- Robert S. Mueller, III
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science
- Washington, DC
- May 24, 2005
Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Senator Mikulski, and Members of the Subcommittee. I am pleased to appear before you today with Attorney General Gonzales, and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the President's FY 2006 budget for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). I would first like to express my gratitude for the continued support and guidance you have provided the FBI as we continue our efforts to ensure that we are able to address current threats and keep America safe from those who would do us harm. Specifically, I would like to thank you for recently passing the FY 2005 Supplemental, which included $74 million for the FBI. In addition to including critical funding for the FBI’s operations in Iraq, the Supplemental will allow the FBI to improve its efforts at home in the war on terrorism.
2006 BUDGET REQUEST
The FBI's FY 2006 budget request totals 31,475 positions, including 12,140 agents and 2,745 Intelligence Analysts, and $5.7 billion. This includes 2,086 new positions--615 agents, 508 Intelligence Analysts, and 963 support positions--and $496 million in new investments to continue strengthening our Intelligence Program and support our Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence activities. In addition, the FY 2006 budget request includes resources to address the FBI's information technology and infrastructure requirements. These resources are critical to the Intelligence, Counterterrorism, and Counterintelligence Programs, as well as to our traditional criminal investigative efforts, and maintain the support we provide to our state, local, and tribal partners. The following highlights critical areas of operations and support functions.
Since I last appeared before the Subcommittee in February of this year, the FBI has taken significant steps in planning for our future case management system. I want to take an opportunity to provide you with an update on our plans and proposed time-line.
The FBI's commitment to delivering enhanced technology capabilities remains resolute. Our efforts with regard to the Trilogy Project resulted in a better understanding of program management and technical expertise. The lessons learned have resulted in changes that have already facilitated successful programs, including the pilot testing of VCF Initial Operating Capability (IOC), which concluded at the end of March 2005. As a result of VCF IOC, we were able to gain user input that will better direct the development and roll-out of future capabilities. Additionally, lessons learned have better positioned us to shape the FBI's next generation electronic information management system, SENTINEL. Successful deployment of SENTINEL remains one of my top priorities.
SENTINEL is different from the VCF program because it will serve as a vehicle in which capabilities can be gradually deployed. We will roll-out key technical services in phases, such as records and case management capabilities, to smoothly transition into the new system while retiring legacy applications. SENTINEL will raise our business practices to a higher level of performance by providing enhanced capabilities, new services, and better efficiency. SENTINEL will further encourage information sharing within the FBI and among our counterparts.
The current planning has SENTINEL functions divided into four phases, which will be incrementally developed and deployed. Each phase will deliver stand-alone capabilities. The phases take into consideration migration of legacy data and retirement of legacy systems. An initial estimate for full development and implementation of SENTINEL is 39 to 48 months. The first phase of the development is estimated to begin late this calendar year. As I mentioned, SENTINEL will replace a number of legacy applications, the most important of which is the Automated Case Management System; other applications to be replaced include: ASSET; Criminal Informant Management System; Bank Robbery Statistical Application; Financial Institution Fraud and Integrated Statistical Reporting Analysis Application. Additionally, SENTINEL incorporates support for XML standards to facilitate internal and external information sharing.
The total estimated cost of SENTINEL has not yet been finalized, but would be distributed over two to four fiscal years. However, development costs for each phase will be fully funded in the year in which work begins on that phase.
DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE
At the direction of the Congress and President, the FBI has established the Directorate of Intelligence. As required in the FBI's FY 2005 Appropriation legislation, the Directorate will lead the FBI's integrated, dedicated national intelligence workforce--"A Service within a Service." The guiding principle for FBI intelligence is the integration of law enforcement and intelligence operations. To achieve this integration, we use a management principle of centralized management and distributed execution. The Directorate establishes priorities, processes, and policies for intelligence operations that are executed by fully integrated intelligence elements in other Headquarters offices and the Field. The priorities, processes, and policies are fully aligned with those of the Attorney General, and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI):
- This integrated intelligence service leverages our traditional law enforcement culture-with particular attention to the pedigree of sources and fact-based analysis- while ensuring no walls exist between collectors, analysts, and those who must act upon intelligence information.
- The term "Directorate" signifies that intelligence is not the responsibility of one office or one division, but crosses program lines and permeates all we are charged with doing.
- FBI intelligence professionals will integrate all partners--particularly state, local and tribal law enforcement--into our intelligence structures. Through joint operations in a shared information space, we create a common view of the threat and a clear understanding of our respective roles in countering the threat.
- The FBI's FY 2006 budget request includes an enhancement of $26 million for the Directorate of Intelligence. The resources would strengthen three critical areas: program development; training; and recruitment and retention. These areas have been identified as critical to the success of our Intelligence Program.
We are requesting resources to continue restructuring and integrating the enterprise-wide Intelligence Program, which would enable us to centrally manage our core intelligence functions and implement programs, standards, policies, and training for analysts consistent with standards to be determined by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). This would also allow us to manage intelligence requirements and intelligence collection activities in accordance with national intelligence priorities and to ensure that all intelligence gathered and analyzed is disseminated to those who need it, both inside and outside the FBI. Our efforts to date have focused on aligning our processes with partners and customers outside the FBI, and increasing our intelligence production. The FBI had a 312 percent increase in the dissemination of intelligence assessments from calendar year 2003 to 2004 and a 222 percent increase in the dissemination of Intelligence Information Reports during that same period.
- In order to ensure a consistent level of knowledge across the workforce, we have instituted specialized training, which is now mandatory for all FBI Intelligence Analysts. This year, more than 150 analysts have received intelligence training, and our goal is to train at least 1,000 analysts by December 2005. In addition, intelligence training has been incorporated into new agent training. As directed in the FBI’s FY 2005 Appropriation, we are making additional improvements to expand and enhance our training program, to include joint training sessions with other members of the Intelligence Community, creation of a fellows program to exchange staff with other federal agencies and the private sector, and opportunities for academic sabbaticals to pursue advanced degrees. Our FY 2006 request would enhance the basic intelligence analyst course and provide support for advanced Intelligence Analyst training.
- We have made substantial progress towards expanding and strengthening our intelligence workforce. As a result of our hiring efforts, we have received overwhelming interest in the Intelligence Analyst position. A one-week vacancy announcement advertised in February 2005 yielded over 2,218 applicants. We have hired 476 Intelligence Analysts through February and have a hiring objective of 880 by the end of the year. The FY 2006 budget request includes resources to continue recruitment and retention initiatives.
Finally, the FBI has integrated management of the Foreign Language program within the Directorate of Intelligence. This integration aligns foreign language and intelligence management activities and provides for delivery of service across all program areas. At the end of February 2005, there were 406 language specialists on-board. In addition, we use the services of over 900 contract linguists. This represents a 67 percent increase in the number of total linguists since 9/11. During calendar year 2004, our Language Services program reviewed over 532,000 hours of audio and over 1.9 million pages of text in support of the counterterrorism and counterintelligence missions. We are requesting an enhancement of 274 positions and $26 million in FY 2006 to enhance the program's capacity in counterterrorism and counterintelligence-related languages and to integrate a permanent staff of linguists within the National Virtual Translation Center.
The FBI is committed to defeating terrorists and preventing terrorist attacks. We endeavor to deny terrorists and their supporters the capacity to plan, organize, and carry out logistical, operational, and support activities. In order to be successful, we must be able to develop intelligence about their plans and disrupt their efforts. In conjunction with our partners, we will pursue appropriate sanctions against terrorists and their supporters. Success is dependent on networked information technology systems and the capacity to manage and share information effectively. Resources are also critical to the mission. In FY 2006, we are requesting an enhancement of 791 positions, including 468 agents and $122 million for national security field investigations.
A critical mission within the Counterterrorism Division is the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force (FTTTF). FTTTF was created in response to Homeland Security Presidential Directive-2 (HSPD-2). The mission of the FTTTF is to provide information that helps keep foreign terrorists and their supporters out of the country or leads to their exclusion, removal, surveillance, or prosecution. The FTTTF specializes in combining public, proprietary, and government data sources to support the FBI’s counterterrorism mission, including support to other U.S. and international operations.
Current collaborative partners and key players include:
- FBI’s Counterterrorism Division--National Joint Terrorism Task Force;
- Central Intelligence Agency;
- Department of Defense;
- DoD Counterintelligence Field Activity;
- Department of State; and
- Department of Homeland Security.
In February 2005, the FBI and DHS executed an agreement to provide for the sharing of information from the US-VISIT and Student and Exchange Visitor Information Systems (SEVIS) programs. As a result of the agreement, the FBI will be able to retrieve and analyze all of the biographic and biometric data on foreign travelers and students collected in US-VISIT and SEVIS. FBI personnel will be able to access this information through the Investigative Data Warehouse and FTTTF databases, as well as through established user accounts at FBIHQ and field office.
The agreement requires the FBI to verify information and coordinate with DHS before taking action on leads or disseminating intelligence products developed as a result of information under this shared agreement. It also broadly provides the FBI authority to share US-VISIT and SEVIS information as necessary with other federal, state and local personnel.
TERRORIST SCREENING CENTER
The Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) is a multi-agency effort designed to consolidate the screening process for known and suspected terrorists and to provide for the appropriate and lawful use of terrorist information. The TSC operates 24/7 to provide a unified approach to terrorist screening. Through February 2005, TSC received 21,650 calls (over 3,500 from state and local law enforcement), made over 11,300 positive identifications, and assisted in over 340 arrests--including six with a terrorism nexus. For FY 2006, we are requesting an increase of 61 positions, to include six Intelligence Analysts and eight agents and $75 million. These resources would provide the TSC with the ability to not only continue fulfilling the TSC’s mission as mandated by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6, but also begin to address the requirements generated by several other initiatives--more stringent screening at United States borders, new requirements for the government to screen passengers on domestic and international flights without unduly delaying commerce or travel, and ensuring organizations receiving public funds do not have terrorist links. TSC projects that its workload will increase by up to 3 million queries per day by FY 2006.
As the lead counterintelligence agency in the United States, the FBI is responsible for identifying and neutralizing ongoing national security threats. In counterintelligence, we are alert to the potential of a foreign power to penetrate the United States Intelligence Community and to compromise Critical National Assets. We are also deeply concerned about an agent of a hostile group or nation producing or using weapons of mass destruction. Furthermore, the players in the espionage game have diversified. We are no longer dealing exclusively with intelligence agents. Today the threat can just as easily come from students, business executives, or hackers.
OFFICE OF CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER
In FY 2006, we are also requesting an enhancement of $7 million to provide contract support for the Office of the Chief Information Officer. With these resources, we will be able to better ensure that disciplined processes are applied to our project management activities and that our projects accurately reflect operational requirements and our architecture standards while supporting our information technology systems development and engineering.
We appreciate the support you provided us for the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) program in the FY 2005 Appropriation language. It allows us to move forward with our plans to modernize our hardware and software to ensure interoperability and increased information sharing with other agencies through use of emerging technologies. In FY 2006, we are requesting an increase of $16.8 million for Next Generation IAFIS to improve its speed and accuracy, allow for flat print capture, and enhance the Criminal History Record Information Database. These initiatives will support both our state and local partners and the security of our nation's borders.
We are also focused on developing technology to promote information sharing with our state and local law enforcement partners. The FBI is requesting an increase of $8 million to upgrade the Law Enforcement Online (LEO) network with cost effective solutions to accommodate law enforcement user and content growth and to conduct annual security audits, reviews, and technology assessments to ensure LEO remains compatible with emerging technologies and customer needs. As of March 1, 2005, LEO supported over 41,000 users. In addition to the current LEO user base, there are approximately 17,000 Regional Information Sharing System users who have the ability to access LEO. During FY 2004, the FBI added more than 4,000 National Alert System, or NAS, users. NAS provides immediate notification regarding crisis events.
International cooperation has been, and will continue to be, crucial to effectively prevent and disrupt terrorist networks. We are continuing to develop foreign partnerships through expansion of our Legal Attaché program. Currently, we have 51 Legal Attaché offices open, covering over 200 countries around the world, supporting our efforts to neutralize transnational threats. We anticipate opening three additional Legal Attaché offices by the end of this year: Kabul, Afghanistan; Sofia, Bulgaria; and Sarajevo, Bosnia. In FY 2006, we are requesting an enhancement of 60 positions and $11 million for the Legal Attaché program and related information technology infrastructure requirements. We propose to open one new office and to enhance our presence in several existing critical locations. Augmenting the Legal Attaché presence overseas will provide an operational benefit by reducing the span of control of affected offices, resulting in more manageable workloads to address terrorist and criminal investigations. Foreign law enforcement cooperation is a central ingredient in fighting the international war on terrorism, and an effective Legal Attaché program is essential to maintaining our success in this area.
The last few years have seen rapid reorganization and expansion of our organization. We have undergone much change and hired many new personnel. One of our highest priorities has been maintaining the strength of our workforce. We conducted a study in 2004 to improve the hiring process of support personnel. The study's recommendations included streamlining several business practices and realigning resources to more effectively execute our hiring efforts. The majority of these recommendations are in the process of being implemented. For FY 2005, we have initiated a plan to accelerate the interviewing and processing of applicants residing in the Washington, DC and Baltimore region for the FBI's top priority programs, including the Directorate of Intelligence, in an effort to achieve this year's hiring goals.
As we expand our hiring, our training capacity must improve as well. In FY 2006, we are requesting $15 million to continue addressing the more pronounced deficiencies at the FBI Academy. We need to ensure that our facilities at the FBI Academy are suitable for training agents and Intelligence Analysts, as well as maintaining our support of the National Academy. Quantico provides training to an average of 1,500 intelligence and law enforcement personnel each day. We are renovating and modernizing our facilities in order to meet the demands of our new intelligence-driven training initiatives.
As part of our initiative to improve physical infrastructure and support the counterterrorism mission, we are requesting $10 million in construction funding to conduct architectural and engineering studies for a new Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) facility. The funding would also be available for the purchase of land once a suitable location is found. A new complex would provide for adequate training space and would allow CIRG's executive management, command and control, and crisis response elements to be centralized in one location.
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE DIVISION
We are also continuing to enhance our Criminal Program. In 2004, we realigned our program structure. The realignment maximizes the effectiveness of resources, mirrors actual work processes, focuses on threats from criminal enterprises, and promotes the collection, exchange, and dissemination of intelligence throughout the FBI and other authorized agencies. In FY 2004, we reported more than 21,000 arrests, 15,000 indictments, and 16,000 convictions. The focus of the Criminal Investigative Program is in areas where we provide a unique skill and provide a critical contribution to law enforcement.
We have placed additional emphasis on targeting violent gangs. Gangs and other criminal enterprises operating in the United States and throughout the world pose increasing concerns for the international law enforcement and intelligence communities. Today, gangs are more violent, more organized, and more widespread than ever before. They pose one of the greatest threats to the safety and security of all Americans. The Department of Justice estimates there are approximately 30,000 gangs with 800,000 members, impacting 2,500 communities across the United States. The innocent people in these communities face daily exposure to violence from criminal gangs trafficking in drugs and weapons, gangs fighting amongst themselves to control or extend their turf and their various criminal enterprises, which pose a significant threat.
In response to the threat, we have developed the National Gang Strategy. Priority is given to efforts to disrupt and dismantle gangs that are national in scope. One of the first to be targeted is MS-13, a violent gang that originated in Los Angeles and has spread across the country. We have created a National Gang Task Force specifically to address MS-13. We are establishing a new National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC) at FBI headquarters, which has been made possible through resources the Congress provided this year. The NGIC will collect intelligence on gangs from across the United States, analyze this intelligence, and disseminate it to help law enforcement authorities throughout the country plan and execute strategies to prevent further gang activity and violence.
The FBI views identity theft as a significant and growing crime problem, especially as it relates to the theft of consumer information from large wholesale data companies. Identify theft has emerged as one of the dominant white-collar crime problems of the 21 st century. The FBI opened 889 investigations related to identity theft in fiscal year 2004. That number is expected to increase as identity thieves become more sophisticated and as the crime is further embraced by large criminal organizations, placing more identity theft crime within FBI investigative priorities. Identify theft crosses all program lines and is usually perpetrated to facilitate other crimes such as credit card fraud, check fraud, mortgage fraud, and health care fraud. At present, the FBI has over 1,600 active investigations involving some aspect of identity theft.
The National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR) is under the control of the Criminal Division’s Crime Against Children Section and the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS). As directed by Congress, the FBI maintains a national database to track the whereabouts and movements of sex offenders. The foremost goal of the Registry is to prevent sexual offenders from committing further sex crimes and protecting the public, and the NSOR is a critical tool that is educating and protecting the public and children from harm. The system uses an FBI number to connect information in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) to existing criminal history information in the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). In order for this to occur, the convicted offender must have a pre-established FBI criminal history record, which can be based on any prior arrest. Recent murders of innocent children have highlighted the need to make the public even more aware of the NSOR, which is available as a link from the FBI's website, fbi.gov, and state and local government agencies.
Mr. Chairman, Senator Mikulski, and Members of the Subcommittee, the FBI's overriding priority has been protecting America by preventing further terrorist attacks. The FBI has made many significant changes and will continue to adapt to protect our country. We have reorganized from an agency whose primary focus was law enforcement into an integral member of the Intelligence Community. The men and women of the FBI are its greatest asset. Working together, Special Agents, analysts, scientists, managers, and support employees attack threats as a team, with a unified determination to protect our country and our civil liberties.
Once again, I thank you for your strong support of the FBI. It will be my pleasure to answer any questions you may have.