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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Jun > Jun 12

Secrecy News -- 06/11/07

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2007 13:00:02 -0400
Fwd Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 11:29:17 -0400
Subject: Secrecy News -- 06/11/07



SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 60
June 11, 2007

Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

Support Secrecy News:
http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp


**	CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT IS INTENSIFYING, ODNI SAYS
**	NEW BILL WOULD MANDATE PUBLIC ACCESS TO CRS REPORTS


CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT IS INTENSIFYING, ODNI SAYS

"Intelligence community contracting and procurement activities
are receiving increasing scrutiny from Congress," an official of
the Office of Director of National Intelligence told a meeting
of industry officials last month.

"Congressional oversight is intensifying," said Daniel C.
Nielsen, ODNI Deputy Procurement Executive.

Among other things, "Senior congressional leaders favor
increased IC procurement data reporting," he said.

He cited a 2006 proposal by Rep. Henry Waxman to require
providing to Congress "the same information for classified
contracts that is required for unclassified contracts."

Although intelligence-related procurement programs run into the
tens of billions of dollars annually, they has never been
subject to accountability and reporting requirements comparable
to those for unclassified acquisition. This is expected to
change, Mr. Nielsen indicated.

See "Intelligence Community Procurement Metrics: Needs, Goals
and Approach" by Daniel C. Nielsen, ODNI, presented May 16,
2007:

http://www.fas.org/irp/dni/nielsen.pdf

Baseline acquisition data-collection requirements were set forth
last year in an Intelligence Community Directive (ICD), which
stated that "all... major system acquisitions shall have a
[program management plan] that includes cost, schedule, and
performance goals, as well as program milestone criteria."

See ICD 105, "Acquisition," Director of National Intelligence,
August 15, 2006:

http://www.fas.org/irp/dni/icd/icd-105.pdf

"Acting under pressure from Congress, the CIA has decided to
trim its contractor staffing by 10 percent," reported Walter
Pincus and Stephen Barr in the Washington Post today.


NEW BILL WOULD MANDATE PUBLIC ACCESS TO CRS REPORTS

A bill introduced in the House of Representatives last month
would require that certain reports of the Congressional Research
Service be made publicly available online.

The "Congressional Research Accessibility Act" (HR 2545) was
introduced on May 24 by Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT), along
with Reps. Jay Inslee (D-WA) and David Price (D-NC). See:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/congress/2007/hr2545.html

The bill was flagged by the Coalition of Journalists for Open
Government, www.cjog.net.

The proposed legislation does not offer everything one might
hope for. In particular, it would prohibit public access to CRS
reports until 30 days after they are first published on the
internal congressional web site.

This is good news for commercial vendors of CRS products, who
have (unauthorized) near-real time access to CRS publications
and could continue to exploit that advantage for financial gain.
But the delay would significantly diminish the utility of many
such publications for the general public.

For example, on June 5, CRS issued a report on "Extensively
Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR-TB): Quarantine and Isolation,"
which was then the subject of current news interest:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS22672.pdf

Under the proposed legislation, this report would not become
widely available to the public for more than three weeks from
now when, one may hope, it will be old news. (It was obtained
independently and published previously by the Center for
Democracy and Technology's OpenCRS, www.opencrs.com.)

Confidential reports and responses to individual member requests
would understandably not be released under the new proposal
unless the requester chose to release them. But neither would
other CRS products that are not confidential if they do not fit
the proposed definition of what is to be released.

That might be the case, for example, with this new non-report
tabulation of "Overt U.S. Assistance to Pakistan, FY2001-
FY2008," June 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/pakaid.pdf

The congressional sponsors of the new bill, apparently fearing
that CRS' sharp analytical tools could be blunted by contact
with their dull constituents, insist that CRS reports shall be
published "in a manner that... does not permit the submission of
comments from the public."



_______________________________________________
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the
Federation of American Scientists.

The Secrecy News Blog is at:
http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, go to:
http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/subscribe.html

OR email your request to saftergood.nul

Secrecy News is archived at:
http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/index.html

SUPPORT Secrecy News with a donation here:
http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp


_______________________
Steven Aftergood
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
web:  www.fas.org/sgp/index.html
email: saftergood.nul
voice: (202) 454-4691




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