FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 18, 2014
McCaskill Calls for ‘gut-check’ in Intelligence Community Oversight
At hearing, Senator urges better oversight and accountability for contractors, whistleblower protections
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today called for increased oversight of intelligence community contractors in light of a new report detailing a lack of reliable contractor data and the failure to adequately assess whether a contractor is even doing necessary or appropriate work.
McCaskill questioned Stephanie O’Sullivan, Principal Deputy Director of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, about a recent Government Accountability Office report that outlined significant flaws in oversight. McCaskill, who chairs the Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight, requested the review of the use of contractors in the intelligence community.
“There is a little bit of a crisis of confidence within Congress about the intelligence community writ large,” said McCaskill, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial & Contracting Oversight. “I am curious as to why the number of contractors and cost of contracts has been classified … I think it’s classified because you get away with saying things are classified because it’s the intelligence community. I don’t think it helps enemy to know the ratio of federal employees to contractors. I don’t think that’s a problem for our intelligence community in terms of jeopardizing our national security.”
O’Sullivan agreed about the value of congressional oversight of the intelligence community, saying: “we cannot function without adequate and trusted oversight.”
McCaskill also discussed the importance of Presidentially-appointed inspectors general. McCaskill, along with Senators Collins, Tester, Mikulski, and Coats, recently introduced the NSA Internal Watchdog Act, which would bolster accountability at the National Security Agency by making the position of the NSA Inspector General a presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed position. Currently, the NSA IG is hired directly by the agency’s director.
McCaskill also pressed for expanded whistleblower protections for intelligence contractors—to better protect those who blow the whistle on waste, fraud and abuse in the intelligence community.
Click HERE to read highlights of McCaskill’s fight for stronger accountability in Washington.