- Robert S. Mueller, III
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Statement Before the Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
- Washington, DC
- April 26, 2007
Good morning, Madam Chairman, Senator Shelby, and members of the Subcommittee. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the President's fiscal 2008 budget for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I would also like to thank you for your continued oversight of the Bureau and your efforts to ensure our success as we pursue the shared goal of making America safer.
2008 Budget Request
The fiscal 2008 budget for the FBI totals 29,373 positions and $6.4 billion. The net fiscal 2008 program increases total 714 new positions (231 agents, 121 intelligence analysts, and 362 professional support) and $313.8 million. Our fiscal 2008 budget is focused on improving the FBI's capabilities in addressing five key challenges: combating terrorism; preventing the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction; defeating foreign intelligence operations; reducing child exploitation and violent crimes; and strengthening infrastructure and information technology.
I recognize that there are many competing requirements for limited funding. Nonetheless, the FBI must continue the progress it has made to implement the President's directives and the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission. At the same time, the FBI must be resourced to discharge its critical criminal investigative mission that also contributes to the overall safety and security of the nation.
In addition, for the FBI to be a full partner in the intelligence community it must have the tools, capacities, and capabilities to work closely with other members of the community. Finally, the FBI must find the proper balance between expanding our workforce and supporting on-board employees with the technology and infrastructure necessary to accomplish our mission. I believe the fiscal 2008 budget will go a long way toward achieving these goals.
The current terrorist threat environment shows no signs of abating in the near term. Consequently, the FBI's operational and analytical commitment to combating terrorism is not expected to decrease. The FBI must remain vigilant for indications of terrorist groups shifting focus from the insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan to acts that could be carried out against United States interests outside the current theater of operation and/or against the United States homeland. The FBI must also continue its efforts to deny terrorist groups and sympathizers the ability to raise funds and to carry out other operational and logistical support from the United States.
This budget requests 231 new positions—including 126 agents—and $44.4 million to conduct intelligence-driven terrorism investigations and operations. Additionally, the fiscal 2008 budget proposes the reallocation of 100 field special agents from criminal investigations to counterterrorism.
These resources will enable the FBI to conduct investigations to prevent, disrupt, and deter acts of terrorism and continue to strengthen working relationships with our federal, state, and local partners; enhance our capacity for analyzing and exploiting information from growing volumes of seized terrorist digital media and communications; enhance the Terrorist Screening Center operations center; provide support to the National Virtual Translation Center, which serves as a clearinghouse to facilitate timely and accurate translation of foreign intelligence for elements of the intelligence community; and address growth in the number of terrorism and counterintelligence-related computer intrusion cases.
Shifting from a reactive criminal prosecution approach to a more prevention and intelligence-driven focus in our counterterrorism program is taxing the FBI's physical surveillance and electronic surveillance intelligence gathering capacities. The capacity to carry out extended covert surveillance of subjects and targets is absolutely critical to the FBI's counterterrorism and counterintelligence programs.
Surveillance capacities—physical and electronic—give us insight and awareness of our adversaries. Insight and awareness, in turn, create opportunities to identify sleeper cells, disrupt support networks and communications, and recruit assets. We need a robust surveillance capacity to keep on top of known and emerging targets. Additionally, we must be able to develop and deploy new operational technologies and techniques to counter a more technically sophisticated adversary and to exploit and share the information we gather.
In fiscal 2008, we seek an enhancement of 118 new positions (including 12 agents) and $65 million to strengthen surveillance and technical collection capacities. These resources will enable the FBI to increase the number of physical surveillance teams; address growing workload for electronic surveillance involving broadband and other data network and internet communications; develop new techniques and tools to address emerging technologies; meet demands for new audio and data collection and upgrade existing and/or obsolete digital collection system equipment and components; address growing workload for covert entries and searches; and develop new techniques and tools for tactical operations.
An integral part of our national security program is the development and operation of human intelligence. Our budget request includes 85 new positions (including six agents) and $22.3 million to strengthen human intelligence capacities. This funding will enable the FBI to provide staffing for field intelligence groups to comply with new human source validation standards and perform continuous assessments; continue development and deployment of Delta to support management of over 15,000 FBI human sources; deliver and deploy comprehensive human source targeting and development training; and remediate human source handling deficiencies. The intelligence derived from FBI human intelligence source collection also enables other agencies' success in their counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and counterproliferation missions.
We are fortunate that there has not been another major terrorist attack within the United States since September 11, 2001. This reflects positively, in part, on the hard and diligent work of FBI employees and those individuals who work alongside them, such as prosecutors and our partners in law enforcement and intelligence. However, we cannot afford to lessen our guard against the threat from terrorism. We must continue to invest in the resources and capabilities to counter an ever adapting and agile adversary.
Preventing the Acquisition of Weapons of Mass Destruction/Render Safe
The National Counterterrorism Center WMD Threat Assessment, 2005-2011, reaffirmed the intent of terrorist adversaries to seek the means and capability to use WMD against the United States at home and abroad. Denying these adversaries access to WMD is a top Administration Counterterrorism Strategy priority.
Within the U.S. government, the FBI has been assigned responsibility for Render Safe operations involving all WMD in the national capital region. The responsibility to render safe WMD throughout the remainder of the United States belongs to the FBI, supported by the Department of Defense. To fulfill its critical responsibilities in the area of WMD, the FBI must continue to build to the capacities and capabilities of its WMD Directorate and the Render Safe Program.
The WMD Directorate was created in July 2006 to better integrate and leverage FBI counterproliferation and WMD intelligence analysis and prevention programs. The fiscal 2008 budget seeks 146 new positions (including 29 agents) and $19 million to continue to enhance the directorate's capabilities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the threat of WMD.
These resources will allow the FBI to enhance strategic partnerships with foreign intelligence, law enforcement, security, public health, agricultural, chemical, and other public and private sector agencies and organizations that are vital to the early detection of a potential WMD incident.
The fiscal 2008 budget also includes enhancements of nine positions (including three agents) and $11 million to enhance the FBI's Render Safe Mission, which encompasses both the tactical and technical response to incidents involving WMD within the United States and its territories.
The complete development of a robust render safe crisis response for the directed contingencies requires the FBI to develop command-and-control capabilities to support deployments and to provide the FBI and United States government leaders with the information required to make time-critical decisions. The requested funding will allow the FBI to enhance its national asset response staffing beyond current minimum levels and provide program personnel with adequate training, equipment, supplies, and services. Additionally, the requested funding will allow the FBI to upgrade its Render Safe technical tools so the operators will have the latest and most effective technology at their disposal to meet and dispose of this challenge.
Defeating Foreign Intelligence Operations
The foreign intelligence threat to the United States is increasing as foreign powers continue their efforts to establish economic, military, and political preeminence and to position themselves to compete with the United States in economic and diplomatic arenas. Foreign adversaries are increasingly employing nontraditional collectors—e.g., students and visiting scientists, scholars, and businessmen—as well as cyber-based tools to target and penetrate U.S. institutions. The fiscal 2008 budget includes 119 positions (including 55 agents) and $26.5 million to address these activities.
In November 2005, the FBI launched a Domain Management Initiative to focus attention on whether the FBI is conducting the right investigations to have the greatest impact on threats to national security. Continued implementation of the Domain initiative will provide FBI leaders with a comprehensive and context decision-making environment. It will allow field office executive management to examine its target and regional environment and discuss the relative priority and focus of different activities.
In addition, resources are needed to transform and leverage the capacities and capabilities of the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force into a National Security Analysis Center that would provide expanded analytical support to all FBI National Security programs by leveraging data and services residing in both the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force and the Investigative Data Warehouse.
Reduce Child Exploitation and Violent Crimes
The FBI remains committed to fighting child pornography and obscenity and to protecting children from trafficking and other forms of exploitation.
The fiscal 2008 budget proposes 14 new positions and $2.4 million for the Crimes Against Children and Innocent Images National Initiative programs. These resources will enhance field-based Child Abduction Rapid Deployment teams that provide onsite response and investigative and technical assistance in child abduction cases. The funding will also enable Innocent Images, which targets child prostitution, to enhance its capacity to disseminate intelligence regarding unregistered sex offenders and Innocent Images investigations.
In addition to its investigative capabilities, the FBI brings to local, state, and national efforts against violent crime a number of proven crime-fighting technologies, services, and tools that are used every day by law enforcement agencies throughout the country to solve crimes and put criminals in jail. FBI forensic, identification, and information technologies and tools are critical for leveraging the capabilities of our state and local law enforcement partners in the fight against violent crime.
Access to these crime-solving services and capabilities is even more important in a post 9/11 environment where the FBI may not always able to devote the level of special agent resources to violent crime as it has in the past. Over the past several years, state and local agencies have been provided grant funding to improve their digital forensic, DNA, automated fingerprint identification, and information sharing capabilities.
One of the consequences of these improved state and local capabilities is increased demand for services and access to the underlying and unifying FBI systems and connectivity. For fiscal 2008, the FBI is requesting a total of $90.5 million to improve its capacities and capabilities for providing forensic, identification, and information technologies and services for law enforcement, including IDENT/IAFIS Interoperability ($10.0 million); Next Generation Identification ($25 million); Law Enforcement Information Sharing/R-DEX ($5 million); DNA forensic services, including Walsh Act implementation ($14.6 million); Combined DNA Index System ($7 million); Regional Computer Forensic Laboratories ($6 million); and Computer Analysis Response Teams ($22.8 million).
Strengthening Infrastructure and Information Technology
Critical to the success of the FBI mission are a safe and appropriate work environment and information technology. Over the past several years, the FBI has made substantial investments to upgrade its underlying IT architecture, including the purchase of computer workstations and software for employees and networks for connectivity both within the FBI and with our external partners. Having made these investments to bring IT in the FBI to near current state-of-the-art, it is now necessary to keep these investments current with technology.
The fiscal 2008 budget includes $15 million to provide enterprise IT support and prevent IT obsolescence. This funding will enable the FBI to address increased costs of software license/maintenance agreements, to upgrade networks and encryption to comply with mandated intelligence community protocol, and to begin bringing desktops, laptops, servers, and printers into a three-year technology refreshment cycle.
Additionally, $7.5 million is requested to continue to build and strengthen the FBI's IT program management capabilities. The inspector general and others have repeatedly criticized the FBI for ineffective program management of IT projects. Funding requested will enable the FBI to increase management and oversight of critical IT projects, ensure compliance with FBI Life Cycle Management Directives, and enhance FBI IT policy and planning capacities.
The FBI requests a total of $11.5 million to address critical space requirements, including $7.5 million for fiscal 2008 requirements associated with the FBI Headquarters Annex and $4 million for the Central Records Complex. The annex will provide additional office space to ease existing fragmentation of Headquarters divisions and offices. This funding will support the build-out of annex space, including furnishings, UNet and FBINet connectivity, equipment, locks, alarms, and access control.
The Central Records Complex will consolidate most of the FBI's records, which are currently dispersed in FBI locations across the nation, into one single facility. The funding requested will support non-standard requirements associated with the construction of the permanent records facility, such as fencing, vehicle barriers, and guard booths. Construction of the complex, a GSA build-to-suit/leased facility, is planned to begin in fiscal 2008.
"Unfunded FTE" Reduction
The fiscal 2008 budget reflects a reduction of 2,700 positions (576 special agent and 2,124 professional support) for the FBI. This reduction is part of a Department of Justice-wide effort to remove "unaffordable workyears" and to recast positions and workyears consistent with available funding. Let me assure you that the "unaffordable workyears" reduction is being targeted against vacant positions and that no on-board FBI employee's position will be affected by this action. The underlying causes for the accumulation of "unaffordable workyears" are the results of both internal workforce management decisions by the FBI and external decisions on the Bureau's budget.
Madam Chairman, Senator Shelby, and Members of the Subcommittee, today's FBI is part of a vast national and international campaign dedicated to defeating terrorism. Working hand-in-hand with our partners in law enforcement, intelligence, the military, and diplomatic circles, the FBI's primary responsibility is to neutralize terrorist cells and operatives here in the United States and help dismantle terrorist networks worldwide.
Although protecting the United States from terrorist attacks is our first priority, we remain committed to the defense of America against foreign intelligence threats as well as enforcing federal criminal laws while still respecting and defending the Constitution.
I recognize that the fiscal 2008 request will require difficult decisions with respect to meeting the competing demands among the Department of Justice components as well as those of other agencies. At the same time, even in times of fiscal restraint, there is a strong public expectation that the government provides our nation's safety and security. Protecting the nation from terrorist attacks, the threat of weapons of mass destruction, foreign intelligence agents, and violence requires a strong and well-resourced FBI.
I ask for your support in providing the resources requested in the fiscal 2008 budget so that we can fulfill our mission to safeguard the American people. I look forward to working with you on this budget proposal and other issues.
Once again, I thank you for your continued support of the FBI. I am happy to answer any questions you may have.