The NSC was established by the National Security Act of 1947 to advise the President with respect to the integration of domestic, foreign, and military policies relating to the national security. The NSC is the highest Executive Branch entity providing review of, guidance for, and direction to the conduct of all national foreign intelligence and counterintelligence activities. The statutory members of the NSC are the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense. The Director of Central Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff participate as advisers.
The President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board is maintained within the Executive Office of the President. Its several members serve at the pleasure of the President and are appointed from among trustworthy and distinguished citizens outside of government on the basis of achievement, experience, and independence. They serve without compensation. The Board continually reviews the performance of all government agencies engaged in the collection, evaluation, or production of intelligence or in the execution of intelligence policy. It also assesses the adequacy of management, personnel, and organization in intelligence agencies and advises the President concerning the objectives, conduct, and coordination of the activities of these agencies. The Advisory Board is specifically charged to make appropriate recommendations for actions to improve and enhance the performance of the intelligence efforts of the United States.