|| Motto: "Not everything that is
pursued secretly is illegal and not everything is illegal that is
Like other state bodies our Office also operates and discharges
its mission subordinated to the law.
The Information Office shall always operate within legal frames
but its effort to protect the sovereignty and constitutional order
of the Republic of Hungary it may impose restrictions on personal
rights and freedoms and apply tools and methods of covert intelligence
In compliance with the constitution, legislation on the national
security services must be passed by two-thirds majority. The Act
CXXV. 1995 drafted on this ground, went beyond this constitutional
obligation that merely restricts the scope of operation in this
way. Apart from the operation the law has provisions on the whole
of the services as such (their names, control, staff, operational
Two-thirds majority is needed to amend these rules. Laws to be passed
by simple majority might also include provisions on national security
operation (e.g. Act CXXVI. 2000. on the Co-ordinating Centre to
Combat Organised Crime). But these have to be in tune with the Act
on the National Security Services.
The first ever national security act in the history of Hungarian
law, considering its guarantees, elaboration and lucidity, does
stand international comparison. Of course it does not have in sight
the historical British-like official relationship to the services.
In the home of parliamentarism to talk about these services in public
was considered a taboo up until recent times. The mere existence
of the "Security Service" was officially "admitted" first in 1989.
With the aim of settling certain minor details the law enables to
create some lower level regulations (governmental, ministerial decrees).
This happens to be the case, but the existence, operation and activity
of the Office have been defined by much more unpublished governmental
decrees, ministerial, general director's order, co-operational agreements
than those of other state bodies. These of course cannot be in conflict
with the laws that have been publicised.
An extensive system of constitutional control guarantees the lawful
operation of the Office: the authority of the minister in charge
to give guidance, control and supervise; the authority of the minister
of justice to give authorisation for covert intelligence collection,
parliamentary oversight, the right to appeal to the parliamentary
commissioner and the right of complaint.