IG Report Blasts the Director of National Intelligence

04.02.09 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The Director of National Intelligence has failed to exercise adequate leadership of the Intelligence Community (IC), which continues to suffer from poor integration, unjustified barriers to information sharing, and other defects, according to a remarkably critical November 2008 report of the ODNI Inspector General (pdf) that was released yesterday.

Even within the Office of the DNI, there is “declining employee confidence in ODNI leadership,” wrote Inspector General Edward Maguire.  He cited a survey which found that the number of ODNI employees reporting a “high level of respect for ODNI senior leaders” declined 10% from 2006 to 2007.

Among numerous other problem areas, the IG said that “The risk of waste and abuse has increased with a surge in government spending and a growing trend toward establishing large, complex contracts to support mission requirements throughout the IC; yet many procurements receive limited oversight because they fall below the threshold for mandatory oversight.”

The Inspector General did not address problems of overclassification in intelligence, but did call for greater efforts to combat leaks:

“The DNI should team with DoJ to develop more effective approaches to stopping the proliferation of unauthorized disclosures of classified information.  Some of these unauthorized disclosures have been extremely harmful to conducting intelligence operations and protecting sources and methods.”

The IG report also did not address continuing questions about the Intelligence Community’s compliance with the law in its surveillance and interrogation activities, but observed that “Legal issues and confusion about what the law actually requires can pose some of the greatest impediments to the IG’s national security mission.”