Ansari for Parliamentary intelligence oversight committee

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - 21:01

New Delhi: Making a strong case for political
oversight of the country`s intelligence machinery, Vice
President Hamid Ansari on Tuesday mooted a Parliamentary committee
on intelligence which can look into its "financial and
performance accountability."

Taking the debate on the planned revamp of the country`s
security a step further, Ansari pressed for a calibrated
openness of the intelligence machinery to ensure oversight and

He also spoke of the need to strike a balance between
secrecy, openness and efficacy on a continuous basis besides
ensuring greater coordination to maximise results in complex

"There is no reason why a democratic system like India
should not have a Standing Committee of Parliament on
intelligence that could function at least on the pattern of
other Standing Committees (of Parliament)," Ansari said, adding
this was necessary to ensure that government policy is carried
out effectively within the boundaries of law,

Ansari was speaking at the RN Kao Memorial lecture held
in memory of the founding father of the country`s external
intelligence machinery -- Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

The former diplomat said whether the openness and public
discussion would compromise the secrecy essential for
intelligence needs to be examined carefully but the
legislature, nevertheless, is the organ of the state that
allocates funds and is, therefore, entitled to insist on
financial and performance accountability.

"The time-honoured formula of need to know has to be
modified by the requirement of the need to share," Ansari


First Published: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - 21:01

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