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Federal Department of Defence
Civil Protection and Sport

The Federal Intelligence Service FIS

The Federal Intelligence Service FIS

The Federal Intelligence Service (FIS) is a Swiss security policy instrument with a mission that is clearly defined in legal terms. Its core tasks are prevention and situation assessment for the political leaders.


Domestically, the FIS is concerned with early perception and prevention of terrorism, violent extremism, espionage, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery system technology as well as cyberattacks against critical infrastructure. Internationally, the FIS obtains information relevant to security policy from abroad and evaluates it. In this way it contributes decisively towards comprehensive assessment of the threat situation. At the federal level the FIS primarily provides products for the Federal Council, the departments and the military command. The FIS also helps the cantons maintain inner security and supports the federal law enforcement authorities. The preventive activity of the FIS must be clearly distinguished from the repressive role of the law enforcement authorities. The FIS is not a law enforcement authority. Its core tasks are prevention and situation assessment on behalf of the political leaders.


Basically the FIS is organised according to the intelligence cycle or basic intelligence process. The FIS consists of the following directorial divisions: ‘FIS Staff’, ‘Steering and Situation’, ‘Procurement’, ‘Information Management’, ‘Evaluation’ and ‘Operational Command and Support’.

The legal foundations

The FIS’s  two current legal foundations, the Federal Act on Responsibilities in the Area of the Civilian intelligence Services (CivISA) and the Federal Act on Measures to Safeguard Internal Security (ISA), are no longer adequate for dealing with modern threats and risks

Due to the new threat situation there is currently a political debate on whether the FIS should be given a new intelligence service act, providing it with more powers to better fulfil its precautionary duties to protect Switzerland and its inhabitants.

Supervision of the FIS

The FIS is supervised by parliament, Federal Council, federal administration and DDPS. Within the DDPS the Strategic Intelligence Service Supervision, established in January 2009, is assigned to evaluate the activities of the intelligence services as regards their legitimacy, practicality and efficacy. This supervisory body reports directly to the head of the DDPS and carries out its supervisory function independently.


For questions about this page: DDPS Communications
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