Office of Foreign Relations and Information
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2011)|
|Office for Foreign Relations and Information|
|Úřad pro zahraniční styky a informace|
Seal of ÚZSI
|Formed||January 1, 1993|
|Preceding Agency||Office for Foreign Relations and Information of the Federal Ministry of the Interior|
|Jurisdiction||Government of the Czech Republic|
|Headquarters||Prague, Czech Republic|
|Motto||"Sine ira et studio" ("without anger and bias")|
|Minister responsible||Martin Pecina, Minister of the Interior|
|Agency executive||Ivo Schwarz, Director General|
|Parent agency||Ministry of the Interior|
The Office for Foreign Relations and Information (OFRI) Czech: Úřad pro zahraniční styky a informace (ÚZSI) is the main foreign intelligence service of the Czech Republic responsible for the collection, analysis and dissemination of intelligence. It is mandated to provide accurate and timely intelligence to the Government of the Czech Republic that is vital to support and protect foreign and economic policy interests. The service also protects the country from terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, economic crime, etc. Powers of the service are determined by the Act N.153/1994 Coll., the Intelligence Services of the Czech Republic Act which also lays out the structure of the organization. Officers of the service are mandated to act in accordance with the agency's code of ethics.
The UZSI was located within the portfolio of the Czech Ministry of the Interior before the Act No. 153/1994 Coll. on intelligence services of the Czech Republic which made the service an independent institution. Before the Czech Republic became independent the agency was called the Office for Foreign Relations and Information of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. After the Czech independence, UZSI faced numerous challenges concerning the services development like developing a new framework of their activities, using new technologies and cooperation with foreign intelligence services.
Production had significantly increased after these improvements had been made. Today the intelligence agency is a major player on the international intelligence scene and represents the Czech intelligence community all over the world.
UZSI is headed by a Director-General who, on the government's consent, is appointed and dismissed by the Minister of the Interior. Czech's Interior minister is accountable to Government for the actions of UZSI. Directors in UZSI include:
- Office of the Director General - who is responsible for Security and Defense, the secretariat of Public Affairs and the Inspection and control department. Directly subordinated to the Director are advisors including the Spokesman of the Office and those who are responsible for the areas of Security and Defence, Inspection and Control.
- Deputy Director for Intelligence and Operations - who is responsible for numerous operational departments which include the Analysis department, the Signals Intelligence department and the foreign department. This director is also responsible for communication and the exchange of intelligence with foreign partners;
- Deputy Director for Logistics - who is accountable for the Finance and logistics, communication and Information technology, Archives and administration, Legal affairs, Personnel and Training.
The current director of USZI is Ivo Schwarz. Schwarz was born in 1964 and is married with two children. In 1986, he graduated the University of Engineering and Electrotechnics Pilsen with a degree in Economics and Production Control. He also graduated the Police Academy of Prague specializing in security services. He is fluent in English, German and Russian.
Former Directors of the agency include:
- Who We Are, Retrieved 4/02/2011.
- Our History, Retrieved 4/02/2011.
- Our Internal Arrangement, Retrieved 4/02/2011.
- Director General, Retrieved 4/02/2011.