R2K notes that Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence has agreed to shortlist and interview candidates for Inspector General of Intelligence in public meetings. This is a welcome commitment towards a more transparent process. However, more is needed – the Inspector General is a public watchdog, and the public should have access to the CV of each candidate so that their experience and suitability is known to all.
We call on the Parliament to ensure that CVs are made public, and ensure that the National Assembly votes on a candidate for Inspector-General before 27 May 2016, when Parliament goes on a long recess before local elections. This key surveillance watchdog role has been vacant for over year now, and we can not afford any more delays. We demand a functioning Inspector General of Intelligence!
The Office of the Inspector General of Intelligence is meant to function as a watchdog of the intelligence services, and to protect the public against illegal surveillance and abuse of power. But in the last year, without an Inspector General, the complaints are stacking up and abuse of power goes unchecked.
R2K reiterates its call for a quick and transparent process, to appoint an independent and fearless candidate. Alongside the Legal Resources Centre, we will continue to monitor this process and demand that Parliament nominates an Inspector General of Intelligence before 27 May 2016.