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The Intelligence Oversight Committee serves as the parliamentary watchdog of civilian and military intelligence operations. The committee also serves as the parliamentary watchdog of the other activities of the Finnish Security Intelligence Service.
As part of its parliamentary oversight role, the Intelligence Oversight Committee oversees the proper implementation and appropriateness of intelligence operations, monitors and evaluates the focus areas of intelligence operations, monitors and promotes the effective exercise of fundamental and human rights in intelligence operations, prepares reports by the Intelligence Oversight Ombudsman and processes the supervisory findings of the Intelligence Oversight Ombudsman.
The Intelligence Oversight Committee may, on its own initiative, bring up any matter within its authority for processing and to prepare a report on the matter for processing at a plenary session if it regards the matter significant enough.
The Intelligence Oversight Committee participates in the appointment of the Intelligence Oversight Ombudsman by expressing its opinion on the matter to the Government.
The Intelligence Oversight Committee is established after the Government has been appointed following the parliamentary elections, unless the Parliament decides otherwise based on the Speaker Council's proposal. The Intelligence Oversight Committee has 11 permanent members and 2 deputy members.
When a Member of Parliament is proposed as a member or deputy member of the Intelligence Oversight Committee, he or she shall request the Data Protection Ombudsman to check if the Finnish Security Intelligence Service's operational information system referred to in Section 5 of the Act on the Processing of Personal Data by the Police (761/2003) contains data on the MP in question.
The Data Protection Ombudsman informs the requesting MP, the chair of the MP's parliamentary group and the Secretary-General of the Parliament about his or her findings regarding the existence of data concerning the MP in the information system.