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By Born, Hans Born, Marina Caparini

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The mechanisms of control include ministerial directives and policy guidelines, such as those contained within a national security concept. In some systems, the Minister is required to provide direction in writing to the services. The Minister is most directly responsible for exercising oversight but should, in a democratic system, take care not to become too closely involved in the Controlling and Overseeing Intelligence Services in Democratic States 11 day-to-day management of the agency, which would weaken oversight and their role as an external control mechanism (Born and Leigh, 2005, p.

The task will be to identify and exclude those individuals who were involved in serious abuses, and attempting to ensure that the mentality of those working in the new service does not reflect that of the former service. This would require the process of vetting all employees of intelligence agencies, with particular attention to identifying and excluding those responsible for past human rights abuses. Further, there will likely be specific categories of personnel from the former services who are more acceptable and legitimate as members of the new service because of the nature of their functions under the previous regime.

The public dissemination of past activities of state security agencies is a measure aimed at societal reconciliation, especially where pervasive networks of informants were used by authorities for surveillance and control of civilian populations. Transitional societies must also decide whether and how to deal with people responsible for crimes in the context of state security, such as through truth and reconciliation commissions. The media in transition states encounter special challenges when scrutinising government and state agents.

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