ODNI sets guidelines for intelligence reform

Intelligence Community Directive Number 200 [.pdf]

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In one of his final acts as director of national intelligence, John Negroponte issued a series of wide-ranging objectives for managing and integrating analysis throughout the intelligence community.

In January, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released “Intelligence Community Directive 200,” which sets a policy framework and implementation guidelines for all 16 intelligence agencies. The thrust of the document is that intelligence analysis should be transparent, depoliticized and shared throughout the community.

The new policy and procedures “are designed to ensure that intelligence community analysis is an integrated, collaborative enterprise working across intelligence discipline boundaries and incorporating insights from all relevant [intelligence community] analytic components,” the directive states.

According to the document, collaboration and integration should be based on the following principles:

    * Analysis should be objective and independent of political considerations.
    * No single agency is equipped to analyze today’s complex threats on its own.
    * Collaboration must become normal practice, not the exception, and should occur in real time.
    * Analysis must be transparent within the community and analysts should engage early with customers.
    * Analysts should interact more with collectors to identify and communicate intelligence gaps.
    * The intelligence community should reach outside itself for expertise by engaging other government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and the academic, business and think-tank communities.

A primary recommendation of the 9/11 Commission was intelligence community integration and cooperation. One of the intelligence director’s responsibilities is to make sure that differences in intelligence analysis are brought to policymakers’ attention, the directive states.

Recently, the Defense Department’s Inspector General’s Office criticized the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy for failing to communicate to policy-makers the differences in intelligence assessments on the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda leading up to the Iraq war.

“We believe the actions were inappropriate because a policy office was producing intelligence products and was not clearly conveying to senior decision-makers the variance with the consensus of the intelligence community,” the IG’s report states.

Vice Adm. Michael McConnell, who was sworn in by President Bush Feb. 20 as the new director of national intelligence, detailed his priorities for intelligence community reform in his remarks to a congressional committee during his confirmation.

“To be more effective, I believe we must have a more integrated and collaborative community, better sharing of information and processes, increased focus on the needs of our customers, efficient acquisition and financial accounting, improved and streamlined security processes, and deeper penetration of intelligence targets,” he said.

The deputy director of national intelligence for analysis will manage the implementation of the new policies and procedures.

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