In the face of the new international and domestic challenges, Spain needed to have a modern and specialised Intelligence Service able to efficiently meet those challenges.
The answer to that need is the National Intelligence Centre (CNI), the public institution responsible for providing the Prime Minister and the Government of Spain with information, analyses, studies or proposals that enable the prevention and avoidance of any danger, threat or aggression against the independence or territorial integrity of Spain, its national interests and the stability of its institutions and the rule of law. (Sec. 1, Act 11/2002).
The CNI abides by the principle of compliance with the legal system, and carries out its activities within the framework of the missions specifically stated in Act 11/2002 of 6th May, regulating the CNI and in Organic Law 2/2002 of 6th May, regulating preliminary judicial control of the National Intelligence Centre.
It is worth mentioning that the CNI covers activities that in other countries fall to two or more Intelligence Services. This facilitates a smooth and comprehensive coordination and exchange of intelligence between complementary fields, while optimising resources. To this effect, the CNI operates under the principle of co-ordination with other State information services.
This co-ordination is implemented through the Government Delegate Commission for Intelligence Affairs (Sec. 6, Act 11/2002), chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister appointed by the Prime Minister. This Commission shall monitor the proper co-ordination of all State information and Intelligence Services to form an Intelligence Community.
For the fulfillment of its information activities, the CNI has an annual allocation of confidential funds, the use of which is regulated by Act 11/95 of 11th March on the use and control of credits allocated as confidential funds. The aim of these confidential funds - also available for the Ministries of the Interior, Defence and Foreign Affairs - is to protect identities, events, places or dates related to the activities or sources of the Service. However, it does not mean that there is no control over these funds, as there is a special accountability and control system. Indeed, Act 11/2002 of 6th May, regulating the National Intelligence Centre, establishes the principle of Parliamentary control over the activities of the CNI. Based on respect for Parliamentary autonomy, this Act stipulates that the Commission that controls credits allocated to confidential expenses shall control the CNI activities too. The Secretary of State-Director shall periodically report to this Commission.