WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last night the United States Senate unanimously approved the passage of the Intelligence Community (IC) Audit Act of 2009 (S. 385), introduced by U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka, as a part of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (S. 1494). 

“For too long, the Intelligence Community’s refusal to fully cooperate with Congress and the Government Accountability Office has led to significant blind spots in national security and management oversight,” Senator Akaka said.  “GAO has shown that it can be trusted to responsibly review intelligence activities and make recommendations that will improve effectiveness.” 

“I thank Senator Ron Wyden for his support of the Intelligence Community Audit Act during the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s mark up.”

The IC Audit Act reaffirms and clarifies the authority of the U.S. Comptroller General, head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), to review the activities of the IC.  Cosponsors of this legislation are Senators Thomas Carper (D-DE), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

The Senate-passed version of the bill would:

  • Allow management-related audits of the IC by all congressional committees of jurisdiction;
  • Support GAO audits of areas focused on intelligence sources and methods or covert actions only upon the request of congressional intelligence committees;
  • Establish security procedures, between GAO and the congressional intelligence committee requesting the audit, for audits of intelligence sources and methods or covert actions; and
  • Prevent the arbitrary limitation of GAO’s ability to audit the IC without specific statutory language restricting such audits.

The Intelligence Authorization Act, along with SSCI’s committee report, is posted at: http://intelligence.senate.gov/bill2010.html.

Senator Akaka is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.