The FBI will allow the director of national intelligence, John D. Negroponte, to help choose a powerful intelligence chief at the bureau, says the New York Times. The appointment would for the first time give an outsider a key role in the selection of a high-level FBI official. The intelligence chief, who will be chosen jointly by Negroponte and FBI chief Robert Mueller, would have the likely title of associate director for intelligence and in effect be the FBI’s third-ranking official.
FBI acceptance of the new proposal is a recognition within the bureau that it can no longer resist mounting pressures for change, after scathing reports that have criticized it for intelligence lapses. The White House has set a deadline of this month to announce intelligence changes at the FBI. The bureau also has agreed to accept other proposals by from an outside commission that would give Negroponte’s office greater influence over FBI intelligence spending, which accounts for more than a third of the bureau’s budget of nearly $5 billion. Most high-level officials at the bureau are appointed by its director.