Assembly of Kosovo, with a prohibition on ministers or former KSS staff becoming members; and

*Grant sufficient but well-delineated powers and authority to allow the Sub-Committee to initiate investigations into the activities and internal management of the KSS, including the authority to access some classified information, subpoena witnesses and receive testimony under oath.

Although the oversight role of the Sub-Committee should mainly focus on the activities of the KSS, it should also monitor the KSS budget making sure that funds are used as intended and that no funds are transferred outside the KSS without the authorisation of the Assembly of Kosovo.

Independence and impartiality

The role of the KSS should be to provide unbiased, impartial and accurate advice to decision-makers regardless of their political affiliation, filial origins, political views or relationships. The KSS should therefore be impartial but also independent from these decision-makers. In addition, it should remain free from interference by individuals, political parties or interest groups. These principles are essential for the successful development of an effective and democratically accountable security service. Therefore, the law establishing the KSS should:

*Explicitly prohibit any individual, political party or interest group from obtaining assistance or information from the KSS for personal or partisan goals;

*Explicitly prohibit any individual, political party or interest group from influencing or trying to influence the dismissal of KSS staff, with such authority over staff resting with the KSS Director alone; and

*Require that, without exception, any request or instruction from the Government of Kosovo to the KSS be put in writing and immediately disclosed to the Sub-Committee on the Kosovo Security Service.

Co-operation and relationships with other Kosovo organisations

The KSS should establish and develop good relationships with a variety of Kosovo agencies and organisations. Although these relationships will depend heavily on the Prime Minister’s intelligence and security requirements and on the KSS’priorities and objectives, it should establish links with:

*The Kosovo Security Council (the creation of which is proposed by the Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement), reporting to the Prime Minister and having the mandate to develop a security strategy for Kosovo;

*The Kosovo Security Force (similarly proposed);

*The KPS, in order to receive daily situation reports and to share with the KPS any intelligence which could be relevant for its fight against crime;

*The KPS Directorate of Criminal Analysis, in order to receive all its criminal intelligence reports and analyses, and to share any intelligence which could be relevant for its profiling of criminal organisations or for the prosecution of criminals;

*The KPS Border Police, in order to receive all statistics and reports related to the crossing of Kosovo borders and to have access, upon request, to its databases, and to provide the KPS Border Police with any intelligence which could be relevant to preventing persons or goods from entering or exiting Kosovo if they constitute potential security or criminal threats to Kosovo or its neighbours;

*The KPC, or any successor organisation, to receive information and updates on civilian emergencies, industrial accidents or natural disasters, and to share any information which could be relevant for its preparation for and management of civilian crises;

*The Ministry of Internal Affairs, in order to receive information and statistics about the movement of persons in and out of Kosovo, about the central civil registry and database, and to share with it any information which could be relevant to its duties;

*The OPS, in order to receive any information related to public safety and emergencies that it is tasked with co-ordinating, gathering and disseminating, and to share any intelligence which could be relevant to its crisis-control role or which should be disseminated throughout Kosovo’s institutions of government;

*The fifteen ministries, in order to receive any information, statistics, plan or policy related to the administration of Kosovo and the provision of services, including health, education, telecommunications etc., and to share any information which could be relevant to their activities; and

*The Municipal Community Safety Councils and the Local Public Safety Committees, in order to receive any information regarding the trends and problems of community safety at the municipal and community levels, and to share with them any information which could be relevant to the improvement of community safety in Kosovo.

Each of these exchanges and relationships should be codified and formalised through written memorandums of agreement and, if relevant, KSS liaison officers should be dispatched to work within the different partner organisations or institutions.

Liaison with foreign organisations

Some threats to Kosovo’s safety and public order may originate from outside its territory. It will therefore be essential for the KSS to establish efficient relationships with foreign organisations in order to prevent such threats materialising by informing Kosovo decision-makers in an accurate and timely manner. At the same time, foreign organisations may benefit from the intelligence produced by the KSS or from the expert knowledge developed by its officers, and therefore may seek to enter into formal agreements with the KSS on exchange of information and expertise. In addition, these foreign organisations may be able to provide the KSS with assistance in its establishment and development. Therefore, the KSS should establish formal links with the security-related international organisations based in Kosovo, including KFOR, the intelligence agencies of foreign countries and the diplomatic offices established in Kosovo in order to:

*Receive and share information and intelligence;

*Request and offer support for joint intelligence investigations that require the involvement of agencies from more than one state, especially for cases where the investigation covers multiple jurisdictions;

*Request assistance in the training and capacitybuilding of KSS management, officers, analysts and support staff; and

*Request assistance for the acquisition and maintenance of infrastructure, vehicles and equipment.

However, the Kosovo Government and the KSS would have to be extremely careful in maintaining their independence from foreign organisations. Despite their good intentions and their substantial assistance, some foreign organisations may directly or indirectly attempt to influence the plans and priorities of the KSS. Since the KSS should work solely for the benefit of the Kosovo Government and population, its co-operation and relationship with foreign organisations should preserve its independence and its Kosovo-oriented focus at all times.

Sustainable development

Following the widely anticipated decision to establish the KSS, a practical and realistic roadmap should immediately be agreed, highlighting the steps required for the creation of the KSS and the other relevant entities, and setting out a realistic timeline for its establishment. The main objective of this roadmap should be to ensure the sustainable development of the KSS and should:

*Call for the initial recruitment of approximately 60 to 70 percent of the expected total workforce in order to allow for a gradual increase of the workforce in the future according to the real needs, new circumstances, budget constraints or new priorities;

*Recommend the establishment of a programme for the continuous education of KSS staff, including training and capacity-building for management, officers, analysts and support staff throughout their period of employment;

*Require rigorous and detailed procedures for the management of the KSS budget and expenses from the start, in accordance with international and regional best practices, and with the objective of facilitating future auditing; and

*Recommend that the KSS minimise its investment in new infrastructure (including vehicles) as much as possible to focus on capacitybuilding and operational priorities.

Building public accountability

While the technical and legislative details on how to establish the KSS in accordance with best practices and democratic principles are extremely important, their success relies heavily on the capacity for the population to understand and express their views on intelligence issues.

However, many Kosovars still refer to their experience of ‘intelligence’ under previous regimes, perceiving intelligence matters with a high degree of scepticism and even fear.

The population of Kosovo needs to debate matters related to security and intelligence as freely as it can discuss the economy, health or education.

Open discussion would demystify these sensitive and sometimes taboo issues, giving citizens access to decision-makers, and developing the role of the population as watchdog and advocate for change.

Directly, and through civil society, the people of Kosovo should be able to voice their concerns on issues such as telephone wiretapping, respect for privacy, the impact of political dynamics and rivalries on oversight and management of the security sector, risks of partiality of KSS staff and the engagement and perceptions of minority communities.

Public debate and discussions need to take place as soon as possible and before any major decision on security and intelligence, so as to allow Kosovo decision-makers to consider the expectations, concerns and perceptions of the population. Otherwise, decision-makers risk alienating the population and perpetuating the idea that intelligence concerns only those in power and can be managed behind closed doors.

Open public discussion of intelligence matters can be promoted in various ways, such as public surveys, focus group discussions, televised documentaries, public information campaigns, university seminars or classes, special parliamentary sessions involving the public, newspaper articles and televised debates. Therefore, the roadmap on the establishment and development of the KSS should as an initial step call for a great deal of work in this area as a contribution towards public accountability. However, it is crucial that activities in this direction promote genuine debate, that attempts are made to ensure the inclusion of all groups, including the marginalised, and that decision-makers, as well as the public, participate and are encouraged to respond. This mode of debate, rather than mere public relations and education, is required to secure genuine and meaningful public participation in the process of establishing and regulating the KSS.

In a 21st century European context, intelligence refers to information that has been processed and analysed to assist decision-makers, but for various reasons, mostly related to Kosovo’s authoritarian past, intelligence has become a ‘dirty word’ for Kosovars. The issue of intelligence has surfaced sporadically in Kosovo’s media, but without sustained and searching attention. With new proposals for the creation of a domestic intelligence service for Kosovo emerging, it becomes more important by the day to stimulate an open and healthy discussion on this subject so as to inform

policy-making and encourage active public engagement with the issues.

The mechanisms, principles and processes recommended in this report, while challenging in many respects, provide clear direction for those who will work to establish, run and oversee such a service.

Their work will entail significant challenges and those undertaking it will face many difficult questions, for example:

*How can sufficient legal safeguards be put in place to regulate the KSS effectively given Kosovo’s complex legal framework and the limited capacities of the Assembly of Kosovo?

*Should members of existing, unofficial intelligence organisations be recruited into the KSS or excluded?

*How can advice and support from interested governments and international organisations for the KSS be co-ordinated?

*What steps can be taken to protect the new service from infiltration or undue influence, whether of a political, criminal or foreign nature?

*How can trust in the KSS be built among a population, including minority communities, which has well-grounded fears of security institutions?

Questions such as these should be central to any debate on the establishment of a new intelligence service for Kosovo and clearly both high principles and practical considerations will apply in answering them. Should current recommendations for the creation of the KSS be taken forward, significant effort will be required by those involved in the process to support the involvement of a wide range of actors in such a debate and ensure that policies and practices reflect these views and concerns.


"Intelligence in Kosovo – Looking ahead" This report was written by Jérôme Mellon with guidance from the SafePlace project team at the Forum for Civic Initiatives and Saferworld in March 2007. Both organisations are grateful to those individuals, whether independent analysts or employees of the Kosovo Government or international administration in Kosovo, for their valuable input to the report. We also wish to thank the Governments of the United Kingdom and Germany for funding this publication through their support for the SafePlace project. Here is the principal part of report.

12. maj 2007. godine




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