Intelligence Issues for Congress [April 13, 2011]   [open pdf - 269KB]

"To address the challenges facing the U.S. intelligence community in the 21st century, congressional and executive branch initiatives have sought to improve coordination among the different agencies and to encourage better analysis. In December 2004, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (P.L. 108-458) was signed, providing for a Director of National Intelligence (DNI) with substantial authorities to manage the national intelligence effort. The legislation also established a separate Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Making cooperation effective presents substantial leadership and managerial challenges. The needs of intelligence 'consumers'--ranging from the White House to Cabinet agencies to military commanders--must all be met, using the same systems and personnel. Intelligence collection systems are expensive and some critics suggest there have been elements of waste and unneeded duplication of effort while some intelligence 'targets' have been neglected. The DNI has substantial statutory authorities to address these issues, but the organizational relationships remain complex, especially for intelligence agencies that are part of the Defense Department. Members of Congress will be seeking to observe the extent to which effective coordination is accomplished. [...] H.R. 1473, the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, includes provisions that require the Director of National Intelligence to submit current and futureyear budget request data to the two intelligence committees and to the defense subcommittees of the two appropriations committees. [...] Although FY [fiscal year] 2011 is more than half over, the two congressional intelligence committees are still considering FY2011 intelligence authorization legislation. The House reported H.R. 754 on March 10, but the bill has not yet been posted. The Senate intelligence committee reported its version, S. 719, on April 4, but a provision providing for disciplinary action, including the surrender of pension benefits, of former intelligence officials who disclose classified information without proper authorization."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33539
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