Establishing civilian control of intelligence and security services is a challenge and a crucial milestone for any aspiring democracy. Among other post-Soviet countries of Eastern Europe, Ukraine has made some remarkable strides in this direction.
“As Ukraine continues the process of democratic consolidation, the issue of intelligence oversight remains vital, to ensure political accountability and financial efficiency,” according to a recent master’s thesis on the subject (pdf). “Oversight of intelligence is also important to the political initiatives Ukraine has undertaken to improve ties to NATO and the EU.”
The thesis, by Lt. Col. Oleksii Petrov of the Ukraine Ministry of Defense, presents an updated account of the organization of Ukraine intelligence services, and an explanation of the legal framework in which they operate.
The government of Ukraine publicly discloses current and retrospective spending levels for its various intelligence services, which is more than the U.S. has been able to manage.
Thus, the 2007 budget for the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine (FISU) is 248 million grivnas (around $50 million), and the agency employs 4350 personnel, according to online budget documents cited and translated by the author.
See “Political and Budgetary Oversight of the Ukrainian Intelligence Community: Processes, Problems and Prospects for Reform” by Oleksii Petrov, Naval Postgraduate School, September 2007.