President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree identifying the criteria for reorganising Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB). The FSB director is to carry the process out within three months.
The FSB played a direct part in drafting the decree, which means that virtually all the proposals made by the counter-intelligence service have been taken into account. A number of independent services are to be established, and it cannot be ruled out that special sub-departments for combating terrorism, extremism, etc. will be established. New organisational decisions are expected to allow Russia's security services to react more appropriately to contemporary threats.
And, finally, the new decisions mean the powers and responsibilities of FSB departments can be defined more clearly, while the procedures for preparing, coordinating and approving administrative decisions in their practical activities, which are very important, can be simplified.
In accordance with the decree, the FSB will not have two first deputy directors, one of whom will be in charge of the Frontier Service. The FSB director will have only two deputies, instead of the previous twelve.
The presidential decree extends the powers of the FSB chief in decision-making. From now on, he will determine the number and members of the FSB board. He will be able to give service heads additional administrative functions with regard to other structures in the FSB system. This, naturally, means increased responsibility for the above-mentioned chiefs for how their services are run.
The deputy directors and the chiefs of the FSB services have been given broad powers, in particular, in representing the FSB in relations with the government, the federal executive and legislative power branches, as well as with the judiciary.
The presidential decree was signed as part of the general administrative reforms being conducted in the country. The FSB is increasingly corresponding to the new democratic form of Russia's statehood. The protection of the law and serving the nation's interests are the foundations of its work. Until organisational changes in the FSB are completed, FSB servicemen will continue to perform their former duties. The leadership of the Russian counter-intelligence service is convinced that its reorganisation will have not the slightest negative effect on its activities.