Thursday, 12 February 2015 00:00

Security Agencies and Parliamentary Committees of Inquiry in Germany: Transparency vs. Confidentiality

Written by  Sebastian von Münchow
“Good governance” is the political concept through which transitional and post-conflict states seek to be integrated into those parts of the international community that embrace the ideals of democracy and the rule of law and place a premium on the will of the people. One of the most decisive factors for the implementation of good governance is in how the security sector interacts with the state and contributes to the public welfare. In particular, the security sector should be subject to civilian oversight and control, make decisions that are comprehensible, and beheld accountable for misconduct and unlawful actions. This concept has led to a worldwide movement for security sector reform (SSR). As the global SSR agenda has been developed and implemented over the past decade, there has been increasing pressure to better integrate the security sector into the state in an effort to restrict the use of security forces as oppressive tools for power by a particular regime, clan, or individual. This is the most important task facing those countries that are embarking on SSR processes in an effort to align themselves more closely with the Euro-Atlantic security space, as the most crucial element in reforming a security sector is to build a nationally-owned and led vision of security that embraces modern-day standards of transparency.