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Does the Czech CIA need a new director?

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BIS, the Security Information Service of the Czech Republic, has been ensuring the state’s safety since 1994. Its main task is to examine and resolve matters that might be threatening Czech national security. The headquarters are situated in Prague. The organization operates solely on the state’s territory, however, it takes into account any disturbing actions of other countries towards the Czech Republic. One of the cases that BIS is currently assigned to investigate is the Czech-Russian Vrbětice explosion case. Since April 2021, it has been continually discussed not just by the Czech media, but it has also appeared on a number of foreign broadcasts and it has been a huge topic amongst the Czech society. Since 2016, the director of BIS is Michal Koudelka. According to several Czech politicians, Koudelka is a reliable director of the service, since he worked through the recent Vrbětice case and many others very proficiently. In 2019, Koudelka received the George Tenet Award from the CIA as a recognition of international cooperation. As the 5-year mandate for the head director comes to an end on August 15th 2021, the Prime Minister Andrej Babiš will be required to either let Koudelka continue for his second mandate or appoint a new director of the counterintelligence service. The majority of Czech political parties agree that Koudelka is competent for the job and expressed that he should maintain the position for another five years. However, the Czech president, Miloš Zeman, has been talking rather critically of him. Babiš found himself in an uncomfortable position. Although he supports Koudelka, he cannot afford to cross the president considering the upcoming election in October. After a long period of hesitation, Babiš finally stated that Koudelka will remain in the position until the new administration appoints a new director of BIS.

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