Procedure for in-depth investigations
The CTIVD proceeds carefully when it comes to investigating and publishing a review report. CTIVD investigations adhere to a well-defined process, which ultimately results in report publication. This process is as follows:
How is a lawfulness investigation conducted?
Steps of in-depth investigation
The CTIVD is independent, which means that the CTIVD itself decides which subjects to investigate. The situation may arise where a body or individual such as the House of Representatives, the Minister of Defence or the Minister of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations may ask the Oversight Department to investigate a certain subject. The Oversight Department subsequently decides if and how it will respond to this request. It can also opt not to initiate an investigation.
The CTIVD will formally announce if the Oversight Department has decided to investigate a certain subject. The announcement will be issued by sending a letter to the Minister(s) involved, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Both the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) and the Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) will also be notified.
The investigation starts as a file search. An investigation group will draw up a legal framework in order to conduct the review at a later stage. Investigations are subsequently conducted within the service(s) involved, and the group also searches for relevant policy and related documents, operational reports and other documentation. The Oversight Department has direct access to the service’s information systems. Furthermore, it can request all information from the services it deems necessary to conduct its investigation. In addition to the file search, technical investigations can be conducted, for example into the service’s log files or the functioning of algorithms and technical or other systems. The department also conducts talks with former and current employees of the services and other involved parties. If necessary, the department can hold hearings with individuals under oath.
The investigation protocol describes the different investigatory forms, i.e. baseline measurement, in-depth investigation, short-term investigation, systems investigation and the issuance of an advisory opinion.
Once the investigation has been concluded and the report has been written, the members of the CTIVD Oversight Department discuss the report. If they agree with its contents, the report will be finalized. The review report includes the findings, conclusions and recommendations, along with any other relevant matters. The finalized report is sent to the AIVD and the Minister of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations and/or the MIVD and the Minister of Defence, who have a total of six weeks to respond to the report.
Following this, the members of the CTIVD Oversight Department adopt the report definitively. After the report has been adopted, it is sent to the Minister(s) involved. The Minister then has six weeks to offer the report to the House of Representatives. The Minister also sends a response to the report to the House of Representatives, stating which of CTIVD’s recommendations the Minister intends to follow.
Directly following the presentation of the report to the House of Representatives by the Minister(s) involved, the CTIVD will publish the report and its appendices on the website. The House of Representatives may debate the review report. The permanent House of Representatives’ Committee for Internal Affairs and for Defence may opt to discuss the review report in more detail with the CTIVD before they hold the Minister involved accountable for the contents of the report.
Any secret appendix is sent to the Intelligence and Security Services Committee of the House of Representatives and will be discussed by this committee.
After the report has been published, the Oversight Department of the CTIVD will continue to monitor the process. In talks with the AIVD and/or MIVD staff, it will check how the report was received on the work floor. It will also check whether and how the recommendations adopted by the Minister from the review report have been implemented.
More information about the way in which the Oversight Department conducts its investigation can be found in the investigation protocol. This includes information on the investigatory tasks of the Oversight Department, which investigatory powers it has and which forms of investigation it deploys.