ODNI Dismisses Inadvertent Release of Intel Budget Data

The recent inadvertent disclosure of intelligence spending figures concealed in an official PowerPoint briefing does not reveal the size of the intelligence budget, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said this week (pdf).

Close scrutiny of a PowerPoint slide presented by ODNI official Terri Everett (.ppt) at a conference last month turned up budget numbers that were used to create a bar graph showing relative annual spending on intelligence contractors, and suggested that overall annual intelligence spending could be $60 billion or more.

But “the specific bar graphs on the slides and their underlying data were based on a small, anecdotal sample of a portion of Intelligence Community contracting activities. As a result, this data cannot be used to derive either the overall Intelligence Community budget, or a breakdown of any portion of the budget,” the ODNI said in a June 19 statement.

“The overall Intelligence Community budget and its components are classified to protect the national security interests of the United States,” the ODNI added, a claim that is widely disputed. Legislation (pdf) pending in the Senate would require annual disclosure of the national intelligence program budget.