Follow-up Audit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Efforts to Hire, Train,
and Retain Intelligence Analysts

Audit Report 07-30
April 2007
Office of the Inspector General

Appendix 9
The FBI’s Response to the Draft Report
  U. S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Washington D. C. 20535-0001
April 16, 2007

TO: Guy K. Zimmerman
Assistant Inspector General, Audit Division
Office of the Inspector General
U.S. Department of Justice

FROM: Willie T. Hulon
Executive Assistant Director - National Security Branch
Federal Bureau of Investigation

SUBJECT: Follow-up Audit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Efforts to Hire, Train, and Retain Intelligence Analysts

The FBI appreciates the commitment of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to enhancing our national security workforce and the OIG's acknowledgement of the improvements we have made in our efforts to hire, train, and retain intelligence analysts in order to build an integrated analytic program. As the OIG's Follow-up Audit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Efforts to Hire, Train, and Retain Intelligence Analysts indicates, the development of our analytic cadre has progressed since we initially established the program, and we value this recognition of our work.

We are pleased to note the report's discussion of the various areas in which we have improved, including the proper utilization of our analytic workforce, the maintenance of an acceptable rate of analyst attrition, the collection of data regarding analysts' departure from the workforce, and the augmentation of our analytic cadre with qualified candidates. Perhaps most important, we particularly appreciate the OIG's emphasis that FBI analysts continue to maintain high levels of satisfaction with their work and that they recognize the importance of their efforts to the FBI's mission of protecting the United States from national security and criminal threats. We note that all of these improvements are in support of and aligned with the recommendations contained in the OIG's initial audit on this topic.

While we appreciate the report's recognition of our improvement, we also recognize, as the OIG has indicated, that several areas in our development of an analytic workforce require additional improvements and enhancements. We concur with the spirit of the OIG's three main recommendations and acknowledge our need for continued improvement in order to achieve an optimally integrated and functional analytic cadre.

The report's discussion of the training we offer to FBI intelligence analysts includes a description of our intelligence training program's evolution and indicates the instruction we provide is lacking in several areas. However, the OIG may have been able to obtain a more complete picture of our training environment had it been able to incorporate the improvements the FBI has made since August of 2006 when the data collection period for this audit ended. In addition, while we concur with the report's recommendation to institute and implement training evaluations, we are hopeful that our ongoing efforts to enhance on Level 1 evaluation process, and to further develop our Levels 2-5 evaluations, will fulfill the OIG's recommendations.

In addition, we appreciate that the report is a follow-up audit that, by design, focuses on our efforts to improve upon areas noted in previous recommendations. We understand that the nature of such follow-up audits precludes interviews with large sample sizes and that the conduct of interviews with the entire FBI analytic cadre would be logistically impossible. However, while we do not dispute the views of the approximately 60 intelligence analysts interviewed in preparation for this report, we believe that your own statement (p.30) that this limited a sample "makes it difficult to assess the pervasiveness of the professional divide in the FBI" also pertains to all of the views expressed by this group. Further, many of the conclusions in the report were based upon information from even smaller subsets of the 60 intelligence analysts who had relevant experience (i.e. only 11 of the 60 attended Cohort). Thus we believe a larger sample size of interviews may have provided a fuller and more balanced picture of the FBI's environment. In addition, while we recognize the individual opinions presented and cited in the report as valuable comments on the state of our programs, such comments may not be completely accurate representations of the nature of our initiatives.

We look forward to working with and updating the OIG on our efforts to implement these recommendations in order to improve our hiring, training, and retention of intelligence analysts. Based on the progress noted in your review and our current efforts in these areas, we are hopeful any follow-up review will fully reflect the turnaround we are working to achieve.

Recommendation 1: Evaluate the hiring and background investigation process to identify ways to accelerate the accession of new intelligence analysts.

We concur with the OIG and are taking steps to streamline the background investigation process to comply with Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 standards calling for reduced background processing times by 2009. In October 2006, we established procedures to focus on processing priority applicants, including intelligence analysts. In addition, during intelligence analyst hiring blitzes, we have taken steps to ensure greater communication and coordination between key stakeholder groups, including the Human Resources Division, Security Division, and processing field offices, to help achieve greater accountability in the intelligence analyst hiring process. We continue to pursue business process reengineering opportunities, database improvements, and e-government solutions to accelerate our accession of new analysts. We have worked to increase the participation of our field divisions in the hiring process. Through the use of standardized interview questions, we are able to process more candidates while ensuring hiring criteria are consistently applied throughout the FBI. Each of these initiatives has enhanced our ability to bring new intelligence analysts on board more quickly. We are currently developing our 2008 Hiring Plan, which will address such issues as recruitment, critical skills, workforce balance, application processing, and background investigations.

Recommendation 2: Involve intelligence managers and experienced analysts more extensively in training curriculum development efforts.

We concur with this recommendation and believe our past and current efforts demonstrate our commitment to improving in this area. We have consistently involved both subject-matter experts and managers throughout the development of intelligence analyst training, including Basic Intelligence Analysis, ACES 1.0, ACES 1.5, Cohort, and Intelligence Analyst Special Training (LAST). Beginning in December 2001, the FBI has relied on the knowledge and skills of its own analytic and investigative personnel as subject-matter experts. Most recently, the development of ACES 1.0, ACES 1.5, Cohort, and IAST relied heavily on input from subject- matter experts, who were selected for their knowledge of intelligence matters and their expertise in specific topics, such as counterterrorism, counterintelligence, reports writing and collection management. Additionally, subject-matter experts contributed to the development of ACES 1.0, ACES 1.5, Cohort, and IAST and often served as instructors in their areas of expertise. In addition to the basic intelligence courses, subject-matter experts also contributed to the development of both Reports Officer 101 and Managing Analysis. These subject-matter experts now serve as the course's instructors and facilitators.

We are currently revising our basic intelligence analysis course and anticipate rollout in June 2007. The development of this course is under the direction of the Intelligence Training and Analytic Development Office, headed by a senior-level executive with 30 years of US Intelligence Community experience as an intelligence analyst. The curriculum is being developed with input from Intelligence Community agencies. This training will draw heavily from lessons learned by our US Intelligence Community partners and will be developed by a team of subject-matter experts who will be assigned full-time to its roll-out and the first several course offerings.

We recognize the importance of this recommendation and will reassess how we can better implement it in our current and future efforts.

Recommendation 3: Make student and supervisor evaluations of analyst training mandatory and use the results to identify any needed improvements in the curriculum.

We concur with this recommendation and believe our past and current efforts demonstrate our commitment to improving in this area. We have used Level 1 student evaluations conducted for all blocks of instruction for ACES 1.0, ACES 1.5, Cohort, and IAST to evaluate and change class structure and content throughout each of these courses. These evaluations, which individuals familiar with the process estimate are completed by 98% of students, are analyzed across all programs and are available for review. In addition to the Level 1 evaluations, the Center for Intelligence Training and the Directorate of Intelligence have also instituted formal feedback sessions within each Cohort class to evaluate and refine the curriculum. The information from these feedback sessions was used extensively in refining Cohort. In March 2006, we determined Level 2—5 evaluations would not go forward until the completion of a new job task analysis and competency review, which is scheduled for completion in mid-2007. Upon its completion, we will develop these evaluations and anticipate the implementation of Level 3 evaluations when the revised Intelligence Basic Course has been implemented.

We recognize the importance of this recommendation and will reassess how we can better implement it in our current and future efforts.

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