The Intelligence System of the Portuguese Republic (SIRP) includes:
- The Council for the Oversight of the Intelligence System of the Portuguese Republic (CFSIRP);
- The Superior Intelligence Council, the inter-ministerial consultation and coordination body for intelligence matters, chaired by the Prime Minister;
- The SIRP’s Data Oversight Commission, which is responsible for monitoring the activities of each intelligence service’s data centre, as well as the accessed telecommunications and Internet data, forwarding any irregularities or breaches of the law to the CFSIRP;
- The Secretary-General of the SIRP, who has powers to conduct at a higher level, through the directors, the activities of intelligence services, as well as to monitor, oversee and coordinate them, in order to ensure the effective fulfilment of their institutional aims, and also to manage the data centre of each intelligence service and their shared structures;
- The Defence Strategic Intelligence Service (SIED);
- The Security Intelligence Service (SIS).
The intelligence services – SIED and SIS – are entrusted with the task of assuring, upholding the Portuguese Constitution and the Rule of Law, the production of necessary intelligence in order to safeguard internal and external security, preserve independence and national interests, as well as the State’s unity and integrity.
No research, processing or dissemination of intelligence which involves threats or offences against the rights, freedoms and guarantees enshrined in the Constitution and the law can be carried out.
SIED is specifically responsible for the production of intelligence which contributes to safeguard national independence, national interests and the external security of the Portuguese State.
SIS is specifically responsible for the production of intelligence aimed at safeguarding internal security and preventing sabotage, terrorism, espionage and the practice of acts that, by their very nature, may damage or destroy the constitutionally established Rule of Law.
The Armed Forces produce intelligence required to accomplish their specific missions and ensure military security.
Attached to the Assembly of the Republic and ensuring compliance with the Constitution and the law, with particular focus on preserving rights, freedoms and guarantees, the CFSIRP oversees the SIRP, monitoring and supervising the activity of the Secretary-General, the activity of SIED and SIS, as well as the above-mentioned intelligence activities carried out by the Armed Forces.
The CFSIRP is composed of three citizens known to be fit and proper and in full enjoyment of their civil and political rights, whose background provides guarantees that they will respect the duties arising from the position, i.e. independence, impartiality and discretion, while they exercise their functions and afterwards.
In particular, the CFSIRP has powers to:
- Examine the activity reports of SIED and SIS and the report on intelligence activities carried out by the Armed Forces;
- Oversee the procedure for access to telecommunications and Internet data, and their resulting data, by SIED and SIS;
- Regularly receive from the Secretary-General a full list of the ongoing processes and a list of applications for access to telecommunications and Internet data, and it may, in both cases, request and obtain clarifications and additional information it deems necessary and appropriate for the performance of its supervisory duties;
- Be informed, through the Prime Minister, about the governmental guidelines criteria for intelligence collection, and obtain, from the Superior Intelligence Council, clarifications on SIRP’s operational issues;
- Regularly make inspection visits, with or without prior notice, aimed at collecting information about the operation and activities of the Secretary-General and intelligence services;
- Request information from the data centres which it deems necessary to perform its duties or to be informed of any irregularities or breaches of the law;
- Verify that internal rules and regulations pertaining to operational security procedures are in order, and analyse possible deviations from international standards and good practices;
- Verify compliance with the criteria and procedures applied to the admission of staff to carry out intelligence activities;
- Verify the establishment and adequacy of the internal control mechanisms applicable to staff, in order to detect possible situations of incompatibility, profile inadequacy or conflict of interest which might impact the regular operation of the intelligence services;
- Promote hearings and inquiries it deems necessary and appropriate for the full performance of its supervisory duties;
- Issue opinions, at least every six months, on the functioning of the SIRP, to be submitted to the Assembly of the Republic;
- Propose inspection, inquiry or sanction procedures to the Government, based on evidence of events serious enough to warrant them;
- Comment on any legislative initiatives concerning the SIRP, as well as organisational, staff, financial and administrative management models applicable to intelligence services;
- Keep an exhaustive, up-to-date and classified record of its supervisory and control activities;
- Monitor and be informed of the authorised arrangements for the exchange of intelligence among intelligence services, as well as the types of relationships between them and other entities, especially police authorities, responsible for ensuring legality and subject to the duty of cooperation.
Members of the CFSIRP:
• Abílio Manuel Pinto Rodrigues de Almeida Morgado, Chairman, since December 2017 (curriculum vitae and registration of interests).