By Mbatjiua Ngavirue WINDHOEK Director-General of the Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS) Lt. Gen. Lukas Hangula (Rtd) last week addressed a two-day Strategic Stakeholders Workshop held by the NCIS. Hangula said the main aim of the workshop was to solicit ideas and ensure wider participation of vital stakeholders in security matters, particularly in discussions pertaining to external factors of relevance to the intelligence community, most notably – legal, security and economic issues. The NCIS invited a wide range of stakeholders to participate in the workshop including senior officials from government ministries and agencies, academics and other civil society representatives. Speaking at the opening of the workshop Hangula urged delegates to actively participate in the deliberations of the workshop with a sense of belonging and on an equal footing. He said each delegate was invited because of his or her unquestionable individual ability and institutional experience. This would allow them to make an impact on the process of finding solutions to some of the problems encountered by the local intelligence community in their interactions with stakeholders on matters of security and intelligence. “I also believe that interaction of this nature, especially where the public are invited to air their views and make inputs into security and intelligence policies in itself, will ultimately make government policies more acceptable to the public,” Hangula remarked. The NCIS has embarked on carrying out its mandate through a set of activities outlined in Five-year Strategic Planning Cycles to chart out a long-term direction for the organisation. The main plan was broken down into Annual Strategic Plans to ease implementation and monitoring. “The Strategic Action Plan has finally made NCIS operations a reflection of the vision and mission of our service,” Hangula said. Their shared vision as an intelligence organisation is to have the service transformed into a pro-active and responsive intelligence service. He argued that to achieve this vision, the service needed to critically analyse the environment in which it operates. This includes revisiting relevant issues and tackling existing and emerging challenges facing the state and its institutions such as NCIS. Hangula said the “externalities” are the most compelling factor behind the services’ decision to host the stakeholders’ workshop for consultation on matters of mutual interest. There are many matters, he said, the service cannot address satisfactorily on its own. This includes the need for enhanced cooperation between, and within, the intelligence community in order to provide credible, relevant and timely intelligence to its clients. Another area is the need to improve and strengthen good working relations with strategic partners including public and private sector institutions. He said there is a need to look at the NCIS Act (Act No. 10 of 1997) and other relevant acts such as the National Key Points Act (Act No. 102 of 1980) and the Protection of Information Act (Act No. 4 of 1982). These efforts, he explained, were needed to ensure approval of the 2006-2011 NCIS Strategic Plan, which is still in draft form. Hangula said there was still no consensus on the formulation of the proposed National Security Intelligence Policy framework, which he described as non-existent in Namibia. Other relevant stakeholders, he feels, also need to review and give input into the existing Security Intelligence Policy of 1997. “It is out of the realisation of the ever increasing importance of interdependency between the invited stakeholders that the NCIS saw the urgent need for consultations of this nature, with a view to ensuring impediments are overcome in a consultative manner,” Hangula concluded.