After the Reform SANS Is an Effective Counterintelligence and Security Service

C h a n g e s   i n   t h e   A g e n c y ’ s   S t r u c t u r e

The amendments, undertaken at the end of 2009 in the SANS Act and in the regulations on its implementation, facilitated the Agency’s reform and the optimization of its work. The adopted changes eliminated the strictly fixed structure and the names of some units and allowed the implementation of adaptable management approach. Firstly, the ineffective duplication of activities performed by the Agency and the Ministry of Interior (MI) was avoided. Secondly, the Agency’s structure was reformed in view of the security environment dynamics and the necessity to concentrate Agency’s resources in relation to the emerging threats and risks.

Together with this, the reform was done by taking into account the available technological, technical, financial and human resources, in order to be rationally distributed and effectively used. The units were structured considering the specific character of the activities and based on linear, structural and geographical principle, i.e. according to their administrative functions and the performed functions related with the national security protection. The four general directorates, six other directorates and structures with functions duplicating MI’s functions, were closed down. The unit of advisors to the Agency’s Chairperson was also excluded from the structure thus enhancing a clearer responsibility allocation of the senior management. The legislative changes also allow the ad hoc establishment of new departments in order to settle specific problems.

R e d u c t i o n   o f   M a n a g e r i a l   P o s i t i o n s   a n d   A d m i n i s t r a t i o n

The restructuring included changes of the staff within SANS - together with the reform in the specialized departments there was a significant reduction in the administration staff number. The redundant management levels and positions were also removed. By the conducted reforms, the following two objectives were accomplished. First, a manageability rate was achieved, such that a manager at a specific level has 6 to 8 subordinates to work with. Second, the balance was restored between the number of employees engaged directly with implementation of measures related to the national security protection and the number of employees having subsidiary functions.

By the end of 2009 the employees within the operative structures were 64% of the whole staff number and those within the administration were 20%. At present, the personnel allocation is changed, thus 70% of the Agency’s employees perform direct operative tasks and the administrative functions are part of the duties of 15% of the staff. In 2009 the managerial personnel was 18% of the staff and now the percent is reduced to 14%. In total, SANS personnel was reduced with more than 23,5% as a result of the structural changes and in realization of the regulations set by the Ministry of Finance to the budget organizations.

The structural reform within SANS is a respond to the necessity of achieving higher efficiency and effectiveness in its activities. The expected result is a final transformation of SANS into an open, constantly changing system, which quickly adopts to the security environment dynamics. The structural reform was combined with an overall change in the activity’s organization and the building of specific institutional culture, sense of belonging and empathy to the challenges which the Agency faces. The reorganization was conducted mainly in two directions: defining the priorities of the work and motivating the employees to work according to the defined priorities and the set tasks.

P r i o r i t i e s

The priorities of the Agency are set out in details in the SANS Concept. The priorities are taken from the main mission of SANS – national security protection. Main focus is put on: counteracting the processes negative for the security; prevention and neutralization of risks and threats related to: the state administration and local government functioning; the critical infrastructure, mainly in the field of energy; the democratic processes and constitutional order. The extrinsic tasks fell off which are within MI’s competences regarding the criminal and economical crimes, drug trafficking and implementation of repression measures against specific categories of persons.

M o t i v a t i n g   t h e   S t a f f

Motivating the staff is related to the setting of specific and clear tasks, as well as to the way the remuneration is defined. The SANS Act and the State Budget of the Republic of Bulgaria Act  stipulate the remuneration amount. A new detail is that this amount depends on the results of the work of each employee and the assessment on the whole unit’s performance where the employee works. Thus, objectivity is achieved in determining the remuneration amount, depending on the individual contribution.

The contribution’s determination is based on an elaborated unified assessment system for the individual results. The achieved objectives and the employees’ behavior, as a whole, are incorporated in a system of criteria for assessment and the assessment process is transparent and apparent for everyone within the Agency. The implemented system facilitates clear formulation of objectives, objective results reporting and purposive regulation of the working environment, ensures putting efforts in the desired direction, sustainability of the achievements and last but not least,  following the ethics in the interpersonal relations and the state loyalty.

The changes within SANS are aimed at the Agency’s transformation into a modern counterintelligence and security service and into an integral part of the national security protection system.