Banks: project to regulate DNI would affect the financial sector

The associations that group financial entities of the country, in the middle of last year, deposited their observations on the Bill that seeks to regulate the National Intelligence Directorate (DNI), indicating that if the piece presented is approved as proposed, it could cause significant damage to the financial system, infringing fundamental and constitutional rights protected in the country.

In a communication sent to the president of the Permanent Commission of the Armed Forces, Ramón Antonio Bueno Patiño, and to the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Alfredo Pacheco, in May 2022, the Association of Multiple Banks (ABA), the Association of Savings and Credit Banks and Credit Corporations (Abancord), the Dominican League of Savings and Loan Associations (Lidaapi), the Dominican Association of Exchange Intermediaries (Adocambio) and the Association of Dominican Trust Companies (Asofidom), highlighted the contributions that this initiative would have for the State to have effective and specialized intelligence services, but explained that there are some provisions that must be carefully reviewed and adapted to a wording that safeguards legislative harmony and seeks an effective and reasonable.

Applicable definitions
The entities express that the project lacks a section of applicable definitions that makes understanding difficult and allows the “free” interpretation of some terms and gives “intelligence” and “counterintelligence” as an example. It also says that the piece does not distinguish the degrees of confidentiality or the information security classificationTherefore, they suggest incorporating provisions in this regard.

Regarding article 10, which refers to the powers of the DNI and which points out that it must be based on the principles of effectiveness, necessity, suitability, specialization, proportionality and coordination, the entities suggest to elaborate more specifically on the scope of these principles and the role that they play in the limits of action of this. Similarly, they propose to include the principles of “due process”, “legality” and “restricted circulation”.

Regarding the information required from financial intermediation entities (EIF) and the establishment, in article 11, that private institutions will be obliged to deliver to the DNI all the information it requires, they specify that the Monetary and Financial Law, in its article 56 literal b, establishes how the collaboration of EIF information is modulated and under the “Obligation of Confidentiality” creates a special processing scheme, which seeks to eliminate distortion or risk due to indiscriminate access.

With this explanation, financial entities indicate that the application of what is provided in paragraph II of article 11 is not possible because it contravenes the Monetary and Financial Law, but also puts the stability of the financial system at risksince access to information from the EIF database violates the trust on which the system is based, as well as the right to protection of personal data and privacy established by the Constitution of the Republic.

At this point, the entities suggest that, in the case of financial intermediation entities, the pertinent clarifications be expressly made, so that they can collaborate with the delivery of information in a correct, reasonable manner and in accordance with the law. Eliminate from Law 155-17

In the communication sent, lThe entities also suggest the elimination of numeral 8 of article 90 of Law 155-17, in the understanding that the Financial Analysis Unit (UAF) will form part of the National Intelligence System and that through this Unit, the DNI will have access to the information of interest.

In addition, it indicates that it is important to assess the impact of the perception of international organizations, such as Gafilat, the Egmont Group, States with international cooperation agreements) on access to sensitive information by the new authorities, as well as a possible modification to Law 155-17.

The bill that regulates the National Intelligence Directorate (DNI) was originally deposited by the Executive Branch in 2021, through the Senate.

However, the original project expired at the beginning of 2022 and was reintroduced by the senator of Peravia, Milcíades Franjul.

The piece was studied by the Senate and finally approved in second reading at the beginning of this month of February and days later it was sent to the Chamber of Deputies, where it must go through a similar process before becoming law.

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