WASHINGTON, DC –U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Kit Bond (R-Mo.), vice chairman of the committee, today announced that the panel has unanimously approved the Intelligence Authorization bill for Fiscal Year 2010. The legislation, which provides authorities for the funding, operation, and management of the intelligence community, now heads to the full Senate.
“The Intelligence Committee unanimously voted out a robust authorization bill that provides the tools needed to collect and analyze information needed to keep the nation safe. This legislation empowers a strong Director of National Intelligence, moves resources to the highest priority intelligence operations, and strengthens Congressional oversight.”
Key elements of the legislation will:
- Fund the Intelligence Community’s support of the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the continuing counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations;
- Make several improvements to the Intelligence Community’s acquisition and management processes to prevent misuse of funds and major cost increases on purchases;
- Provide a more capable and more affordable imagery satellite architecture;
- Increase investment on research and development for future capabilities;
- Reduce the over-reliance on contractors doing intelligence work;
- Improve oversight and privacy protections relating to the government cybersecurity initiative;
- Improve language capabilities across the Intelligence Community;
- Improve oversight and accountability by requiring Senate confirmation for the Directors of the NSA, NRO, and NGA, and the Deputy Director of the CIA, and by creating a statutory and confirmed Inspector General for the Intelligence Community;
- Require the DNI to report on how the Intelligence Community complies with laws, international obligations, and executive orders on the detention and interrogation activities of the Intelligence Community;
- Require the Intelligence Community to continue efforts to put in place the information technology to improve intelligence sharing;
- Change congressional notification requirements in law to make clear that there is no exception to the obligation to brief Congress on intelligence activities and covert actions; to require that notifications include the legal authority on which activities are undertaken; and to require that all members be informed when only the Gang of Eight is briefed, and the main features of such briefings; and
- Require the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency to make publicly available unclassified versions of four documents regarding information gained from high-value detainees.
The Fiscal 2010 Intelligence Authorization legislation is a “clean bill,” with no earmarks.