The Office for Foreign Relations and Information (ÚZSI) (Czech: Úřad pro zahraniční styky a informace) is the main foreign intelligence service of the Czech Republic responsible for the collection, analysis and dissemination of intelligence. It is mandated to provide accurate and timely intelligence to the Government of the Czech Republic that is vital to support and protect foreign and economic policy interests.
The service also protects the country from terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, economic crimes, etc. Powers of the service are determined by the Act N.153/1994 Coll., the Intelligence Services of the Czech Republic Act which also lays out the structure of the organization. Officers of the service are mandated to act in accordance with the agency's code of ethics.
The UZSI was located within the portfolio of the Czech Ministry of the Interior before the Act No. 153/1994 Coll. on intelligence services of the Czech Republic which made the service an independent institution. Before the Czech Republic became independent the agency was called the Office for Foreign Relations and Information of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. After the Czech independence, UZSI faced numerous challenges concerning the services development like developing a new framework of their activities, using new technologies and cooperation with foreign intelligence services.
Production had significantly increased after these improvements had been made. Today the intelligence agency is a major player on the international intelligence scene and represents the Czech intelligence community all over the world.
UZSI is headed by a Director-General who, on the government's consent, is appointed and dismissed by the Minister of the Interior. Czech's Interior minister is accountable to Government for the actions of UZSI. Directors in UZSI include:
The current director of USZI is Jiří Šašek. Šašek was born in 1969 in Pilsen. In 2004, he graduated the Faculty of Law, University of West Bohemia in Pilsen with a degree in law. He is fluent in English and Russian.
Former Directors of the agency include: