Senate Select Committee approves fiscal 2004 funding

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence approved fiscal 2004 spending for intelligence agencies last month, increasing funding to standardize databases across intelligence agencies to improve information sharing and data analysis.

Responding to the findings of a joint inquiry by the House and Senate into the intelligence failings leading up to Sept. 11, 2001, the Intelligence Authorization Bill for Fiscal Year 2004 provides funding to establish a single, governmentwide terrorist watch list.

Analysts' access

The bill also requires CIA director George Tenet to conduct a pilot to 'determine the feasibility and advisability of permitting intelligence analysts access to raw intelligence from the databases of the community,' according to a committee news release.

'One thing which was clear from ... the intelligence breakdown prior to Sept. 11 is that collected intelligence is only as good as this nation's ability to properly analyze, fuse and disseminate it,' said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), the committee chairman.

Intelligence agencies should get some help from the recent opening of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center. TTIC will serve as the nation's central hub for foreign and domestic terrorist information gathered by the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency, National Imagery and Mapping Agency and Homeland Security Department.

Other components of the bill include:
  • An authorization of $8 million to recruit college students into the intelligence field

  • Permission to award emergency services contracts

  • A report on lessons learned in Iraq.

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