For You


SIS 2013 Annual Report

Bratislava, October 2014
  1. Introduction
  2. SIS strategic focus
    1. Security
    2. Counter-terrorism
    3. Illegal migration
    4. Counter-espionage protection
    5. Organised crime combat
    6. Defence industry product trading and proliferation
    7. Extremism
    8. Pseudo-religious groupings
    9. Cyberspace protection
    10. Economy
    11. Corruption and cronyism
    12. Inefficient management of state and municipality-owned assets
    13. Customs, tax and financial frauds
    14. Threats to the financial system of the Slovak Republic
    15. Foreign economic relations of the Slovak Republicc
    16. Foreign politics
    17. Ukraine
    18. the Russian Federation
    19. Belarus
    20. the Western Balkans
    21. Areas of crises and conflicts
  3. Cooperation with state bodies and notification duty
    1. Protection of classified information and clearances for customers
    2. Intelligence products for customers
  4. State of affairs, basic activities and SIS oversight
    1. Personnel matters
    2. Basic indicators
    3. Technical and material supplies state of affairs and SIS budget spending
    4. Information-technical means and telecommunication secrecy
    5. Cooperation between SIS and foreign intelligence services
    6. Legislation and supervision
    7. Legislation
    8. Supervision
    9. Oversight of the legality of SIS activities carried out by the Oversight Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic that oversees the activities of the Slovak Information Service
  5. A report on the National Security Analytical Centre (NBAC)
  6. Summary

1. Introduction

The 2013 Annual Report is a follow-up of the 2012 Annual Report of the Slovak Information Service (SIS). It provides information on the status, activities and results achieved in the performance of SIS in 2013. This material also contains information regarding the activities of the National Security Analytical Centre (NBAC) in 2013 in accordance with its status.

SIS guarantees intelligence protection of the state in the security system of the Slovak Republic and actively cooperates with partners intelligence services and international organisations in order to avert security threats to the EU and NATO member-states and to the international community.

By performing intelligence tasks in 2013, SIS positively contributed to the protection of the constitutional system and internal order, state security and protection and enforcement of foreign political and economic interests of the Slovak Republic.

2. SIS strategic focus

2.1 Security


In counter-terrorism SIS did not record direct terrorist threats in the Slovak republic nor the participation of Slovak citizens in terrorist activities abroad. In the evaluated period the security situation worsened due to terrorist threats in other countries Slovak citizens1 visit or countries the Slovak Republic has its foreign-political interests in. In Afghanistan, members of the Slovak armed forces of the ISAF mission became the target of terrorist attacks of the Islamist militant movement (Taliban); in this context the Slovak Republic (more precisely, its citizens2) was explicitly mentioned for the first time in the Jihadist propaganda on the internet.

SIS paid attention to the development in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, especially to the situation in Syria; in 2013 Syria became the most attractive Jihadist destination for foreign fighters. SIS informed its customers about increased interest of European volunteers to join the fights in the country. The trend heightened security threat in Europe significantly, especially due to the issue of returnees with fighting experience who adhere to radical Jihadist ideology and maintain contacts with foreign Jihadist groups.

Illegal migration

In the assessed period most detained illegal migrants en route to western European countries perceived the Slovak Republic as a transit country. Envisioned improvement of economic situation was their main motivating factor.

SIS collected intelligence on organised illegal migration using combined illegal and legal transit ways – for instance, misuse and modification of Slovak passports, sham marriages, establishment of fictitious companies, misuse of invitations to Slovakia or study visas.

With regard to the situation in Syria a slight increase of number of illegal migrants from the region was recorded in 2013 in Slovakia.

Counter-espionage protection

SIS recorded activities of foreign intelligence services that tried to infiltrate central bodies of the state administration and security forces of the Slovak Republic as well as to influence public opinion. Further, these services were increasingly attempting to carry out activities in economy, science and military as well as perform industrial espionage. Besides other things SIS recorded risk and non-standard activities of some foreign companies in the Slovak Republic that could have been used for the benefit of foreign intelligence services. Development of cooperation with partner intelligence services from the EU and NATO member states and some Asian countries contributed to the efficient counter-espionage protection of the Slovak Republic.

Organised crime combat

Within organised crime combat SIS focused on collecting information on illegal activities of the strongest domestic and foreign organised groups that carry out their activities in the Slovak Republic (SIS focused especially on discovering their economic crimes) in 2013. The given crime groups profited mainly from illegal activities linked with excise tax (alcohol, tobacco and mineral oil frauds), excessive VAT deductions and financial frauds.

Organised crime groups were substantially engaged in drug trading business, organised illegal migration, prostitution and usury. They further profited from violent crimes (protection racket, robberies, blackmailing, arranged murders, etc.).

Balkan crime groups benefited from their strong position; these groups are mainly involved in drug trading business under transnational drug distribution network that delivers drugs from the Balkans to the Slovak Republic and other EU member states. In order to legalise their illegal income crime groups used restaurants and recreational facilities, construction and real estate businesses as cover. We identified attempts of the representatives of international crime groups to legalise illegal income using legal investments in Slovakia.

SIS informed its customers about cases of cooperation between crime groups and some representatives of local administration. Crime groups attempted to take over lucrative assets owned by municipalities for undervalued prices.

Defence industry product trading and proliferation

In the assessed period SIS continued monitoring controlled products trading; in accordance with the currently valid legislation it actively participated at licence issuing process relating to defence industry product trading, products, possession of which is limited due to security reasons and dual-use goods. The service also provided its stands regarding requests of the Slovak state bodies relating to international sanctions.

SIS was actively assessing individual business operations in order to identify final recipients of defence industry products and dual-use goods. In the second half of 2013, SIS recorded and assessed several activities relating to attempted exports of defence industry products to the Middle East.

As a part of preventive measures, SIS exposed new possibilities in 3D printing that can be misused to illegally produce hand guns that are difficult to discover using current detection security systems.

SIS participated in the monitoring of the security of nuclear power plants and nuclear materials in the Slovak Republic and participated in the work of the interdepartmental workgroup led by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of the Slovak Republic, especially in order to identify threats that might have had impact on nuclear or operation security levels as well as on physical protection of nuclear power plants.

Regarding the issue of safety of nuclear materials, SIS for instance cooperated with the Police Force in investigating smuggling and illegal attempted sale of radioactive materials.


From the security point of view occasional violent displays of adherents and sympathisers of right and left-wing extremism, especially mutual physical attacks or violent attacks targeting property as well as violence during public gatherings at sports venues were of highest risk. In the assessed period manifestations of violence with extremist background were sporadic and mostly situational.

SIS assessed the attempted penetration of right-wing extremism (XRW) into political and public life poses a certain level of risk. Posts gained by right-wing extremists on local, regional or national levels provide ground for extremist ideology.

Violent activities of Slovak radical football fans (hooligans) who cooperated with friendly hooligans, mainly from Poland and the Czech Republic, continued in the assessed period.

Several XRW sympathisers, including radical football fans, took part in civil protests in the second half of 2013 aiming to misuse these public events for their own promotion as well as to commit violent actions anonymously in the crowd. As the given public gatherings were not radical enough and were attended by a low number of participants (and due to decreasing interest of the general public) Slovak XRW members eventually stopped participating at these events.

Furthermore, in 2013, besides information on the development of the extremist scene in Slovakia, SIS informed its customers about potential risky activities targeting social systems in the European context.

Pseudo-religious groupings

Regarding destructive sects and risky religious communities, SIS assessed activities of entities that spread their ideology and efforts in order to gain influence in state and private sectors as well as in municipalities. These entities used substandard and non-transparent methods often to feather their own nest and negatively influence mental and physical health conditions of their supporters as well as their social conditions.

Cyberspace protection

In 2013 SIS focused on the protection of cyberspace and mainly recorded activities of the Anonymous hacktivist movement. In the second half of 2013 SIS recorded several cyberattacks (politically motivated) aimed at websites of Slovak state organisations carried out mostly by anti-system movements; in cooperation with state administration SIS averted such attacks in several cases.

2.2 Economy

Corruption and cronyism

In 2012 SIS collected information indicating corruption and clientelism in local and regional municipality bodies, state administration institutions and entities with state interest ownership in public procurement as well as in connection with allocation of funds from the state budget and EU funds.

In connection with public procurement corruption, SIS also recorded suspected corruption activities of an executive director of a state company who had probably accepted bribes and allegedly rigged public procurement and granted contracts to a friendly company.

SIS notified of a representative of a regional government who allegedly used a mediator to demand bribes from investors for securing approval of a region for their investments.

Suspected corruption activities were recorded in relation with tax inspections concerning excessive VAT deductions and relating tax frauds.

SIS also notified of a case, in which unjustified drawing of agricultural subsidies for working lands, owner of which had had no proprietary right or right of use to and had not worked them. In order to get subsidies, the owner of the company allegedly benefited from his friendly relationship with the representatives of the provider of subsidies; the company was paid to and no subsequent inspection took place.

Inefficient management of state and municipality-owned assets

In the given period SIS collected intelligence pointing to a suspicion some state and municipality-interest companies were causing harm to Slovak economic interests. Suspicioned cases of inefficient management and handling of state assets related especially to important state construction contracts, smaller contracts for goods and services, drawing subsidies from the state and EU funds. Suspicion relating to inefficient handling of municipal assets related especially to suspected cases of corruption of some of its representatives; in some cases signals pointed to a possible connection between the representatives of municipality and crime groups. SIS further recorded fraudulent activities of private persons aiming to gain profit at the expense of the state.

SIS informed its customers about findings relating to a strategic energy source, non-transparent activities of a foreign shareholder of an energy company as well as suspected overpriced purchases of a state company.

Economy interests of several Slovak municipalities were harmed especially due to non-transparent and inefficient management and handling of its assets (overpriced purchases for fictitious work). In this context SIS informed its customers of a suspicious underestimated sale of lucrative premises owned by a municipality to persons related to crime groups.

SIS informed its customers about risks relating to several investment intentions in central and eastern Slovakia. The given projects were doubted for their feasibility, financing and return as well as misused investment incentives provided by the state and local administration.

In connection with drawing of the EU funds, SIS collected information on suspected misuse and inefficient management of grants for reconstruction and construction of social service facilities provided to some NGOs from the Regional Operational Programme.

SIS informed its customers of a misuse of the EU funds originally intended for social purposes in one municipality and for reconstruction of a cultural centre in another municipality by their statutory representatives. SIS continued collecting intelligence on suspected cases of state land frauds and pointed to a group of persons who allegedly cooperated with a civil servant and gained state lands in a lucrative area for a price lower than the market. Some state lands were sold to persons related to a crime group upon unjustified restitution and usucaption; in future it is expected the status of the lands will change and their value would thus increase multiply.

SIS informed its customers of suspicious interference with court proceedings in unjustified cases of property and financial claims towards the state.

Customs, tax and financial frauds

Combatting tax frauds has long been one of the priorities of the service. In the assessed period SIS especially focused on discovering large-scale tax frauds linked with indirect tax evasions of organised groups – tax frauds linked with illegal asserted VAT refunds, income and value-added tax evasions and excise tax frauds linked with illegal production, distribution and sale of taxable goods.

SIS informed of suspicions that chains of interrelated companies that traded among themselves in order to illegally claim excessive VAT deductions or lower their VAT payments carried out large-scale tax frauds. These illegal financial operations increased their profit or lowered the prices of the goods for sale and thus gained competition advantage on the market. SIS also provided information of suspected businesspersons who officially trade with taxable goods but were also involved in illegal trading with these goods (no accounting entries, no excise, income and value-added taxes paid).

In the Slovak Republic several groups illegally importing tobacco and tobacco products mainly from Ukraine existed. Smuggled dried tobacco was processed in Slovakia and distributed to end users as forged tobacco blends of official producers. Regarding excise tax on alcohol, SIS recorded suspected illegal imports and distribution in the country. SIS informed its customers about illegal import of spirits bottled into consumer packaging with labels of the original producer that had been distributed mainly to restaurants; SIS warned of fake foreign branded spirit that had penetrated legal market in Slovakia.

Within excise tax on mineral oil frauds, SIS identified international traders’ networks who took advantage of companies registered in Slovakia. These tax frauds were based on false declarations of products made from mineral oil; alternatively, declared purpose and real purpose varied. The biggest frauds were with VAT; this was due to the mechanism how this tax functions, scope of its assertion and cancelled customs control in EU. SIS informed its customers of groups of companies that illegally claimed excessive VAT deductions based on fictitious or partially fictitious businesses with various commodities, such as grain, sugar, stone, scrap metal, etc.

These business operations took place in Slovakia or in cooperation with foreign companies registered in surrounding states. The mechanism of the fraud was based on chain and fictitious sale of goods – one company claimed and often collected excessive VAT deduction from the purchased goods; another seller (dummy) had not paid VAT. Dummy and poor companies with unpaid tax liabilities often changed names and addresses and did not communicate with tax administrators. Cases in which homeless persons or persons living in poverty (cat’s paws) were sometimes hired as executive managers or owners of dummy companies were also recorded.

In order to lower their income and value-added taxes, a higher number of businesspersons allegedly used services provided by entities that issue invoices listing fictitious supplies of goods and services for a commission. The issuers did not record these invoices in their accounting books and did not report these incomes in tax returns; on the other hand these customers illegally claimed VAT deductions and lowered their income tax.

Threats to the financial system of the Slovak Republic

In connection with possible threats to the financial system of the Slovak Republic SIS informed its customers of bank and insurance frauds, analysed the issue of virtual currencies and recorded investments of persons suspected of being members of foreign crime groups.

SIS continuously assessed activities relating to forged currency, stamps and vouchers and spirit and cigarette tax stamps and intensively monitored distribution of forged euro currency; according to the National Bank of Slovakia, the number of forged euro coins increased dramatically.

In the assessed period SIS warned of an attempted wooing of Slovak clients into unauthorised investment banking scheme abroad.

Foreign economic relations of the Slovak Republic

In the area of the protection of foreign economic interests of the Slovak Republic SIS focused especially on the issue of supplies of strategic materials, mainly oil and gas. Energy supplies from Russia to Slovakia were stable during 2013.

Slovak energy sector was significantly affected by the steps relating to the European Union Third Energy Package and the situation in the industry. SIS analysed relations between energy companies and the state, in which attempted enforcing of own economic interests of energy concerns at the expense of the state were recorded.

Besides energy SIS focused on the situation in the Eurozone, the development of the Ukrainian economy and investment environment in Slovakia as perceived by foreign investors.

Further, SIS paid attention to and notified its customers of a potentially risky takeover of one important Slovak company by foreign investors.

2.3 Foreign politics


SIS assessed the political development in Ukraine; in 2013 the process of strengthening the position of Viktor Yanukovych and his associates continued. Opposition parties failed to establish a common platform that would slow down the process. At the same time a fight between oligarch clans broke out; a group of the strongest oligarchs tried to counterbalance the increasing influence of Yanukovych’s family that had been weakening other oligarchs.

In relation with the preparations of Ukraine to sign the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (AA/DCFTA) signed in December 2013, the issue of liberation of the ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko resonated.

In foreign politics Ukraine continued to hesitate between taking sides with the Russian Federation or the European Union. Increasing Russian influence resulted in the refusal to sign AA/DCFTA and led to mass early-2014 demonstrations (known as the Maidan).

the Russian Federation

SIS identified risk factors of the domestic-political development in the Russian Federation in 2013 arising mainly from continuing political measures aimed at maintaining social consensus and the status of the existing political elite. Decreasing support of the ruling party United Russia complicated the situation. All-Russia National Front, officially supported by Putin, did not manage to profile itself as a new leading political entity. The division of power between United Russia and All-Russia National Front created conflicts among regional elites. Political conflicts relating to reforms in armed forces were another potential destabilising factor.

Key status of Ukraine in the politics of the Russian Federation regarding the so-called close foreign countries intensified Russian attempts to have Ukraine integrated into Euro-Asian structures, especially the Customs Union. Russia tried to persuade Ukraine to deflect its integration with EU structures and to join the Customs Union by offering economic benefits and issuing threats of trade restrictions at the same time.


Internal political situation in Belarus did not change in 2013. Alexander Lukashenko continued replacing people in order to strengthen his dominant position in state and security apparatuses. A relatively high level of support depended on his ability to solve increasing economic and social difficulties linked with deepening crisis in Belarus. Opposition remained marginalised. Foreign political relations with Russia and EU did not change much. Belarusian MFA tried to partially open its foreign politics towards the West while maintaining above-standard relations with Russia.

the Western Balkans

SIS collected information on the situation in the region of the Western Balkans. Certain development regarding the integration process was visible in Serbia and Kosovo. The rest of the region was being dragged down by stagnating reforms and political crises. Security situation in the region remained calm and stable; only local incidents occurred. The unprecedented attack on the EULEX mission in September 2013, in which one its members died, was the only exception. The presence of international community in the area is still justified and is an important factor contributing to stability and progress.

The agreement on standardisation of mutual relations of April 2013 was a breakthrough in the Serbia-Kosovo relations. Its most significant impact was municipal elections in November/December 2013 that took place in the whole territory of the province, despite obstructions and several violent incidents in the northern part of Kosovo. After the agreement was signed, the European Commission advised that work start on the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo, and accession negotiations began with Serbia.

Internal political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the national level as well as at the level of individual entities remains unstable and affected by crisis and discrepancies among political entities who had not shown interest in solving accumulated difficulties. Due to the parliamentary and presidential elections in 2014 the agenda of all political parties focused especially on electoral campaign and seeking suitable coalition partners. No significant progress regarding the EU integration process requirements was visible.

Areas of crises and conflicts

The development in the Middle East and North Africa was affected by political turbulences and instability resulting from the so-called Arab Spring that had started in 2011. Geopolitical balance in the region was disturbed by the regime changes. The military coup in Egypt led to the restoration of some traditional regional alliances, such as the alliance between Egypt and conservative monarchies of the Persian Gulf, stopped the expansion of the Islamist activism of the Muslim Brotherhood and weakened growing power ambitions of Turkey in the region. The Syrian conflict consolidated the traditional alliance between Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. The development of the situation relating to the Iranian nuclear programme clashed with the mutual interest of Israel and Saudi Arabia to maintain strict sanctions against Iran.

The priority of SIS in the region was the civil conflict in Syria that was affecting security situation in the region significantly in 2013; its relating possible risks for Slovak and European interests were continuously assessed by the service. In the evaluated period no significant change in the balance of power between the government forces and the opposition occurred. Syrian army aided by irregular armed forces (for example the fighters of the Hezbollah movement) stabilised its control over some strategic areas in the western part of the country. The capacity of the Syrian opposition was lowered due to limited foreign aid and weapon supplies as their sponsors feared the weapons could end in the hands of Jihadists groups. The Jihadist Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) expanded to the exclusion of rebel groups that led to an open breakup and violent confrontation with other Islamist and secular groups in the north-western part of Syria.

The chemical attack in the eastern suburb of Damascus on 21 August 2013 in which chemical ammunition (according to the report of the UN investigation committee of 13 September 2013) was used was an important event. The subsequent Russian-American agreement on the disposal of Syrian chemical arsenal created conditions for intensified attempts to solve the conflict in a non-violent (political) way.

The situation in Lebanon deteriorated in 2013 due to the activities of the Shia Hezbollah movement and the effects of the civil war in Syria. With this regard SIS assessed information on the increase of sectarian tension in the country, worsening of the security situation and possible endangering of European interests in the country. Lebanese Salafi organisations linked with Syrian Jihadist organisations (ISIL, the Al-Nusra Front) launched a terrorist campaign targeting the interests of Hezbollah in May 2013. Attacks on Shia communities – the power base of the movement were a part of this campaign.

The peace process leading to the solving of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict mostly stagnated in 2013 despite the attempts of the American administration to bring the talks to a new level. However, the initiative of the American Minister of Foreign Affairs to draft the framework of an agreement that would serve as a platform for final talks was a positive contribution. After the military coup in Egypt (July) the social and economic situation deteriorated critically. The new Egyptian regime started blocking the Strip as a retribution for alleged support provided by Hamas to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. The isolation of Hamas created conditions for strengthened Iranian influence over the movement.

At the beginning of 2013 a long-term stalemate regarding the talks on the Iranian nuclear programme was broken. The P5+1 group offered Iran lowering the sanctions in return for limiting some risk nuclear activities in February 2013. The Geneva talks of November 2013 brought a wind of change as the atmosphere in Iran (a reformist had won the presidential elections) as well as in the international community (the fear of another conflict in the region affected by the Syrian civil war) had changed, and the agreement aiming to solve the Iranian nuclear issue in a diplomatic way within the one-year period was signed. During 2013 Iran still faced the sanctions imposed by US and EU.

On the Iranian domestic political scene the presidential elections that took place in June were of most importance. The winning of the central-reformed wing of Hassan Rouhani partially improved Iran’s picture in the eyes of the West. Solving the Iranian nuclear issue and ending diplomatic and economic isolation of the country, improving social and economic situation and gradual liberalisation of social and political system were the main aims of Rouhani and his government. The president had originally been supported by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. In 2013 SIS actively participated in the complicated case of return of Slovak citizens from the Middle East. However, at the end of 2013 the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and a part of the conservative political wing who perceived Rouhani’s politics as a threat to their power ambitions resulted in intensified their criticism.

The situation in Egypt in the assessed period was affected by significant worsening of the security situation caused by an increased number of violent protests and activities of terrorist groups as well as negative development of social and economic situation of the general public. Inability of the leading Muslim Brotherhood to solve political and security crisis in the country and mobilisation of political opposition led to overthrowing of the president (Morsi) by the army in July 2013. Interim leadership of the country in cooperation with the army subsequently faced mass demonstrations of the followers of the Muslim Brotherhood and street violence. On one hand, repressive politics, persecutions and arresting of the leaders of the movement prevented the Muslim Brotherhood from mobilising the general public but made the ruling of the interim government difficult; on the other hand, radical Islamist groups in Sinai were activated. Despite vast security operations targeting the armed Islamists by the army, some groups (e.g. Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis) managed to expand their presence inland, including Cairo. Temporary management of the state and the army enjoyed a relatively high level of support of the public, despite existing economic and security difficulties.

In the Far East at the beginning of 2013 security threats in the Korean peninsula escalated. The tense situation resulted from the threats of the North Korean leadership who had announced the use of missile arsenal against the Republic of Korea or US. At the end of April/beginning of May the danger of confrontation transformed from verbal to diplomatic level. The process of escalation and attitude of the leadership of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea resulted in a chill in China’s as well as in Russia’s relations to the North Korea. The perspective unification of the two parts of the Korean peninsula remains the question of the future. In December 2013 the news about the execution of the influential representative of the North Korean regime – Jang Sung-taek – leaked; as a result, fears of the destabilisation of the country and difficult-to-predict radical moves of its leadership surfaced.

3. Cooperation with state bodies and notification duty

The Security Council of the Slovak Republic tasks SIS. The Council is an advisory body to the government of the Slovak Republic; it is chaired by the Prime Minister, and the director of the service participates in its meetings. The director of the service orally informs the members of the Council of the assessment of the security situation in the Slovak Republic and the world. Within the Council the Committee on Intelligence Services Cooperation discusses issues relating to intelligence services in the Slovak Republic as well as security issues. The SIS director is a member of the Committee and the Prime Minister is a Chair. The director presents the members of the Committee information on intelligence priorities and up-to-date intelligence.

According to the Act on Slovak Information Service, SIS uses official service contacts with Slovak state bodies, institutions and offices for collecting information and supporting materials that might lead to clarification required for the fulfilment of the tasks as stated in the Act. SIS members establish official service contacts upon the director’s approval or authorisation.

In 2013 SIS continued cooperation with the Office of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, the Office of the President of the Slovak Republic, the Cabinet Office of the Slovak Republic and all ministries of the Slovak Republic and their subordinate units. SIS also cooperated with other state offices and institutions.

In 2013 SIS launched the project of security awareness for the employees of several state bodies. Within the project SIS organised a series of lectures focusing on IT security, potential risks and dangers employees might come across when working with classified information as well as on practices of foreign intelligence services, their target areas and intelligence production of SIS and the relating feedback. The project was positively perceived by several state bodies; SIS will continue to provide such lectures in years to come.

Within official contacts SIS gathered information and materials for use in its analytical or operational activities and feedback to its products for improving its future activities. The service intensively cooperated in the areas of the protection of classified information, security vetting, issuing certificates for technical devices, development of information and communication technologies, encrypted protection of information, protection against unauthorised use of information-technical means, legislation and international crisis management.

SIS members established official contacts in connection with their participation in several interdepartmental platforms concerning the state security. For instance, SIS took part in the Expert Group on the Exchange and Analysis of Information and Cooperation in Counter-terrorism, Interdepartmental Expert Coordination Committee for Combatting Crime and its workgroups, Standing Expert Group on Authorising Trades with Military Products, and Standing Interdepartmental Workgroup on Threats to Nuclear Facilities and Committee for Prevention and Elimination of Racism, Xenophobia, Anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance (a permanent advisory body of the Government Council of the Slovak Republic for Human Rights, National Minorities and Gender Equality). Cooperation between SIS and Slovak state bodies contributed to efficient fulfilment of the defined tasks.

The newly-established National Security and Analytical Centre (NBAC) (in full operation since 1 July 2013, see Chapter 5) as an interdepartmental analytical workplace realised several measures for improving and accelerating interdepartmental communication for identifying security threats for the Slovak Republic and its citizens by fusing information accessible to relevant state bodies of the Slovak Republic relating to specified security incidents and events. NBAC established cooperation with foreign partner centres in EU, USA and Canada.

In 2013 intelligence activities of SIS intensified in relation with tax and customs frauds; this was reflected in the number of products SIS sent to its customers.

SIS successfully realised several operations with foreign partner intelligence services and its involvement was perceived as positive.

Protection of classified information and clearances for customers

In 2013, in accordance with requests of the Migration Office of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic and Article 19a(7) of Act 480/2002 Coll. on asylum that changes and supplements certain Acts as subsequently amended and requests of the Border and Foreign Police of the Presidium of the Police Force of the Slovak Republic and Article 125(6) of Act 404/2011 Coll. on stay of aliens that changes and supplements certain Acts, SIS carried out administration clearances of persons. By providing stands SIS participated in the process of assessing credibility of persons cleared under special regulations of the Ministry of Interior – the Office of Private Security Services of the Presidium of the Police Force and Regional Offices of the Police Force and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Slovak Republic (the Transport Office since 1 January 2014).

As requested by the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic, SIS carried out administration clearances of persons in accordance with Article 8a(3) of the Act 40/1993 Coll. on state citizenship of the Slovak Republic as subsequently amended. SIS also responded to similar requests of foreign partner intelligence services.

SIS assessed 10.247 cases upon requests of state bodies. In cooperation with foreign partners SIS screened 7.148 persons, entities, metadata entries and other data items. Moreover, more than 7.100 pieces of intelligence were exchanged under international cooperation agreements with partner services.

Intelligence products for customers

In Strategic Focus areas SIS forwarded 389 intelligence products to its customers – 140 (36 %) relating to security, 139 (36 %) relating to economy and 110 (28 %) relating to foreign politics, as the following figure shows:

Intelligence product areas from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012

Further, intensive cooperation between SIS, the Police Force, the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic and other security forces continued on operational and expert levels on daily basis.

4. State of affairs, basic activities and SIS oversight

4.1 Personnel matters

Basic indicators

As at 31 December 2013, the total of SIS members accounted for more than 83 % of the planned state; related to the last year, the number is more or less identical. Personnel structure according to the basic demographics remained unchanged when compared to previous years.

60 % accounts for men, 40 % accounts for women. 53 % of the officers is younger than 40. 69 % has university education.

Figure: SIS members according to gender, age, education and state service

SIS members according to gender, age and education

4.2 Technical and material supplies state of affairs and SIS budget spending

Draft of the budget of the budget chapter of SIS for 2013 was discussed and approved in the National Council of the Slovak Republic within the limits submitted by the Government of the Slovak Republic totalling EUR 41.466.985 for Information activity programme. Ordinary expenses totalled EUR 40.470.985 and capital expenses totalled EUR 996.000. Incomes approved totalled EUR 160.000 .

In 2013 the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic issued five budget measures affecting the total amount of expenses of the service; after the measures were adopted the sum totalled EUR 46.189.690.

Table: Final indicators of the 2013 SIS budget chapter

Final indicators for 2013

Approved budget

Modified by

Modified budget

Actual as at 30 June 2013

Budget spending

Total income

 160 000 €

-30 000 €

130 000 €

134 002 €

103,08 %

Total expenses

41 466 985 €

4 722 705 €

46 189 690 €

46 188 516 €

100,00 %

current expenses

40 470 985 €

2 722 705 €

43 193 690 €

43 193 688 €

100,00 %

capital expenses

996 000 €

2 000 000 €

2 996 000 €

2 994 828 €

99,96 %

In the area of technical and material supplies SIS investments were mainly as follows

a) in accordance with the Resolution of the Security Council of the Slovak Republic 282 of 22 November 2011 and the Resolution of the Government of the Slovak Republic 75 of 7 March 2012 in the first half of 2013, SIS established the National Security Analytical Centre,

b) in accordance with budget measure for increasing the limit of capital expenses by EUR 2 mil., SIS carried out the project of replacing link means of encrypted protection of information necessary due to void certificate of the devices used for encrypted protection of information,

c) in order to secure right conditions for fulfilling tasks in the areas of state security and dispose of insufficient construction and technical states of SIS premises, SIS drew finances for reconstruction and construction works necessary to secure protection of classified information stored in these premises,

d) in order to protect classified information, encryption devices for the communication centre were purchased, to secure intelligence-operational activities, special intelligence devices were purchased; in necessary cases, partial reconstruction of internal information system and internal communication network took place.

Taking the general cost-cutting trend into account, a critical state in the area of information and communication systems occurred. Despite regular maintenance and repairs and due to physical and moral wear of the given systems, occurring failures might endanger tasks of the service.

Having rationalised and optimised expenses, SIS had saved allocated finances that were used to secure basic operations, maintenance and repairs of state assets managed by SIS and to remove consequences of state of emergency in SIS premises.

In relation to cost-cutting measures, SIS performed tasks in technical and material supplies area in accordance with generally binding and internal regulations. SIS drew finances from the state budget taking the purpose given, efficiency and economy into account.

4.3 Information-technical means and telecommunication secrecy

According to Section 10(1(b)) of Act of the National Council of the Slovak Republic no. 49/1993 Coll. on the Slovak Information Service as subsequently amended and Section 2(2) of Act no. 166/2003 Coll. on the protection of privacy against unauthorised use of information-technical means amending and supplementing certain Acts (Act on the protection against interception) as subsequently amended, SIS is authorised to use information-technical means in order to carry out its legal tasks. These means can be utilised to infringe privacy of persons without their prior approval in accordance with the conditions stated in the law.

These means can be utilised upon a prior approval of the court. It is possible to use Information-technical means during a maximum period of 6 months. This period starts upon the day of the approval of the court. If necessary to use several types of means at once or subsequently, each means can only be used in the scope approved by the court. If means need to be used in place not accessible to the general public, the judge granting the approval decides whether the approval is given for entering such places.

In 2013 SIS submitted 235 requests to use information-technical means; the court issued 230 approvals; 5 requests were rejected.

Out of 230 uses of information-technical means, all cases were evaluated in terms of aims and purposes as stated by law. The aims and purposes as defined by law were reached in 217 uses of information-technical means; in 13 cases it were not.***

Table: The use of information-technical means (ITM) in 2013

    Number of uses

Section 2(1(a))

Section 2(1(b))

Section 2(1(c))


1. Number of ITM use requests – Section 4(1) 0 206 29 235
2. O/W: approvals 0 202 28 230
3.           rejections 0 4 1 5
4. Number of ITM renewal requests to prolong the period of ITM use within the same case – Section 4(2) 0 0 0 0
5. O/W: approvals 0 0 0 0
6.           rejections 0 0 0 0
7. Number of ITM uses in accordance with Section 5(1, 2) – additional approvals - - - -
8. O/W: approvals - - - -
9.           rejections - - - -
10. Number of ITM uses that reached aims and purposes as stated by law ** 0 191 26 217
11. Number of ITM uses that did not reach aims and purposes as stated by law ** 0 11 2 13
12. Number of ITM uses where information were used as evidence in criminal proceedings**** - - - -
13. Number of illegitimate ITM uses 0 0 0 0
14. Total number of ITM use requests total rows 1+4+7 0 206 29 235
15. Total number of approvals total row 2+5+8 0 202 28 230
16. Total number of rejections total row 3+6+9 0 4 1 5


Concordance between the number of requests and approvals for the use of information-technical means in 2013 was confirmed by the District Court in Bratislava.

*          Each ITM renewal request counts as an individual ITM case.

**          SIS is not entitled to use ITM without a prior authorisation of the judge (on contrary to the Police Force)

***        Number of closed and evaluated cases to the date of forwarding the Report on the use of information-technical means in 2013. Other cases were either open or the 30-day assessment period did not end.

****      The aim of using ITM by the Slovak Information Service is not primarily the use of gathered intelligence in criminal proceedings as SIS is not a prosecuting authority in compliance with law of the Slovak Republic. The results of the use of ITM are forwarded to prosecuting authorities for their own purposes.

Technical means applied along with strict organisation and control measures guarantee the legality of ITM use and exclude the possibility of unauthorised access into the monitoring system or data storage and archives. Handling with information regarding the use of ITM and the accompanying documents relating to ITM is in accordance with internal regulation and Act 166/2003 Coll. SIS did not use information-technical means in violation of the law.

In 2013 upon requests of SIS 187 court rulings on providing subject of the telecommunication secrecy were issued that included lists of data of communicating parties (billing), locations and additional operational data relating to users of telecommunication services.


4.4 Cooperation between SIS and foreign intelligence services

The development of international cooperation in 2013 continued. Bilateral cooperation was focused especially on deepening existing relations with partner intelligence services in the areas of operations and analyses. At the same time cooperation with 5 more services was launched – SIS thus cooperated with 80 partner services.

Counter-terrorism, counter-extremism, proliferation of dual use materials, illegal defence product trading, illegal migration, organised crime and foreign intelligence service activities were the main topics of international cooperation. Cooperation was also focused on protecting security, political and economic interests of the Slovak Republic and collecting information on the development in risk and conflict regions.

4.5 Legislation and supervision


On the level of legislation, SIS cooperates with ministries, other central state authorities and state bodies. In 2013 SIS commented 130 documents intended for interdepartmental consultation and raised 16 points of order. The aim of the comments was to draw proposer’s attention to issues arising from real life application and develop a legal base for proper and effective performance of SIS legal tasks.

Within interdepartmental consultations, fundamental comments were discussed during consultation procedures. Some comments SIS had presented were implemented in respective materials.


Under the supervision of the state, 23 inspections were conducted in the areas of security and protection of health, security of technical devices, fire protection and state health inspection. Additionally, more than 200 inspections were carried out by individual organisation units responsible for specific areas.

4.6 Oversight of the legality of SIS activities carried out by the Oversight Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic that oversees the activities of the Slovak Information Service

The Oversight Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic that oversees the activities of the Slovak Information Service (the Committee) is a parliamentary oversight body and carries out overseeing tasks of the National Council of the Slovak Republic in compliance with Act 46/1993 Coll. as subsequently amended in relation to the legality and lawfulness of SIS activities and thus effectively contributes to maintaining applicable guarantees of legality of the service as a central intelligence body of the Slovak Republic.

In accordance with the Constitution of the Slovak Republic, this ensures the Committee the right to legally carry out oversight of generally binding regulations backed by the legal power of the Constitution, fundamental laws and the law. It is one of the tools that maintains the principles of power division and counter-balance. Oversight of the legality of SIS activities carried out by the Committee ensures its legal and legitimate activities - despite the fact (in order to carry out legal defined tasks in accordance with Article 2(2) of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic) it is necessary to observe strict legal limits of the scope of the civil intelligence service (with its possible more detailed specification in relation to supreme constitutional authorities - customers of the service) or taking the legal regulations defined in international treaties and agreements the Slovak Republic is bound to into account.

In accordance with the currently valid legal regulation the parliamentary oversight body carries out ex post oversight of the legality and lawfulness of SIS activities. To perform the oversight power the director general of SIS is legally required to present a set of documents to this oversight body, i.e. the Code of Practice, budget, SIS annual report, and a specified number of internal regulations approved by the SIS director that lists the scope and organisation structure of the service, requirements for the use of special powers, and record-keeping and service details of SIS officers. Members of this parliamentary oversight body are entitled to enter secured and protected premises of the service in order to carry out physical inspection of such premises. If the Committee discovers SIS Act has been breached the oversight body is legally required to inform the National Council and the General Prosecutor’s Office as a constitutional authority that protects the rights and interests of natural persons, legal entities and the state. As it is a body that presents the President of the Slovak Republic proposals for appointment or dismissal of SIS directors; the oversight body may also decide whether the Government of the Slovak Republic will be informed. Moreover, the National Council of the Slovak Republic discusses the annual report submitted by the director of the service at least once a year.

Besides the given oversight tools, the National Council of the Slovak Republic pays attention to the use of special powers used for clandestine collection of information, use of which (by SIS and other authorised state bodies) might infringe privacy rights guaranteed by the Constitution without prior consent of these persons. Currently the Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic on Defence and Security is authorised to oversee the use of these special powers.

In 2013 the Oversight Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic that oversees the activities of the Slovak Information Service and the Slovak Information Service closely discussed the application of proper legal tools for ensuring the parliamentary oversight of SIS activities as well as securing the ad hoc inspections initiated by the Committee members or Slovak citizens and upon specific requests of the Committee that SIS was asked to liaise with.

As it had been agreed by the SIS director and the chair of the Committee in 2012, the Committee met more frequently in 2013, allowing greater interaction between the Committee and SIS that in the end resulted in more effective oversight carried out by the Committee.

Table: Statistical data on the activities of Oversight Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic that oversees the activities of the Slovak Information Service (2013)

Number of sessions
Own initiatives of the Committee
SIS initiatives
Approved resolutions

In relation to the exercise of the standard scope of legal rights of the parliamentary oversight body, the director of SIS presented the documents to the body – the Code of Practice and the internal regulations defined in Act on the Slovak Information Service. At the same time the body was presented the 2012 SIS Annual Report. In accordance with the resolution of the Committee on presenting a SIS Status Report semi-annually, a SIS Status Report was presented in the first half of 2013.

In relation to SIS budget spending, the Committee discussed the Report on Budget Spending: the state budget Chapter 09 – SIS for 2012 and a draft of the final budget of the state budget Chapter 09 – SIS for 2012. In relation to SIS budget spending in compliance with Act on the 2014 state budged the Committee discussed the draft of the budget of the state budget Chapter 09 – SIS for 2014 – 2016.

The Committee was presented SIS stands regarding information presented in filings, in which persons listed their rights and interests protected by law had been violated or endangered by alleged anti-Constitutional activity of the service. Upon having acquainted with the factual and legal states of individual appeals of natural entities and the stand of the director of the service as well as the course of action adopted by SIS, the Committee resolved the service obliged its generally binding regulations and in no way it violated or endangered the rights and interests protected by law of these natural entities.

In 2013 the members of the Committee focused on the draft of the new legal regulation concerning intelligence services in the Slovak Republic. The draft was a subject of several expert discussions that resulted in modifications of some provisions. The members of the Committee focused especially on provisions relating to independent oversight of the activities of intelligence services in order to support the proposed strengthening of the mechanism that complies with current international and European standards.

The Committee was informed of the current state and level of the cooperation between the Slovak Information Service and foreign intelligence services and the activities of foreign intelligence services and counter-espionage protection of the Slovak Republic.

The Committee further paid attention to abiding internal legal regulations. In this context the director presented the Committee the Report on Compliance relating to internal regulations.

Applying oversight tools for carrying out oversight of SIS activities in 2013 can be considered above-standard, especially taking the scope and openness of the communication into consideration. From social and political points of view, such oversight contributes to strengthened legal assurance that SIS is a modern intelligence service in a democratic state, to increased credibility in the society and to the role of the provider of intelligence protection of the Slovak Republic and its citizens. SIS is ready to liaise effectively and thus apply oversight right of the National Council of the Slovak Republic.

5. A report on the National Security Analytical Centre (NBAC)

NBAC is defined as an analytical, communication and cooperation country-wide centre that identifies security threats. The activities of NBAC are regulated by the Code of Practice approved by the Government of the Slovak Republic in Resolution 700 of 12 December 2012 and the Addendum of the Code of Practice approved by the Government of the Slovak Republic in Resolution 337 of 26 June 2013. Utilising interdepartmental analytical workplace, the task of NBAC is to fuse available information relating to individual security incidents from relevant state bodies active in the area of security.

In the assessed period NBAC moved from testing period (1 January – 30 June 2013) to full operation.

During the testing period, activities, information flows and internal schemes necessary for smooth operation of the centre were set up and fine tuned.

At the beginning of its operation the centre focused on processing notifications on security incidents from partners and preparing and testing processing of its products. Intensive talks between NBAC and the Slovak state bodies that, in accordance with the NBAC Code of Practice, would participate at centre’s operations and conditions of mutual cooperation within the centre. Besides the original partners – the Police Force, the Military Intelligence (the Military Intelligence Service, the Military Defence Intelligence), the General Staff of the Defence Forces of the Slovak Republic, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, the Criminal Authority of Financial Administration and the Slovak Information Service, the National Security Authority was also interested in actively participating. The pilot phase also focused on establishing cooperation with other state bodies that are involved in maintaining security of the country in the scope of their activity or have professional capacity to asses specific security risks and threats – this resulted in the cooperation with the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic (special unit for computer incidents – CSIRT.SK), the Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development of the Slovak Republic, the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of the Slovak Republic, the Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic, the Mining Authority, the State Navigation Administration (under the Transport Authority since 1 January 2014), the Aviation Authority (under the Transport Authority since 1 January 2014), the Air Navigation Services Provider of the Slovak Republic or the State Veterinary and Food Administration of the Slovak Republic.

Once the testing phase ended, NBAC focused on preparing comprehensive analytical assessment of security incidents using notifications from Slovak state bodies in accordance with the defined list of security incidents in order to assess security situation in the Slovak Republic from open sources and to provide its products to customers.

Two meetings of the NBAC Council that specified tasks and activities of the centre were organised in the second half of 2013.

NBAC prepared a schedule for continuous establishment of cooperation with other partner centres abroad. NBAC Council tasked the centre to make all steps necessary for becoming a member of the MADRID group – an informal grouping of counter-terrorist centres and national counter-terrorist coordinators of the EU member states – and thus representing Slovakia.

During the first year of its operation, NBAC received more than 120 notifications on security incidents from various state bodies along with large amount of additional information from other state bodies that were processed and assessed. In full operation NBAC elaborated several products for its customers.

NBAC is a unique project as it groups members of several state bodies at one workplace. Despite the fact the project is financially and technically demanding (as well as in terms of staff), owing to support of all participating entities the original idea was successfully transformed into the existing centre.

The severity and diversity of notifications the centre dealt with in its pilot phase showed the centre has a potential to become a significant element within the security system of the Slovak Republic. Slovak state bodies participating at the work of the centre are free to manage their databases autonomously; there is no need to share individual knowledge funds. The final products elaborated by NBAC are provided to all participating subjects.

6. Summary

In 2013 within its competence and within its authorities, SIS was collecting, storing, assessing and providing authorised legal recipients with information, thus fulfilling its tasks in the intelligence and contributing to the protection of the constitutional order of the Slovak Republic, to the security of the state and to the protection and the enforcement of foreign political and economic interests of the Slovak Republic.

(1) For instance, in Pakistan in June 2013 the Islamist militants attacked the base camp of the international mountain climbers association in Nanga Parbat, resulting in two deaths of Slovak citizens.

(2) A Taliban fighter infiltrated in the Afghan armed forces attacked the NATO military base in Kandahar, where Slovak soldiers of the ISAF mission were present. One Slovak soldier died and 6 soldiers were wounded. On 23 July 2013 Taliban published a video relating to the attack. On 27 December 2013 two members of the Slovak armed forces died during the attack on the ISAF convoy. Taliban claimed responsibility.