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American spy agencies take up austerity

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Monday he has proposed double-digit budget cuts in intelligence programs to the White House because "we're all going to have to give at the office."

world Updated: Oct 19, 2011 01:09 IST

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Monday he has proposed double-digit budget cuts in intelligence programs to the White House because "we're all going to have to give at the office."

Clapper, in a speech at the GEOINT conference in Texas, said his office had "handed in our homework assignment" to the Office of Management and Budget, "and it calls for cuts in the double-digit range, with a B (for billion), over 10 years."

In February the DNI had requested $55 billion in appropriations for fiscal year 2012. Congress has not given final approval to any of the regular full-year spending bills and the government is being funded by short-term measures.

"We too in the IC (Intelligence Community) are going to contribute to reducing the deficit which itself poses a profound threat to national security," Clapper said.

The DNI oversees 17 intelligence agencies and only publicly releases an aggregate budget figure for intelligence programs without a breakdown for the different agencies. Clapper did not give a precise percentage figure for the proposed cuts.

He said the budget cuts would mainly focus on efficiencies in information technology but would include cuts in contractors.