Central Intelligence Agency: Observations on GAO Access to Information on CIA Programs and Activities, Statement of Henry L. Hinton, Jr., Managing Director Defense Capabilities and Management, Testimony before the Subcommittee on Government Efficiency, Financial Management and Intergovernmental Relations, and the Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs, and International Relations, Committee on Governmental Reform, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 105KB]

"We are pleased to be here to discuss the subject of access by the General Accounting Office (GAO) to information from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Specifically, our statement will provide some background on CIA and its oversight mechanisms, our authority to review CIA programs, and the history and status of GAO access to CIA information. As requested, our remarks will focus on our relationship with the CIA and not with other intelligence agencies. Our comments are based upon our review of historic files, our legal analysis, and our experiences dealing with the CIA over the years. Oversight of the CIA generally comes from two select committees of Congress and the CIA's Inspector General. We have broad authority to evaluate CIA programs. In reality, however, we face both legal and practical limitations on our ability to review these programs. […]. We have not actively audited the CIA since the early 1960s, when we discontinued such work because the CIA was not providing us with sufficient access to information to perform our mission. The issue has arisen since then from time to time as our work has required some level of access to CIA programs and information. […]. In general, we are most successful at getting access to CIA information when we request threat assessments and the CIA does not perceive our audits as oversight of its activities."

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