from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2008, Issue No. 43
May 6, 2008

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The Director of National Intelligence last week issued several new Intelligence Community Directives (ICDs) that implement new community-wide personnel practices, including a performance-based compensation policy that rewards superior job performance.

The new payment policy "links performance-based pay increases and bonuses to individual accomplishments, demonstrated competencies, and contributions to organizational results."

"Higher performance and greater contribution to mission should result in proportionally higher rewards for similarly-situated employees."

The new payment and personnel policies, part of DNI J. Michael McConnell's 100-day and 500-day plans, are intended to modernize the business practices of U.S. intelligence agencies and, implicitly, to make government service somewhat more competitive with intelligence contractors in the private sector.

The new personnel policies will also replace the standard government personnel grading system known as the General Schedule (GS) for all intelligence agency employees, except that senior officials at the GS-15 or higher grade are exempted.

The new IC Directives, all dated April 28, 2008, were released under the Freedom of Information Act. They include:

Copies of these and other IC Directives are available here:


The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) generates some of the most sensitive and most consequential records in the U.S. Government, along with an enormous volume of ephemeral material. Managing this endless flow of records efficiently and effectively is a challenge.

Close students of OSD records management policy will find useful reference data in two new Pentagon volumes.

General records maintenance policies are spelled out in "Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Records Management Program -- Administrative Procedures," Administrative Instruction 15, change 1, April 18, 2008:

Records schedules approved by the National Archives for the disposition of all OSD component records are compiled in "Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Records Management Program -- Records Disposition Schedules," Administrative Instruction 15, volume 2, April 18, 2008:


China's foreign policy goals and actions in Asia, Africa and Latin America are assessed in a new report to Congress from the Congressional Research Service.

"The study opens with an overview section discussing China's presumed foreign policy goals, the attractions and limitations of China's 'soft power,' and the implications and options for the United States. The memorandum proceeds to an analysis of China's relations with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Southwest Pacific, Japan and South Korea, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa."

The study was released by Senator Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"It is my hope that this study will inform debate about China and help point the way toward policies that will not only respond to those Chinese actions that are at odds with U.S. interests, but will also build on the many common interests created by China's enhanced integration with the international community," Sen. Biden wrote in a foreword.

See "China's Foreign Policy and 'Soft Power' in South America, Asia, and Africa," April 2008:


"The number of DEA intelligence analysts has grown from 11 since the DEA's inception in 1973 to 710 stationed around the world as of March 15, 2008," according to a new report from the Justice Department Inspector General (IG) on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as an intelligence agency.

The new report provides the most detailed public account available of DEA's intelligence function and its role as one of the sixteen member agencies in the U.S. intelligence community.

The IG report noted a generally favorable evaluation of DEA intelligence, except for significant delays in publication of time-sensitive intelligence information.

"The DEA Chief of Intelligence told us that when reports officers receive information related to terrorism, weapons, or a foreign country's military, the cable must be prepared and disseminated to the intelligence community within 24 to 48 hours of receipt. Of the 4,500 cables prepared since June 2004, we tested 81 cables for timeliness of dissemination. Our testing showed that cables are transmitted on average 34 days from the date the original information was received by the DEA."

See "The Drug Enforcement Administration's Use of Intelligence Analysts," Audit Report 08-23, Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, May 2008:

Some of those who idly speculate about nominees to cabinet positions in the next Administration have mentioned Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, who is widely respected for his independence, as a possible future Attorney General.


Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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