ODNI to issue 500-day plan

ODNI 100-day plan

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It has been more than 100 days since the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) issued its plan for revamping how agencies share intelligence information. And with a mixture of successes and shortcomings, Director Mike McConnell said today the office is ready for a new set of goals.

McConnell said ODNI, which has been working on a new 500-day plan since last spring, will release the follow-up framework as a draft next week on its Web site.

“I have 543 days left and I want to get the framework right and then let the next person take it to the end,” McConnell said during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “We will set the level of expectations and the set of deliverables for the office.”

The plan will be similar to the 100-day plan that ODNI issued in April, in which the office tracked through a score card six areas of integration and collaboration that need major improvements among the 16 intelligence agencies, he said.

McConnell said the initial 100-day plan has paid dividends.

It has promoted “jointness,” which is the idea that intelligence employees must understand their agencies and other intelligence organizations.

McConnell said that before employees receive promotions they must buy into the concept of jointness by working at another agency for a period of time to better understand the other organization’s culture, needs and focus.

“We have a signed agreement around jointness from 16 agencies,” he said. “We are applying the logic of the Goldwater-Nichols Act” of 1986.

The act tried to fix problems of intergovernmental rivalries and streamlined the Defense Department chain of command.

Another area where ODNI has made progress is developing a plan for a National Intelligence Coordination Center. McConnell said all major intelligence agencies will participate.

“The organization will think strategically and tactically,” he said. “We have an agreement in place and will move forward.”

McConnell also said ODNI moved forward with information sharing. He said the intelligence agencies are transforming from a need-to-know culture to one of “responsibility to provide.”

“This change puts pressure on the analysts to look at who is their customer, how do I get information to them and what are my sources and methods to get information,” he said.

ODNI is asking the White House to update Executive Order 12333 from 1981. The order defined the role of the intelligence agencies and McConnell said it needs to incorporate the intelligence community’s new organizations and new technologies and methods.

ODNI didn’t accomplish everything it planned under the 100-day plan. McConnell said it still needs to improve its acquisition methods and improve its business practices, especially in using commercial audit and financial-reporting standards.

He also said the office still is struggling to clearly define authorities in the intelligence community.

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