The Intelligence Community

Recommendations and Actions

INTEL05: Develop Integrated Personnel and Training Systems


To carry out his Intelligence Community (IC) management responsibilities, the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) needs a dynamic and multi-talented workforce capable of meeting the nation's need for intelligence in a post-Cold War environ-ment. The intelligence business is people-intensive; the Community's employees are a vital resource. Ensuring the right number, the right skills mix, and a sense of the Community presents the single greatest challenge to the IC's success in today's world.

The 13 organizations that make up the Intelligence Community are a loosely knit group of functional organizations, each with its own set of customers and requirements. This arrangement fosters unnecessary duplication and redundancy. It also makes it difficult for the Community to speak with one voice on Capitol Hill. While some argue for a "super agency" with a single, accountable manager, the appropriate posture for the Community is evolving to a more closely aligned confederation of agencies. They should be structured on the basis of core competencies, with both shared and unique goals and objectives. A tighter confederation must be forged, with stronger leadership and integrated management focus. This would include common standards for intelligence personnel systems complete with stronger mechanisms for planning, resource allocation, and operational efficiency.

At issue is how well the DCI can fully exercise his authorities when most of his manpower and funds for the activities he manages are controlled by others. The 13 intelligence agencies contain both civil and excepted service employees, military officers as well foreign service officers. Each agency has its own personnel practices and standards and its own version of the Senior Executive Service (SES). These agencies have different security background investigation procedures, different policies regarding interagency rotational assignments, and different training programs.

The leaders of intelligence agencies in the future must increasingly have a Community perspective. With a constrained resource environment and many complex, cross-cutting issues to deal with, senior intelligence officers will seldom be effective with a one-agency or single discipline perspective. Today, each Community element runs its own Senior Executive/Senior Intelligence Service (SIS). Development programs, selection criteria, and assignment policies vary. Some have separate tracks for managers and for senior issue or technical experts. Perhaps most importantly, none of the programs conveys a strong sense that a Community perspective is valued and should be an important factor in selecting the Community's most senior leaders.

The IC should adopt a common set of personnel standards and practices throughout the IC, based on excepted service principles. An excepted service personnel framework would permit the IC to move its resources more easily, hire and dismiss as necessary to maintain its core competencies, and create special pay scales for intelligence-unique occupations. The intelligence agencies with the most flexible appointment and compensation authorities--Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)--have the ability to recruit and retain a quality workforce. Each of these agencies is exempt from the Classification Act of 1949 and from some other laws governing personal matters. The exemptions allow these agencies to maintain their own position classification and grade determination system and provide managers with the flexibility and tools needed to structure their organizations in meeting changing mission requirements.

There should be a common excepted service personnel framework. Current statutes give authority to the Directors of CIA and NSA, the Secretary of Defense for DIA, and the Civilian Intelligence Personnel Management Service (CIPMS). The Secretary of Defense has delegated his authority to agency directors. CIA and NSA have 50 U.S. Code authority. DIA and CIPMS have 10 U.S. Code authority. DIA law was copied from NSA (P.L. 86-36). CIPMS was copied from DIA law. Department of Defense (DOD) agencies, therefore, have similar statutory bases. CIA authorities are similar, but more pervasive. The Community must reconstitute the Community Personnel Coordinating Committee that became moribund a few years ago. This group should be charged with developing common policies and standards for personnel management. Legislation is not required at this time.

Training is yet another area that could benefit from an IC perspective. The Report of the DCI Task Force on Training (January 15, 1993) stated that there is no single established mechanism to provide DCI the information needed to judge overall effectiveness, cost, or quality of the many training activities being conducted or sponsored throughout the IC. Training costs are in the National Foreign Intelligence Program (NFIP) and Tactical Intelligence and Related Activities (TIARA). The DCI's Community Management Staff (CMS) has oversight for NFIP only. The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (ASD/C3I) has cognizance for TIARA. The definitions and scope of the accounts reflected in the training budgets are not consistent from one organization to another. Some direct costs of training may be reported under other accounts such as research and development, travel, and budget categories. In addition, administration, information services, and other "support" functions effectively obscure costs from easy identification. However measured, it is a significant enterprise in terms of actual direct outlay.

The task force did not deal with the costs of training facilities. More than a dozen major facilities across the country are dedicated to intelligence training for the military services and for the principal IC agencies. The DOD alone has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in new construction for intelligence and foreign language training within the last decade.

A key approach to maximizing the efficiency of training within the IC is to identify courses suitable for assignment to a single component. That component should serve as executive agent for the Community. Some of this work has already begun, but the IC needs to accelerate the pace in order to reduce costs and to make training more responsive to intelligence needs. For example, DOD could provide basic imagery training for the Community because it has the most people going through the basic courses, and CIA could provide the advanced imagery courses. (Outside of CIA, only DOD currently provides advanced imagery training, and it is limited in scope.) This should require only one site for each of these training programs.

Tomorrow's smaller work force will have to be more multi-talented, flexible, and capable of working productively in joint environments on a wide range of issues. The training and cross-training required to support this work force need to be delivered at much less than current cost.


1. The personnel directors of the Intelligence Community should review the personnel framework for all members of the Intelligence Community to facilitate establishment of a common set of personnel standards and practices.

Within a common framework, individual agencies would still maintain control over hiring, dismissing, and promoting their employees at all levels, including SIS. Sufficient billets should be maintained for foreign service officer detailees within the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

This common personnel framework would promote a greater sense of community and introduce efficiencies and cost savings in the administration of the personnel systems in the long term. The Community Personnel Coordinating Committee, composed of the heads of the personnel departments throughout the IC, should be revitalized. The committee should be the staff arm to develop the new IC personnel framework. This committee should also meet regularly to share common problems, concerns, and success stories.

2. The Community should adopt one set of security policies and standards.

Aggressive steps should be taken to establish and enforce standards for security background investigations, including resolving polygraph use issues; developing mechanisms for sharing the results; and eliminating the inefficiencies that exist today.

3. The Community Foreign Language Committee should set Community-wide language proficiency standards, recognizing that individual agencies will continue to have unique operational requirements that mandate specialized training and testing.

In addition, the Community should implement a program to accommodate sharing across agency lines. This should include scarce instructional and linguistic resources--especially in the high-demand, more esoteric languages.

4. The Community Personnel Coordinating Committee should establish a vigorous program of interagency rotational assign-ments beginning at the GS/GM-13 level.

Since the single most important factor inhibiting the Community in this regard is the polygraph, this issue must be addressed for the program to be successful.

5. The Training Directors Consortium (TDC), which is being reestablished, should consolidate training infrastructures and share training programs, facilities, techniques, and equipment.

The group should establish a long-range strategic plan and viable system of requirements assessment. This should be used to judge the effectiveness of existing training activities overall.

The DCI should establish in the CMS the position of Intelligence Training and Education Executive. This position should provide a focal point for decisionmaking regarding intelligence training. He also should task the ASD/C3I and the Executive Director for Intelligence Community Affairs (EXDIR/ICA) jointly to improve the accounting for intelligence training. Accel-erating the designation of executive agents for training courses that should be shared across the Community is one step toward this goal. The ASD/C3I and the Directors of DIA and NSA should foster joint use of training facilities among the services.

6. The Community Personnel Coordinating Committee should construct a skills bank that contains information on the job every person is currently doing and what his/her skills are. A second phase might incorporate information on customers, enabling the Community to measure its performance against specific customer requirements.

Such a database would allow the Community to conduct analyses of the ratio between line functions and staff support functions, as well as understand its core competencies or analytical strengths and weaknesses. This would also increase flexibility and responsiveness in a rapidly changing environment. This step should be taken regardless of what decisions are made on the other recommendations.

The database should be updated during annual performance reviews as part of the review itself. This will avoid creating extra paperwork and ensure accuracy. The various personnel offices throughout the Community should administer this database.


All of the recommendations would help the disparate elements of the Community to begin thinking and acting as a community, rather than single agencies intent upon maintaining their uniqueness at the expense of the whole. Communitywide personnel, security, and training policies and practices would increase efficiency. A personnel database would provide visibility into the Intelligence Community workforce, allowing a vehicle for necessary strategic planning as well as manpower analysis.

Fiscal Impact

It is difficult at this time to derive accurate costs from the NFIP budget for personnel, security, and training. Hopefully the work being undertaken by the DCI and the Deputy Secretary of Defense will correct this deficiency. It is reasonable to assume that these recommendations, once implemented, will result in a reduction in overhead across the board.

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