The intelligence community is in the middle of a “significant transformation process,” according to the community’s top official.
“We’re in the beginning of the process of change that I hope will bring us up to date in terms of the agility … that we need,” Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said during a Friday appearance at the Aspen Security Forum.
Coats noted that every agency needs to be evaluated in terms of effectiveness and efficiency given that with large bureaucracies duplication occurs and remains, as can be the nature of bureaucracy itself.
He added that an internal process is already underway with senior advisory committees to look at how to better provide customers efficiency and effectiveness.
Details on this effort, however, are scant. Coats declined to name the “all stars” joining these committees, and a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence told C4ISRNET there is nothing further to offer in addition to Coats’ remarks.
Coats did note that the IC is looking at the near term, midterm (as defined as 2025) and the far term (out to the 2040-2050 range) as to how to structure the IC. ”Status quo is not acceptable,” he said.
“I’ve been there four-plus months we’re just putting the pieces in place now,” Coats said. “We’ll be rolling that out in the last six months.”
There has been criticism that ODNI too large and has become politicized, according to reporting by The Wall Street Journal. There was some discussion of doing away with the position, which oversees and coordinates the efforts of the other 16 intelligence agencies.
Sue Gordon, who currently serves as deputy director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, was recently tapped to serve as principal deputy director of national intelligence. Gordon admitted during her confirmation hearing last week that many are concerned about the IC growing too big and sucking up too many responsibilities. She said that Coats is committed to examining this and has suggested to her that this could be a special opportunity she’ll have to lead if confirmed.
Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.