Platts to propose comptroller for NID

Rep. Todd Platts (R-Pa.) will propose an amendment later this week to the House's version of legislation implementing recommendations of the 9-11 Commission to create an office of financial comptroller at the proposed National Intelligence Directorate (NID).

"We want to make sure that there is somebody at the NID who is accountable for the money," a Platts spokesman said. The bill, H.R. 10, along with its companion Senate version, is set to make significant changes in the intelligence community, including creation of a national intelligence director with multi-intelligence agency budget authority.

Platts had originally proposed subjecting NID to the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, which includes a provision requiring Senate confirmation for CFOs. During the Sept. 24 House Government Reform Committee mark up of the intelligence bill, however, Platts withdrew the amendment after committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-Va.) pledged to co-sponsor an amendment offered on the House floor that would create the comptroller position.

A Platts staffer said the congressman went along with the compromise largely because the House Government Reform Committee has jurisdiction over the government restructuring portion of H.R. 10, although financial accountability belongs under the intelligence community reform section. The worry was that "leadership might strip it, so we decided to wait," the staffer said. If "you offer an amendment during floor consideration, you're more in a position of strength."

Davis' position during the markup was "we agreed with the intent; we just didn't want to overburden [the NID] with statutory offices," said Drew Crockett, a spokesman for Davis.

The Senate version, S. 2845, creates both a comptroller and CFO within the NID. The full House is set to consider the intelligence reform bill later this week.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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