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October 2, 2000

S. 2507 - Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001
(Sen. Shelby (R) Alabama)

The Administration is generally supportive of S. 2507, as modified by the manager's amendment and other amendments described below. With respect to the Committee-reported bill, the Administration appreciates the inclusion of a number of substantive provisions that would contribute to the effectiveness, efficiency, and security of U.S. intelligence activities. Examples include: Section 405, which extends the availability of funds to three years for the purchase of land, and Section 403, which permits the CIA to continue to improve its efforts with the Central Services Program. In addition, language on the critical importance of electronic collaboration supports the Administration's ongoing effort to leverage technology to achieve the highest level of intelligence products.

The Administration supports the manager's amendment and a number of other amendments. In particular, the inclusion of Senator Moynihan's amendment on declassification for the public interest would be a meaningful step toward even greater progress in declassification. Moreover, the amendment provides for an effective process to advise on priorities for declassification, as opposed to limited scope declassification bills. While the Administration has concerns with the Committee-reported Section 503 concerning personnel management, these concerns appear to be addressed in Senator Warner's amendment.

While S. 2507 does not direct a specific change to existing practices, the Administration is opposed to efforts by the Congress to mandate the management, operations, and security procedures for diplomatic telecommunications. The Administration is working diligently to resolve any outstanding problems with diplomatic telecommunications. Any such provisions would be counterproductive to this effort.