* Intelligence Agencies Are Told to Cooperate with GAO … how will this apply to the ongoing GAO review of the FBI’s anthrax investigation (Amerithrax)?
Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 17, 2011
see also …
* the GAO review of the FBI’s anthrax investigation has begun … a report is expected to be issued by September 20, 2011 … *** UPDATE: a series of fascinating comments to this post suggest many pertinent questions that GAO might want to consider
Steven Aftergood writes in Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy (5/16/11) …
- An expanded role for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in oversight of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) may soon become a reality as the result of an official directive that requires intelligence agencies to work with auditors from the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress.
- “It is IC policy to cooperate with the Comptroller General, through the GAO, to the fullest extent possible, and to provide timely responses to requests for information,” affirmed Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper in the new Intelligence Community Directive 114 on“Comptroller General Access to Intelligence Community Information” (pdf). The Comptroller General is the director of the GAO.
- There is also a loosely defined provision that would exclude GAO from access to information on “core” intelligence capabilities:
- “Information that falls within the purview of the congressional intelligence oversight committees generally shall not be made available to GAO to support a GAO audit or review of core national intelligence capabilities or activities, which include intelligence collection operations, intelligence analyses and analytical techniques, counterintelligence operations, and intelligence funding,” the directive says.
- That language in the directive, “if interpreted broadly, could significantly hinder GAO’s ability to conduct related work that we are routinely requested by the Congress to do,” wrote Gene L. Dodaro, the Comptroller General.
- The final version of the directive “is better than the horrible first cut,” a congressional official said. An initial draft of the directive last March was deemed to be “shockingly bad” from a congressional perspective. (“DNI Drags Heels on GAO Access to Intelligence,” Secrecy News, March 30, 2011.)
- “It will be very interesting to see how the new protocols are actually implemented. GAO’s moribund FBI counter-terrorism job is going to be the first test case.” He was referring to a pending review of counterterrorism programs at FBI that was scuttled due to the FBI’s refusal to cooperate with GAO auditors.
read the entire article at … http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2011/05/cooperate_gao.html