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President of the Council of Ministers

The overall political responsibility for intelligence is vested in the President of the Council of Ministers, in the interests and defence of the Republic and its institutions.

The President of the Council of Ministers has exclusive power:

  • to apply and confirm the invocation of State-secret status and protect State secrets
  • to appoint and dismiss the Director General of the DIS, the Directors of the AISE and the AISI
  • to determine the annual amount of financial resources to be allocated to DIS, AISE and AISI

The President of the Council of Ministers shall also:

  • coordinate intelligence policies
  • issue relevant guidelines and directives including those aimed at protecting critical infrastructure and strengthening national cyber security
  • authorize AISE and AISI agents, under specific circumstances, to carry out operations in violation of the law

Delegated Authority

The President of the Council of Ministers may delegate the duties which are not vested exclusively in him to a Delegated Authority.

The office of Delegated Authority may be held by an Undersecretary of State or by a Minister without portfolio.

The Delegated Authority is a member of the CISR and chairs a Steering Committee consisting of the Director General of the DIS and the Directors of the AISE and the AISI.

The current Delegated Authority is Senator Domenico Marco Minniti.

CISR

The CISR – Comitato interministeriale per la sicurezza della Repubblica – is an Interministerial Committee in charge of defining the goals of intelligence policies.

In particular, the CISR:

  • sets intelligence requirements
  • allocates the financial resources of DIS, AISE and  AISI, and approves their budgets and final accounts

The CISR  is chaired by the President of the Council of Minister and includes:

  • Delegated Authority
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Minister of the Interior
  • Minister of Defense
  • Minister of Justice
  • Minister of Economy and Finance
  • Minister for Economic Development

The Director General of the DIS acts as the Committee’s secretary.

DIS

The President of the Council of Ministers and the Delegated Authority exercise their functions through the DIS – Dipartimento informazioni per la sicurezza [Security Intelligence Department].

In order to ensure a fully unified approach to intelligence collection, analysis and operations, the DIS:

  • coordinates all intelligence activities, including national cybersecurity, and review results
  • submits relevant information collected by the Agencies to the President of the Council of Ministers and provide strategic analysis and assessments to policy-makers
  • ensures the exchange of information between AISE/AISI and police forces

Moreover, the DIS:

  • oversees,  through the Central Inspection Office, the activities carried out by AISE and AISI
  • ensures the application of the directives issued by the President of the Council of Ministers regarding the administrative protection of State secrets and classified documents
  • sees to the management of the personnel and logistics for DIS, AISE and AISI
  • sees to institutional communication and the promotion of the culture of security

The DIS includes the Central Inspection Office, the Central Archives Office, the Central Secrecy Office (UCSe) and the Intelligence Academy.

The Director General of the DIS is appointed by the President of the Council of Ministers, after prior consultation with the CISR.

The Director General of the DIS is Mr. Alessandro Pansa.

AISE

The AISE – Agenzia informazioni e sicurezza esterna  [External Intelligence and Security Agency] is responsible for safeguarding national security against threats originating abroad, protecting Italy’s political, military, economic, scientific and industrial interests.

In particular, the AISE:

  • collects relevant intelligence
  • counters espionage and other hostile activities abroad
  • counters WMD proliferation

The Director of the AISE is appointed by the President of the Council of Ministers, after prior consultation with the CISR.

The Director of the AISE is Mr. Alberto Manenti.

AISI

The AISI – Agenzia informazioni e sicurezza interna [Internal Intelligence and Security Agency] is responsible for safeguarding national security from threats originating within Italy’s borders, and for protecting Italy’s political, military, economic, scientific and industrial interests.

The AISI:

  • collects relevant intelligence
  • counters espionage and other hostile activities within national borders
  • counters subversion, criminal and terrorist activity in Italy

The Director of the AISI is appointed by the President of the Council of Ministers, after prior consultation with the CISR.

The Director of the AISI is Gen. Mario Parente.

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