Director of National Intelligence Statutory Authorities: Status and Proposals [Updated January 25, 2008]   [open pdf - 101KB]

"In passing the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458) in 2004, Congress approved the most comprehensive reform of the U.S. Intelligence Community since its establishment over 50 years ago. Principal among enacted changes was the establishment of a new position of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to manage the Intelligence Community. Some observers have questioned whether the statute gives the DNI sufficient authority to implement the 2004 intelligence reforms enacted by Congress. Others believe that the DNI's existing authorities are substantially stronger than those of the former Director of Central Intelligence (CIA), but that the DNI must more effectively assert those authorities. […]In examining the DNI's current authorities, it is clear that they are substantially stronger than those held by the former DCI, but whether they are sufficient to implement mandated reforms will depend on several factors. […] This report reviews the congressional debate over authorities that occurred during consideration of the 2004 Act; examines the DNI's request for more authority and the congressional response to date; compares several of the DNI's authorities with those of former DCIs; and, examines some potential Congressional concerns. This report will be updated as new information becomes available."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL34231
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