In a new report to Congress, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence identified the seven external advisory committees that currently support and advise the DNI.
Ordinarily, government advisory committees that include non-governmental members are subject to open meeting requirements under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. It mandates that “the Congress and the public should be kept informed with respect to the number, purpose, membership, activities, and cost of advisory committees.” The Act was intended to provide a check on the government’s many advisory committees, which have sometimes played an influential role in the formulation of public policy.
But the Act also provides that committees established by the DNI may be exempted from public reporting requirements, as are all of the intelligence-related Committees listed in the new report. The report was released by ODNI under the Freedom of Information Act, with the names of all committee members redacted. In numerous cases, however, committee members have identified themselves in their own online bios.
The current DNI advisory committees are:
1. Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Senior Advisory Group (SAG) which is supposed “to provide external perspective to the DNI on policy, industry best practices, technology breakthroughs, and best-in-class solutions relevant to current intelligence issues.” SAG members include Jane Harman, Joanne Isham, and Paul Kaminski.
3. National Counterproliferation Center (NCPC) Senior Counterproliferation Partners Advisory Board (SCPAB) advises the Center on “a variety of issues facing the Counterproliferation community” including assessments of significant intelligence events and guidance on interacting with military commands.
4. Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Partners Board (HS/LE PB) provides perspectives on the intelligence needs and equities of State, Local and Tribal partners.
5. Advanced Technology Board provides “linkages between the Intelligence Community and the scientific community” as well as “early notice of developments in science that might affect the Intelligence Community.” Members include Robert Fein.
6. Financial Sector Advisory Board (FSAB) provides “insights on information sources, developments, and other areas expected to improve the Intelligence Community’s ability to produce actionable intelligence in the financial arena.” Current members include Bob Rose of Thomson Reuters (who also sits on the NCTC Director’s Advisory Board).
7. Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies is the advisory group established at the direction of the President in response to the controversy generated by the Snowden disclosures. The Review Group members, disclosed by the White House but redacted by ODNI, are Richard Clarke, Michael Morell, Geoffrey Stone, Cass Sunstein, and Peter Swire.
DNI Clapper stated in 2012 that he had “reduced the number of advisory boards to the DNI as part of an efficiency review.” Among the defunct advisory groups was the Intelligence Science Board, which produced an important study of the science of interrogation practices that became public in January 2007.