Last week, the Intelligence Authorization Act was passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2024.
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark R. Warner of Virginia and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio of Florida praised passage of the IAA, which authorizes funding, provides legal authorities and enhances congressional oversight for the U.S. Intelligence Community. After the House of Representatives approves the legislation, it will head to the president for his signature.
“The Intelligence Authorization Act plays a crucial role in ensuring that America’s intelligence agencies have the tools they need to protect the American people,” Warner said. “This year’s bill improves the IC’s ability to track threats posed by our adversaries while promoting much-needed reforms to our nation’s security classification system and expanding the Committee’s efforts to reform the security clearance process in order to attract the best and brightest talent to the intelligence space. I am glad that Congress is coming together to pass this package that meets the needs of our Intelligence Community.”
The IAA for Fiscal Year 2024 authorizes funding for the IC and ensures that it has the resources, personnel and authorities necessary to protect our country and inform decision makers, while ensuring continued robust congressional oversight.
The bill’s provisions focus on the following key areas:
- Increases oversight of the national security threats posed by People’s Republic of China, including its economic practices, foreign malign influence operations, military capabilities, and investments in, and attempts to dominate, the supply chains of artificial intelligence (AI), next-generation energy technologies, and biotechnology, among many others.
- Establishes a new IC atrocities coordinator to increase collection, analysis, and intelligence support to government-wide efforts to hold China accountable for its egregious human rights abuses, including the Uyghur genocide.
- Improves the IC’s procurement, adoption, and integration of emerging technologies by requiring the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to establish policies for the IC’s acquisition, adoption, development, and use of AI, to create an intelligence innovation board, and to submit a plan for implementing an Intelligence Community Innovation Unit to integrate commercial emerging technologies.
- Enhances insight into the Maduro regime’s imprisonment of United States persons in Venezuela.
- Ensures the IC has a first-class workforce by improving workforce mobility among IC agencies to meet national security needs; and increasing recruitment priorities for candidates with financial intelligence and technical expertise.
- Establishes new requirements for reporting and investigating allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment with the CIA.
- Increases transparency by strengthening Unidentified Aerial Phenomena funding limitations and reporting requirements.
- Promotes reform of the nation’s security classification system to ensure accountability, increase transparency, and strengthen trust between the American people and their elected government.
- Continues to drive improvement in the security clearance process by requiring a policy framework to facilitate the mobility of the Intelligence Community workforce; renewing a report on the number of clearance holders in the government and industry; requiring updated timeliness standards the granting of clearances to reflect progress under the Trusted Workforce (TW) 2.0 initiative; annually measuring satisfaction among agencies, industry, and applicants with TW 2.0; and promoting shared IT among Intelligence Community elements to harmonize their clearance processes.
- Prohibits the Department of Homeland Security Intelligence and Analysis from conducting custodial briefings in certain circumstances, collecting on journalists, and hiring personnel who collect information on domestic terrorism for a period of one year.
- Requires intelligence assessments of the strategic competition in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as assessments of certain cartels.
- Ensures continued support to the victims of anomalous health incidents (AHIs or “Havana Syndrome”) by improving the CIA’s funding flexibility for payments to qualified victims; and requiring each IC element to issue regulations and procedures for implementing HAVANA Act of 2021 authorities.
“Our adversaries, especially China, Russia, and Iran, are growing increasingly aggressive and collaborative in their efforts to weaken America and degrade the international rules-based system,” Rubio said. “The Intelligence Community (IC) has a critical role to play in identifying and mitigating these significant threats. This Intelligence Authorization Act strengthens our Committee’s ongoing oversight of intelligence activities, makes important reforms to preserve our American values, and ensures that the IC effectively manages critical resources, authorities, and personnel to protect our national security.”