17 March 2014

Fundasaun Mahein (FM): Is Timor-Leste's Intelligence Service Succeeding?

ETLJB 17/03/2014 - Mahein’s Voice report No.72 analyzes Timor-Leste’s intelligence service.  Law No. 09/2008 outlines the National Intelligence System and tasks the FALINTIL-FDTL and the PNTL with collecting national intelligence information.  In addition, decree law No. 03/2009 of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) also assigns members of the Police Information Service (PIS) and Military Information Service (SIM) to the duty of collecting and analyzing information relevant to national security interests.

Legislation has been created to govern how civil, police, and military intelligence members are able to collect information to combat criminal activities that threaten the public interest.  Some priorities for the intelligence service to investigate include the unresolved cases of the 11 February 2008 assassination, missing PNTL weapons, and prisoners who escaped from prison. 

How has the intelligence service failed to resolve these important cases?  The answer lies in the fact that intelligence service members lack the resources and adequate equipment to do their job effectively.  As a result, the information that the intelligence service is able to gather is either irrelevant or offers no practical benefit.  The failure of Timor’s intelligence service function effectively also stems from it’s capacity deficit in analyzing the data it collects.  In addition, coordination between intelligence service institutions has not been well implemented, resulting in the ineffective sharing of information between relevant institutions.

FM’s recommendations:

1.  Strengthening coordination between security institutions conducting intelligence activities such as the NIS, PNTL, F-FDTL and other relevant institutions under national security law.

2.  Provide ongoing capacity building for members conducting intelligence activities to improve their effectiveness and overall impact.

3. Create a program entitled “Popular Information Services” that involves community members and community police in the national intelligence gathering effort and network. Source: Fundasaun Mahein 14/03/2014  http://www.fundasaunmahein.org/2014/03/13/oinsa-serbisu-intelijensia-iha-timor-leste/

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