Interpol Annual Assembly to select a new secretary general

Ronald K. Noble the US Law Professor who has led the organisation for the past 14 years is stepping down and is due to be replaced by Jürgen Stock, the vice president of the German Federal Criminal Police.

One of the first issues that the incumbent will have to consider is whether to collect a fee for the use of its global database of stolen passports, I-Checkit. Private sector service users like airlines, banks, cruise lines and hotels could be charged to screen identity documents. The system will not disclose personal information to companies, but will flag passports if there was a concern, with a procedure to refer customers to the authorities.

It is hoped that the income generated from user fees will supplement the agency’s annual budget of 81 million euros. Interpol has changed significantly over the past decade, and is now running a a 24-hour operation with a secure global communications system. The need for new funding sources is acute because the rising workload associated with this kind of operation comes at a time when governments are reluctant to devote new funds.