ODNI earns kudos for 500-day plan
- By Jason Miller
- Oct 14, 2007
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence envisions a more diverse workforce, better analysis based on collaboration and information-sharing technology, and most of all reduced risk of repeating past intelligence failures.
ODNIs 500-day plan, released Oct. 10, sets those and other goals for further transforming the intelligence community six years after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
I have  days left, and I want to get the framework right and then let the next person take it to the end, said Mike McConnell, director of national intelligence, during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies earlier this year. We will set the level of expectations and the set of deliverables for the office.
The 500-day plan builds on ODNIs 100-day strategy issued in April. That plan set six high-level goals for creating a culture of collaboration, accelerating information sharing, fostering intelligence collection and analytic transformation, building acquisition excellence and technology leadership, and clarifying and aligning DNI authorities.
The new plan establishes nine core and 33 enabling initiatives to further the integration of the intelligence communitys people, processes and technologies, McConnell wrote in the plan.
Air Force Maj. Gen. Dale Meyerrose, ODNIs chief information officer, said at a recent luncheon that the agency has assigned each core initiative in the plan to a senior manager, who is responsible for meeting it. Meyerrose said he, too, has been assigned a number of goals, including the creation of a single information environment to accelerate intelligence sharing.
The idea of the plan is [that] the elements are reflective of benchmarks
we can measure progress by, Meyerrose said. The plan is a good indicator of our relative priorities and how we well are we making the intelligence community collectively better.
Intelligence experts lauded ODNIs new strategy, which the agency released the day after White House officials issued an updated homeland security strategy document that was widely criticized.
When you consider how we pushed through intelligence reform and changed DNI, I am pleasantly surprised with the general direction of the 500-day plan and of DNI, said James Carafano, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Things they are working on are generally thoughtful and realistic. It is obvious there is some adult leadership there.
Carafano and others said there will be some challenges in meeting the goals of the plan. For example, expanding counterintelligence efforts necessarily creates new security vulnerabilities.
Frank Blanco, executive vice president at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance and former executive director at the National Security Agency, said the 500-day plan is a good start. He said ODNIs biggest challenge will be improving the diversity of the workforce with first- and second-generation Americans.
Right now, getting someone cleared who is a first-generation American is really hard, Blanco said. If you are going to improve the representation of various employees, they need to change security clearance requirements.