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House passes intel authorization bill; creates IG position

Feb. 26, 2010 - 05:38PM   |  
By STEPHEN LOSEY   |   Comments
National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair
National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair (ALEX WONG / GETTY IMAGES)

The House today passed a 2010 intelligence authorization bill that would create an inspector general to oversee the government's 16 intelligence agencies.

The position "will help eliminate waste, fraud and abuse, and … will help keep a close eye on the protection of the rights of Americans," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes said in a statement.

HR 2701 would also require the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to create a plan for increasing the diversity of the intelligence workforce.

"For the intelligence agencies, diversity is not just about virtue and equality, though both are important ideals," Reyes said. "In the world of intelligence, diversity translates directly into improved operational capacity."

Intelligence officials have often spoken about the need for a more diverse workforce. Outgoing intelligence chief human capital officer Ron Sanders made recruiting first- and second-generation Americans one of his top priorities. Sanders often said immigrants and immigrants' children can bring valuable language skills and cultural knowledge to the CIA and other intelligence agencies.

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