Director of National Intelligence Statutory Authorities: Status and Proposals [Updated April 17, 2008]   [open pdf - 108KB]

"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 it was created 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 (IC). Some observers have questioned whether the act provides the DNI the authority necessary to effectively implement Congress's 2004 intelligence reforms. Others assert that the DNI's authorities are significantly stronger than those of the former Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), but suggest that the DNI has failed to aggressively assert the authorities he has been provided. In examining the DNI's current authorities, it is clear that they are significantly stronger than those that were available to the DCI, but whether they are sufficient to implement intelligence reforms mandated by Congress will continue to depend on several factors. They include the extent to which the authorities themselves are adequate, the DNI's willingness to assert those authorities, and the extent to which the DNI receives presidential and congressional support. This report will be updated as new information becomes available."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL34231
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