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Standing Sub-Committees Supervising Information Services

Monitoring the Information Services of Police and the Federal Armed Forces

The competent committees of the National Council – the Committee of Domestic Affairs and the National Defence Committee – have to establish one Standing Sub-Committee each to monitor the information services of police (e.g. the "Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz und Terrorismusbekämpfung" [Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Control of Terrorism]) and the Federal Armed Forces (Military Counter-Intelligence Service and Military Information Service) (§ 32b GOG-NR).

Composition

Each Sub-Committee has at least one member of each of the parties represented in the Main Committee of the National Council.

Competences

Every member of the sub-committee may, in the course of a sub-committee sitting, demand relevant information from the competent member of the Federal Government. A sub-committee decision is required in order for the sub-committee or its member(s) to be given access to documentation. The government member is under the obligation to give such information or access to documentation unless s/he is not in a position to do so or if granting such a request might jeopardise national interests or the security of persons (§ 32c GOG-NR).

Convening the Sub-Committee

The Sub-Committees are principle convened by their Chairpersons once every three months. In addition, a sitting of the respective Sub-Committee shall be convened by its Chairperson at the request of one quarter of its members or of the competent government member.

Confidentiality

The deliberations of Sub-Committees are confidential. The members of the Sub-Committee are sworn to secrecy by the President of the National Council (§ 32d GOG-NR).